Why a trip to the iconic Balmoral Hotel should be on your bucket list

The location and rooms...

I have been travelling to Edinburgh for the last 3 years to visit my daughter who is at the university there. I have always looked wistfully at The Balmoral Hotel, which is situated at No.1 Princes Street right next to Edinburgh Waverley station and wanted to stay there. Finding myself for once visiting alone, I finally took the plunge and decided to book in for a weekend.

On arriving at the hotel I was met by the very friendly staff and the wonderful Richard Cooke who is the General Manager and for who nothing is too much trouble. I was shown to my very lovely and luxurious suite, very aptly called The Balmoral Suite, which compromises of 2 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a lovely sitting room. Olga Polizzi, Director of Building and Design has fully refurbished the hotel and the effect is stunning.

The Scottish landscape is Olga Polizzi's inspiration and the carpets and fabrics used throughout the hotel reflect the earthy colours of the moors, mists and heathers that one associates with Scotland.

The Balmoral, apart from being an excellent Rocco Forte hotel, is also a landmark thanks to its majestic clock tower that plays an important role in the skyline. The hotel has a total of 188 bedrooms including 20 suites one of which is the J.K. Rowling suite, where she finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I particularly loved the location for its centrality, not only for the proximity to the shops but also for the access to excellent walks around the city.

The Balmoral Suite...

The Balmoral has a partnership with Hunter, meaning that anyone staying in the Balmoral Suite is gifted up to 2 pairs of Hunter Balmoral wellies, a walking map of the city and are invited to book the new insta-tour of the city. The hotel offers a range of experiences including The Balmoral’s Cashmere and Tartan Trail which allows guests to venture off the beaten track to the Scottish Borders and enjoy a privately guided visit to Scotland's most prestigious mills including Johnstons of Elgin, weavers by Royal Appointment to HRH Prince Charles. It’s a very enjoyable outing especially as you are chauffeur driven through the gorgeous landscape on the way to the mill.

The food..

The hotel has a selection of lovely restaurants and bars, I chose to eat in the Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux. The food is completely delicious and the restaurant has a great relaxed atmosphere. The menu consists of local Scottish produce combined with classic French cooking. The staff, as always, are incredibly helpful and friendly and make the whole experience there a lot of fun.

I really love Edinburgh and find it one of the most beguiling and beautiful cities I have ever visited. I particularly like walking around the city, either around the lovely cobbled streets or walking up Carlton Hill if you are feeling more robust! If you want a very special experience staying in Edinburgh, The Balmoral truly is the place to go.

To Book..

To book visit https://www.roccofortehotels.com or call 0131 556 2414.

A night in The Balmoral Suite starts from £1,500 on a bed and breakfast basis.