The Royal Yacht Britannia is based here – again just a short drive away. And just along from The Balmoral on Princes Street is the renowned Scottish National Gallery, and the Royal Scottish Academy. In Spring and Summer, the Royal Botanic Garden is a must, while Dan Brown fans will want to make a pilgrimage to enigmatic Rosslyn Chapel. Made famous in Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, the chapel is supposed to harbour a magic portal. You might need some Harry Potter wizardry to help you here. Edinburgh is home to JK Rowling and is where she wrote many of the books in the series. The Elephant House café at 21 George IV Bridge is where she may have taken inspiration for Hogwarts – the Gothic-looking George Heriot School is visible from here.
Wanting to make the most of my suite, I order room service for breakfast the following morning – delivered on time and with great coffee. I recommend the porridge, cheeseboard, fruit and croissants – all excellent. Other services at The Balmoral include the usual laundry and concierge, and if you’ve arrived by car, valet parking is £35 per day.
The Balmoral Spa
After a day’s walking, I relished the chance to detox and relax in the award-winning Balmoral Spa. There’s a 15-metre lap pool here (with refreshment area), as well as a fully stocked Techno gym, sauna and spacious steam room. Treatments include ESPA treatments and Rocco Forte Face and Body Rituals using Irene Forte Skincare. Plus seaweed wraps and hot stone massages. I opted for a deep tissue massage with Lindsay who was superb. There’s a cosy relaxation room too.
Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court
It’s Mother’s Day during my stay, so mums and daughters were in the majority, enjoying afternoon tea in Palm Court on the ground floor. You too can savour scones and sandwiches under the spectacular domed ceiling while being serenaded by a harpist. A wonderful ambiance that’s out of time with what appeared to be excellent service.
Michelin-starred cuisine at Number One Restaurant
Although I don’t eat at Number One – The Balmoral’s award-winning fine-dining restaurant – I look around its sumptuous interior and gaze longingly at the menu. Using the finest and freshest local provenance diners can choose from an imaginative selection of game, fish and meat. Desserts include the delicious-sounding Amedei Chocolate Mille Feuille, Bergamot, Caramel Ice Cream.
Why stay at The Balmoral Edinburgh?
This Grande Dame of Edinburgh Victorian hotels has welcomed guests for over a hundred years. Beautifully refurbished thanks to Olga Polizzi’s discerning eye, this pride of the Forte fleet is a sophisticated luxury urban retreat that offers superb suites and rooms, and friendly and efficient service. Highly recommended.
Contact The Balmoral, Edinburgh
1, Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
Tel: +44 131 556 2414
1 Princes Street, The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ, UK
Tel: +44 131 557 6727