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  • 5.0 star rating

    This is one of the top hotels in Edinburgh. Pefrectly located at the end of Princes street. On the corner from the park and the station. 5 minutes from the Royal Mile.
    Parking in Edinburgh is ridiculous. The valet parking here is only slightly more expensive at £29 a night. If you can, avoid getting the car into the centre.
    The hotel decor is superb. The staff are excellent. The business centre is a little disappointing. I like the fact you can have breakfast in your room for no extra charge. However, any other room service is very steep.
    The pool, sauna and steam room are lovely and quiet in the late afternoon/evening.
    Of course the price is high per night, but you get much better value here than you would in London.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I love, love, love this bar. Not because of the way it looks or celeb chefs and all that blah. I love it because the cocktails are just great! Sooo tasty, made with good quality ingredients and some home made there.

    The tasting menu is the one to have. They bring out a starter/main/desert of drinks with table service and some nibbles. There is no hanging around at the bar, you can just sit back and enjoy your drinks.

    It's pretty laid back, and most people are smartly dressed. It does have an air of pretension about it but look beyond the toff types (they are there, but in bearable amounts!) and enjoy your drinks and the company your with!

    The staff are friendly and after our cocktails we went to the bar and they were more than happy to show and explain how they made them, who thought them up, etc.

    I'd say it's a good place to start a night out, and glam it up a bit.

    I think the cocktails are pretty strong (good value for money!)...either that or I am a true lightweight :)

  • 3.0 star rating

    Ended up in here on Friday night for some late drinks with some buddies.

    First things first. It's rather swish. Thankfully I'd just got back from London so had on a jacket and some trousers which always helps.

    Secondly - Salted wasabi popcorn. Replenished ad infinatum. Was AMAZING

    Thirdly - Cashews and stuff - FREEE!!

    Fourthly - Beer selection was alright if a touch pricey

    Quintessentially  -  Staff were nice

    Conversely - Seemed to be slightly lacking in atmosphere...

    I'd go back I guess. Maybe try out some food!

  • 4.0 star rating

    Wow. Not going to lie, shockingly expensive. £14 for a glass of Bucks Fizz! But served by a man in a Kilt, with really traditional scottish music playing and traditional scottish decor and tons and tons of whisky. yes.

  • 4.0 star rating
    2 check-ins ROTD 1/4/2014

    First visit to the Balmoral Bar. We were heading home after Oktoberfest & wanted a drink but not a crowded bar so the OH suggested here. I was a bit skeptical because we weren't exactly dressed to the 9's like most of the clientele there.
    No matter, the staff were very friendly & welcoming, we were shown to a nice corner table & given time to peruse the menu.
    I opted for a gin & asked for a recommendation as there were some gins on the list I hadn't tried. The waitress was knowledgeable & I was intrigued by the Martin Collins, served with pepper& strawberry. It was lovely & just what I was after.
    We were also brought complimentary bar snacks which were a nice touch.
    There's no doubt you pay a premium to drink in here but it is nicely decorated, the service is top notch & it has a lovely ambience.  
    I'd definitely go back for a nightcap on the way home again or for drinks for a special occasion. The cocktail tasting menu looks like an interesting choice for a night out with the girls once I've saved enough pennies  :)

  • 2.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Fancied trying out the Balmoral Bar as I'd read on their website about their cocktail tasting menu and thought they seemed serious about their cocktails. £11 worth of serious for a basic sidecar which was too lemoney and not sharp enough. Far too sweet. I've made better in the house.

    Busy bar, full of posers who all looked a state but the decor is nice in that kind of Scottish upmarket hotel kind of way.  Free bar snacks brought to your table.  

    I think if I were to go again it would be for the cocktail tasting menu as it works out to be a bit more reasonable than the price we paid for a couple of shots and a squeeze of lemon.

    So far Edinburgh your cocktails are sh*te. Glasgow's kicking your butt.

  • 4.0 star rating

    We decided to pop in, as i had never been in the Balmoral Bar before. Its is extremely
    grand and lush. We enjoyed two cocktails ( although slightly overpriced at £11). The waitress
    gave us a nice selection of free bar snacks that we enjoyed.
    Very much a place for posers, but i guess we all like that from time to time :) Service was faultless and im glad that i went. Nice, convienient location too!

  • 4.0 star rating
    Listed in Tea in Edinburgh

    Complimentary shortbread with my Lapsang Souchong, and service with a genuine smile.

    I knew the Balmoral Hotel was swish and swoo, and so when stopping into the Bar one evening for a coffee with a friend I knew I would pay a little extra premium. But I have to say I was absolutely delighted by the service, the tea itself, and the surroundings.

