Today I am thrilled to spotlight on The Balmoral, a luxurious five-star property, Wedding Venue and landmark in Edinburgh, Scotland with the most prestigious of adresses.
It is located in the heart of the city at the east end of Princes Street, the main shopping street beneath the Edinburgh Castle rock, and the southern edge of the New Town, right beside the picturesque Princes St Gardens.
I was invited there to see how truly beautiful it was, and went with family for a lovely Easter break, and its actually stolen a little bit of my heart.
In 1895 W. Hamilton Beattie and A.R. Scott won a competition to design The Balmoral – known then as The North British Station Hotel which was owned by the North British Railway Company.
The hotel opened on 15 October 1902 as The North British Station Hotel – the only residential building ever erected on the south side of Princes Street and was pronounced one of the great railway hotels.
It was described as a “free rendering of the renaissance period, linking the old Scottish architecture of the old town with the rather severe classical architecture of the new”.
The hotel’s iconic clock was set three minutes fast, so that people wouldn’t miss their trains, and this is still the case today.
The only day that the clock runs on time is on 31st December (Hogmanay) for the city’s New Year celebrations.
Today its imposing architecture still looms large on the Edinburgh skyline and invites you in warmly.
From the welcome by the doormen to the concierge, and the knowledgable and friendly reception staff to everyone working throughout the hotel nothing is too much trouble, and from the moment you walk through the doors it feels like your second home.
Whether you are staying in a leisure capacity, on business or Wedding guest or the Happy couple, having a lovely place to lay your head is really important after a hard day of work, sightseeing or dancing/celebrating all night.
The hotels accommodation is the perfect marriage of tradition and modernity, with each of their 168 rooms being individually designed by Olga Polizzi.
Elegant and stylish with unmistakably Scottish accents, each of the 20 Edinburgh suites are generous with magnificent views.
Each room and suite comes with complimentary Wi-Fi, Television with interactive entertainment, In-Room Bar, In-Room Safe, robes and slippers.
We stayed in interconnecting Castle view rooms which are located on the higher floors.
These come with a fantastic outlook to Princes Street Gardens and over to Edinburgh Castle.
Our stay was on possibly the foggiest weekend of the year but when that mist cleared what a amazing view.
Our rooms were spacious, sophisticated and the exceptionally comfortable and what was really impressive was the amount of storage which was plentiful.
Bathrooms are crafted in Italian marble with Sean Connery James Bond prints, as well as:Forte Organics bathroom amenities and Rocco Forte Hotels bathrobes and slippers. and the showers are powerful like a flowing waterfall.
There is also complimentary Wi-Fi access for up to 5 devices in room and throughout the hotel which has massive appeal.
If you are staying on Business or have kids that love their gadgets as ours do this can be really important.
Now lets talk food.
To start the day there is continental or full Scottish breakfast available. So many pastries, cold meats, fruits and cereals and even honey still on the honeycomb.
The porridge is particularly nice, and the hearty full Scottish is just lovely too.
There is also the option of afternoon tea if you like a bit of luxurious indulgence or if all the city exploring has given you a hearty appetite.
Palm Court is an Edinburgh institution that’s as glittering as its glass dome and Venetian chandelier with a beautiful canopy of palm trees.
Its a great place to treat your mum or your bestie or your Bridesmaids to the most splendid of experiences – a Champagne Afternoon Tea paired with a delicious thirst quenching cocktails
Then there is dinner at the delightful Brasserie Prince, and this made quite an impression on us.
Brasserie Prince is where you eat breakfast and also where we enjoyed a scrumptious Sunday evening dinner.
It is a new dining concept from the distinguished Alain Roux and his father, Michel Roux OBE, Brasserie Prince marries sublime French cooking with the finest Scottish produce. Serving seasonally inspired, classic bistro dishes that harmonise quintessentially French flavours with local ingredients.
