The Balmoral Hotel

1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH2 2EQ

Price from: £114

The Balmoral Hotel

By Alison Craig, your Edinburgh expert

I write for BBC radio, The Scotsman, .... Read more
#1 of 40
expert-rated hotels in Edinburgh
Expert overall rating:5.0 out of 5
Location:
5
5.0
Bedrooms:
4.9
4.9
Eating/drinking:
4.9
4.9
Public areas:
4.7
4.7
Leisure facilities:
4.6
4.6
Service:
4.9
4.9
Value for money:
4.5
4.5
Recommended for:
Couples, Foodies, Mature travellers, Relaxation, Romance, Shopping

Expert review of The Balmoral Hotel

An Edinburgh landmark, The Balmoral is elegant luxury for those who can afford the best.

The best hotel in the centre of the city by a country mile. Elegant, historical and with the famous clock tower, which can be seen for miles around, this is the place to stay if you can. The flagship of Rocco Forte's empire, the whole place exudes sophisticated elegance. From the foyer with its chandeliers and jaw dropping proportions to the views, effortless service and award winning food...you could do a lot worse.

Location: 

The moment you step out of the hotel you are in the very heart of Edinburgh with Harvey Nichols, Jenners and a myriad great shops less than a minute's walk away. Though the food in-house is fabulous, you are just a minute's walk from a great choice of restaurants. Culture is all around you too with The National Gallery and the ubiquitous castle staring right at you. Princes Street Gardens, a substantial grassy area, is right there too where you'll find lots of seating, lounging and opportunities for people watching.

Bedrooms: 

The 168 rooms and 20 suites are all decorated to the highest standard. Expect tactile wools, cashmeres and leather in warm, soothing colours. Contemporary Scottish style. Ask for a West facing room as the view over Princes Street Gardens, The Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle is breathtaking.

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Public areas: 

Palm Court elegance from a bygone era. Marble floors, a long bar, a grand piano which will be tinkled regularly, or sometimes a harpist plays. The Bollinger Bar ensures both champagne and Afternoon Tea are ever popular here.

Eating and drinking: 

No. 1 at The Balmoral has a Michelin star and the food is wonderful. The only thing that lets it down, in my opinion, is that it has a rather formal stuffy atmosphere which may be down to the fact it is tucked away on the lower ground level.

By contrast Hadrians on the ground floor has a lovely, light and airy atmosphere with windows overlooking the buzzy city outside; it just has a much more contemporary feel generally.

The bar is fine too. The bar menu offers all the favourites so you have a good choice of food: lasagna, or maybe fish and chips if you're feeling a little pale and wan (wan is Scots for washed out).

Leisure facilities: 

The spa is great. There's a 15 metre pool, gym, treatment rooms and it's open until 10pm every night. The products they use are Espa, which are lovely, organic, paraben free, and just the business.

Service: 

Impeccable.

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Who stays there: 

The well heeled, sophisticated traveller; romantic weekend getaways; foodies, shopaholics and luxury addicts.

Pros: 
Location is all
Michelin-starred restaurant on site
Spa
Cons: 
Not the cheapest place in town
Big and some might say impersonal

More information on The Balmoral Hotel:

Price from:
£114
Type:
Hotel
Address:
1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH2 2EQ
Free tags / Keywords:
luxury, Spa, Michelin starred restaurant
Amenities:
Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool
Neighbourhood:
Central Edinburgh

The Balmoral Hotel

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