    Whilst The Balmoral Hotel has it's own page and reviews on Yelp (yelp.co.uk/biz/the-balmo…), I'm reviewing only the Bar as you can visit it as a normal punter or passer-by, enjoy the drinks and ambience, without the need of staying there.

    It was a blustery Sunday night, we'd been to the movies and wanted somewhere to rest for an hour or so past 9pm where we didn't have to drink alcomahol. Debating the pros and cons of crossing over the Bridge to get to Starbucks we suddenly realised The Balmoral Bar was sitting right in front of us. As it's part of the hotel and usually is really busy with resident tourists coming and going, it's the sort of place where you can't see the wood for the trees and completely don't even register it. But I'm so glad we did.

    As I said, my lapsang souchong that I ordered came with complimentary shortbread. It was also served in a delightful tea set, with proper strainer and real tea leaves. This is a minor detail but avid readers of my reviews (humour me here!) may notice that I place high regard on establishments that understand the importance of a well-brewed pot of tea. Bags will do, yes, but loose leaf is where it's at.

    My friend's hot chocolate smelled absolutely delicious too and had the perfect creamy foam on top. Our waitress was just an absolute delight. Table service, of course, and she genuinely enthused that she hoped we enjoyed it and made wee quips and comments about "not being able to have tea in Scotland without a biscuit" and asked us how our night had been as if she really cared. It made all the difference.

    A quick glance over the cocktail menu told me I'd need to go back to try them but save up my pennies first - at around £11 a cocktail there again was a premium.

    If I were ever on a slightly lavish, nice night out for a celebration and dressed up a wee bit, I would certainly head here for some pre / post dinner cocktails and I shall definitely choose the Balmoral over Starbucks again any day for a tea or coffee.

  • 4.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    I've been to the Balmoral Bar a few times (not by choice...I know people with expensive tastes!) and I'm of the opinion that when you're paying £14 for a cocktail it had better be a darn good one.

    Luckily I've never been disappointed by either the service or the drinks. I've tasted their Rossilini (sp?) on more than one occasion and find it divine..fine I'M the one with expensive tastes....  I've also had a lunch or two here and find that although the selection is limited the food is usually well up to scratch.
    I find the little touches of biscuits with your tea or small snacks with your drinks are quite nice and definitely make me feel welcome. The waiters are usually all smiles and quite friendly and the decor is, though maybe not all that relaxing, quite lavish and helps set the scene when you get your bill.

    As a minor side point, I found that when I had friends staying at the Balmoral Hotel, the Bar staff and Hotel staff coordinated and I was quite impressed with the Bar staffs ability to call the guests by name. It's quite a personal touch but one that was much appreciated.

  • 4.0 star rating

    I've been into the Balmoral Bar a few times, for coffee with friends and once, for an interview.

    I should have reviewed it sooner, but I keep forgetting it's there!  Which is not to say it isn't memorable - it's beautiful, the service is 5*, the menu is varied and the quality is excellent - but it's just that I hardly ever think to go in unless it's right in front of me, or a friend suggests it.

    As soon as someone suggests it, though, I am in with a heart-felt "yes!"

    The decor is modern Scottish, with understated tartan cushions scattered with other block colour furnishings.  It's elegant and a lovely treat if you're looking for somewhere central with a little more to offer than the more usual High Street coffee chains.  It is a tiny bit more expensive but it also has excellent service and all that elegant space.  There's also Ren products in the loos, pretty crockery and, as Jenny L says, complimentary shortbread with your drinks - what's not to like?

    Being part of a bar, it's also open later than most coffee shops, which is what sold it to us last night for an after-dinner coffee (or, in my case, hot chocolate).  As soon as someone suggested it, it was a definite yes from me!

  • 3.0 star rating
    First to Review

    Only reviewing this with regards to it's Christmas party nights.
    Decent terrine but could have done with some biscuits, turkey was cold and sprouts hard so hardly touched the main course, cheese board was fine but the bread and butter pudding was excellent.

    £27 for what I take it is the house rose was extortionate though and the DJ was pretty rubbish on the whole (playing an Abba mega-mix twice doesn't really make for a great night). No idea how much a pint was as expected it to be over-priced so took my own supply.

  • 3.0 star rating

    I'm essentially ditto-ing what emiana posted about this hotel (we were there on the same visit). Great place with an excellent location and super friendly staff. Still, the lack of free internet access (london.blog.qype.com/?p=…) really put me off.

    If the price were right (we got a good rate on our visit), I'd probably stay there again. But, honestly, I'd look first for a hotel better situated (Radison SAS or the Scotsman) and for one that offers more 21st century amenities as part of the room rate.