To start there was lovely vegetable nibbles and an olive dip, then I chose a fabulous Gnocchi to start, salmon for mains and lemon madelines with a cherry compote to round off which was utterly out of this world.
There is also the relaxed ambience of Bar Prince where guests can enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif, sit in the cosy library by the fire for an after dinner drink or sample cocktails at the long, marble bar counter for a fun night out. Bar Manager Giovanni Cassino has curated a cocktail menu inspired by the ‘new alliance’ using the finest French and Scottish liquids.
For those dram drinkers amongst you there is the Whisky Bar with with over 500 brands to sample,
For those wanting a little bit of pampering the award-winning Balmoral Spa is the ultimate urban spa experience in Edinburgh. This serene sanctuary in the heart of the city is the perfect place to escape the pace of city life with its: 5 treatment rooms, Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room.
If you are sporty you are catered for with a state-of-the-art quad layout Technogym-equipped gym and Wooden sprung group exercise studio.
My family sampled the delights of the 15m swimming pool which has a great poolside refreshment with teas, coffees and scented cooling face towels to cool you down after some strenuous exercise.
The hotel also has some wonderful Wedding facilities too.
With its period features, timeless grandeur and sumptuous catering The Balmoral is the most prestigious of Edinburgh wedding venues.
The gorgeous sweeping staircase, stained glass windows and priceless chandeliers form a dramatic backdrop for both marriages and civil partnerships.
Guests will enjoy Edinburgh Castle views as a stunning backdrop to their emotional ceremony and whilst enjoying their bespoke wedding banquet, created by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Jeff Bland.
The Sir Walter Scott Suite is the largest suite in the hotel with its panoramic views down Princes Street encapsulating Edinburgh Castle and Sir Walter Scott’s Monument.
it is perfect to host a wedding breakfast for up to 280 guests. With its large wooden dance floor and elegant surroundings, it is also a stunning reception venue.
Perfect for entertaining up to 120 guests for either your ceremony or wedding breakfast, the atmospheric Holyrood Suite offers charming historical flourishes with views out to Edinburgh Castle and over North Bridge.
Perfect for weddings from 20 – 60 guests, the Beauly Suite is situated on the second floor of the hotel and boasts unrivalled views across to Edinburgh Castle.
For an intimate ceremony the Esk Suite is the ideal location. Licensed for ceremonies, you can marry in front of the beautiful fireplace whilst looking out to the stunning city views.
The Princes Suite is situated on the ground floor of the hotel with exceptional views of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.
It is adjoining to the Sir Walter Scott Suite and is perfect for a drinks reception for up to 150 guests.
The Waverley Suite is situated on the ground floor of the hotel and boasts unrivalled views across the old town. It is adjoining to our Holyrood Suite and is the perfect location for your drinks reception.
The Annan Suite is situated on the second floor of the hotel and boasts unrivalled double aspect views from it’s bay windows across to Edinburgh Castle and Arthurs Seat.
It is adjoined to the beautiful Beauly Suite and is great for an intimate drinks reception.
The Forth Suite is situated on the second floor of the hotel and offers unrivalled views of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle. Adjoining to the Esk Suite it is also perfect for an intimate drinks reception.
Al together there is so many options for any event from the smallest to the largest Big Day.
The hotels dedicated wedding coordinator will help every last detail, so your wedding in Edinburgh will be as unforgettable and individual as the hotel itself, guiding you to find the right package and function space to suit your event best.
To close we loved every minute of our stay and cannot wait one day to return.
Its also the little things that make a place stand out and The Balmorals thoughtful touches impressed me a lot.
From snacks in your room, to umbrellas for those rainy days to gorgeous owl plushies, and milk and cookies for the kids to fudge and whisky for the grownups its the little extras that set the hotel apart.
Whether you visit for a Wedding, Minimoon, Honeymoon, family break or a romantic stay its an experience that will stay in your memory for years to come.
To Contact The Balmoral
Phone: 0131 556 2414