    • Qype User CatOnT…
    • Edinburgh
    • 13 friends
    • 170 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    Unfortunately I haven't stayed at the Balmoral (one day, one day..) however I was in this magnificant hotel recently for a friend's wedding. Holy moly it was a spectacular venue!

    It is everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel and more- exquisit interiors with high celings, grand furnishings and ornate traditional features. In addition, the service was fantastic. There was always someone there whether you were asking for a drink or which way was the loos. Very, very impressed.

    • Qype User jmk0…
    • Edinburgh
    • 0 friends
    • 69 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    The Palm Court at the Balmoral is the perfect place for a treat. In the evenings there is often a piano player and it really makes it a special place to be.

    You should try the afternoon tea, tea is served with masses of delicious cakes, or if you want an even more special treat, opt for the champagne instead of the tea!

  • 4.0 star rating

    My husband and I popped in here for a drink prior to our afternoon Christmas dinner at The Scotsman.  We had a very nice bartender, thebar was sleek and quiet and they had a good selection of top-shelf liquor and wine.  It was a nice respite from the very windy and otherwise frenzied day.

    • Qype User anghel…
    • Glasgow
    • 7 friends
    • 101 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    the balmoral edinburgh is the sort of five star luxury you would expect - situated at the east end of princes street (in the waverley station complex - as it was first and foremost built as one of the great british prestige 'railway heritage' hotels) - not dissimilar to gleneagles. Through various owners it is now part of the forte group of unique classic hotels. From the moment the concierge greets you at the door you will enjoy superb service in a historcial setting with fantastic views of the castle & gardens (sadly not all rooms) ... on what some say is the most elegant shopping street in europe. In addition to superb bar/dinining/event facilities there is a pool/spa and contemporary styled bedrooms with marble bathrooms - all within 20 minutes of edinburgh airport and 1 minute from the waverly platforms

    • Qype User fhj…
    • Edinburgh
    • 7 friends
    • 48 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    Wonderful food, great service, even just the huge tables and intimate atmosphere make this place perfect for a romantic evening. With a michelin star, it doesn't come cheap however.

    • Qype User emian…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 81 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    There is no doubt that the Balmoral is a wonderful hotel with top notch service and ideal location. It is part of the Rocco Forte empire, so one knows to expect luxe and high prices.

    The hotel also has a great spa, offering all types of massage and pampering services and a pool/sauna/gym area that anyone can use at no extra cost.

    The rooms are spacious and clean and the bathrooms are great. I loved that we had an art photo of Sean Connery as a young man on a beach frolicking with a woman doing a hand stand - I think it was Brit Eckland, but I might be wrong. Anyway, the shower has one of those round rain showerheads that are so fantastic.

    The service is pretty impeccable. One particularly nice touch was one of the concierge handing me a water bottle wrapped in a towel upon my return from a morning run. It certainly started off my day right.

    One thing I did not like was that one had to pay for internet access, whether in the room or in the office services (at £15 for 24 hours, no less). I find that cheap and annoying. Just include internet access in the price already!

    • Qype User katie2…
    • Perth
    • 21 friends
    • 143 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    One of the best hotels in Edinburgh, this one is five stars!!!.This is a fantastic location as it is located in Princess street,right in the heart of Edinburgh where every thing is happening.The spa here is great.The hotel has five treatment rooms, a 15 metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and exercise studio.This is a great place to go for a spa .My friend took me here for my birthday and i loved it.It was perfect for me as it is near the train station so i found it easily.The room i stayed in was lovely -there was a lovely stocked mini bar and the room service was great.

    • Qype User mcc198…
    • Edinburgh
    • 6 friends
    • 87 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    NBs has got to be one of the best places for cocktails in Edinburgh. Yes, it's expensive, but it really makes you feel special. The cosy, classy decoration and the big open fire are welcoming and the staff are smart and profesional. The cocktail list is comprehensive and theres a great selection of draft beers and whisky. The free nibbles are a bonus too.

    • Qype User kerrys…
    • Edinburgh
    • 2 friends
    • 14 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    The Balmoral is stunning and it's location is unbeatable. The service as you walk in the door is fantasic. But although the room was lovely I have stayed in nicer in Edinburgh for less money. I think that while it is lovely you are paying a premium for the name.

    • Qype User slikes…
    • Zürich, Switzerland
    • 3 friends
    • 6 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    I have had the great pleasure to spend a magical three nights in the Balmoral Hotel where together with my family we were celebrating my wedding. I must say that I have never been served with such a competency and reliability. Every problem that appeared unexpectedly like failure in deliver flowers from one floristry shop, was effectively prevented and solved by the Balmoral Hotel staff. I can highly recommended Balmoral Hotel as one of the best hotels in the UK. Definitely number 1 in Scotland. Balmoral has already got a very good reputation, its excellent location allows to admire Edinburgh from all 4 geographical directions, enabling to see the North Bridge, the Edinburgh Castle, Carlton Hill, Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens.... The Balmoral is also famous for its Afternoon Teatime. Tea accompanied by a glass of champagne, served with a bouquet of sandwiches, scones, sweets and ice-creams surprisingly turned to be an expense below the budget  so go for it if you are in Edinburgh, even if you are not the Balmoral Hotel guest!!!
    The overall cost of stay for three nights with breakfast and other facilities included was much lower on the final bill than it was previously expected + reliable service, qualified staff + fantastic location + your purpose of stay = the best time ever!!!!
    This luxury hotel is worth of its five stars!

    • Qype User zoecv…
    • Edinburgh
    • 1 friend
    • 17 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    We had our wedding reception here and would absolutely recommend!

    Great food, fantastic service, great suite - very luxurious! Very accommodation staff - lovely views from virtually all directions. The restaurant is great, with a wide range of foods on offer, something for everyone.

    The spa is great - would absolutely recommend!

    • Qype User CHEFYE…
    • Dunfermline, Fife
    • 2 friends
    • 14 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    like to pop in for a treat.
    the service is unbeatable. the staff are very attentive
    when you arrive to you leave they make sure you have
    every you need even give you small bowls of nibbles to go with your drinks.
    seen people have light snacks and cakes they look really nice
    i dont mind paying the extra for my drink its a 5 star hotel
    and worth the extra for the service

    • Qype User Coog…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 10 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    I came here with my husband to celebrate his birthday, with my children and loved every minute of it. Great food, friendly staff, good room service, I can't fault it!.

    Our room was a bit dark, (one of the internal rooms in the hotel) when we mentioned our disappointment we were instantly upgraded, with compliments. We were made to feel valued as guests and enjoyed every minute of our stay their. If I went back to Edinburgh I'd stay nowhere else. Stunning Place, stunning views, stunning service, stunning people. Definitely a flagship. Great bar too!

  • 1.0 star rating
    1 check-in

    Food was outstanding!  Service was horrible.

    • Qype User archie…
    • Edinburgh
    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    Roast beef sandwich was the finest i've ever eaten! Cakes were lovely too!

    • Qype User semmi…
    • Edinburgh
    • 9 friends
    • 38 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    i have been to a number of events here and it is huge,historical and has a great atmosphere.Whether you are just there to go to the spa or to stay you'll always feel welcome.

    • Qype User millyb…
    • Leicester
    • 0 friends
    • 58 reviews
    4.0 star rating

    Nearly everyone stays at the Balmoral when they come to Edinburgh - well I mean all the famous smarty pants. It's 'old school' in it's traditions, won lots of awards, central and grand. It really is a lovely place and you do feel special here. Very big though so if you prefer something a little quieter don't go here.

    • Qype User edinbu…
    • Edinburgh
    • 3 friends
    • 23 reviews
    3.0 star rating

    Prices were by far OTT. The food was pretty good. The service was okay, but wasn't really up to much. Some of the staff were a bit snobby as well.

    • Qype User Scot-M…
    • Aberdeen
    • 0 friends
    • 1 review
    2.0 star rating

    The high price does not justify the quality of food. The scones could be better and the sandwiches can be more appetizing. The atmosphere is reasonably good but the feeling of over-crowded in a small room is there.

    • Qype User Lillib…
    • Edinburgh
    • 1 friend
    • 41 reviews
    5.0 star rating

    I have now been to the Balmoral for afternoon tea three times, and I can confirm that it really does live up to its reputation as being the best place to go for tea in the UK -- better than the Ritz, they say, and I can believe it! You sit in the huge, spectacular and very grand Palm Court, and are treated like royalty for the duration of your time there! The staff are incredibly polite and attentive, constantly (but not annoyingly) making sure you are happy and have everything you need. The afternoon tea itself is of a fantastic standard -- gourmet sandwiches, scones and cakes as well as Scottish shortbread and a massive selection of teas, coffees, wines, beers, spirits and champagne (the only thing I would say is: go for the afternoon tea WITHOUT champagne... order champagne and you only get one very small glass, but it whacks up the price by a massive £14!). Add to this a quiet but warm atmosphere, a live harpist playing lovely relaxing tunes, AND the very real possibility of spotting a celeb, and you've got a rather heavenly afternoon lined up! Without champagne afternoon tea is only £21 per head which is actually very good value for money -- you'll come out as full as if you'd had a large meal, too! Totally recommend, everyone should do this at least once in their lives!

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