The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel

Edinburgh, Scotland

At a Glance

  • Located in the heart of Edinburgh benefiting from beautiful views of the city

  • Offers world class dining at the Number One Michelin starred restaurant

  • Over 400 whiskys to taste at the signature whisky bar

  • Unwind in the award winning spa, offering a luxurious champagne afternoon tea spa day

  • A very elegantly designed hotel

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

It is very difficult to predict the weather in the United Kingdom - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but the UK does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.

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Insider's View

Number One restaurant has been rated Michelin starred for the 18th year in a row. Try out the seasonal ingredients in dishes such as highland wagyu beef sight beetroot.

The JK Rowling Suite is where she finished writing the Deathly Hallows. She had this room rented for six weeks and as a celebration when she finished the book, she grafittied a sculpture in the room with her initials and the date that she finished the last book of the Harry Potter series.

The hotel's clock tower is always three minutes fast because they always wanted people to make their trains on time. The only time the clock is correct is for New Years Eve.

With over 500 malts, blends and vintages from all over Scotland, Scotch the whiskey bar is the perfect place to unwind for whiskey lovers staying at the Balmoral.

The Brasserie Prince has delightful menus filled with local produce and meats. Make sure to try it out if you are looking for something a little more casual.

Sean Connery cut the reopening ribbon for The Balmoral, find his photos around the hotel and try to name all the movies they are from.

There is still a secret passageway in the spa that goes to the rail station

To start planning your holiday to The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel


The Balmoral is Edinburgh's 'Grande Dame', opened in 1902 it retains a wonderful old-world charm, but has been given a loving splash of luxury and style by Rocco Forte. With its attentive service, it is the go-to hotel in Edinburgh.

The Balmoral was opened in 1902 as the 'North British', and is located just up the steps from Edinburgh Waverley Station at the top of Princes Street - the best address in town. It was taken over by Rocco Forte and given a loving make-over by his designer sister, Olga Polizzi, retaining its historical and charming atmosphere, yet adding contemporary touches making it a classic example of getting the blend of old and new spot on.

You will be met at the front door by the doormen who are kilted up to the nines, and you will often pass the odd bagpiper if for any reason you weren't in the mood already. Rocco Forte puts a great deal of emphasis on service, and around every corner the staff are there to help; quite often they remember your name.

The 168 Rooms and Suites use a colour scheme which reflects the wild colours of Scotland - the greens from vast, misty moors and purples from Scottish heather, yet the colours are softly muted with only the odd dash of tartan.

The dining is exceptional, and you have to try Number 1, suitably deserving of its Michelin Star. Hadrian's offers contemporary dining. Sit back and relax at Palm Court for afternoon tea, or The Balmoral Bar for a pre-dinner drink. If you like your whisky, then Scotch is the place to go - and they have over 400 on offer and we particularly find the tweed sofas very relaxing.

The Balmoral also has a spa, run by ESPA with a small-ish indoor pool.

The Balmoral's excellent location means you are within walking distance of the beautiful Georgian Terraces of New Town, or a hop, skip and the jump to the Royal Mile which leads up to Edinburgh Castle.

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The Balmoral Hotel has 168 individually designed rooms by Olga Polizzi. Ranging from smaller classic rooms, family size executive rooms to a beautifully decorated grand suite. All rooms have a traditional Scottish design with spacious and luxurious bathrooms.

Executive Room

Comfortable and welcoming, the executive rooms at Balmoral have a combined bedroom and living space with king size or twin beds & a spacious en-suite.

Decorated to reflect traditional Scottish style, these elegant rooms can be interconnected, making them suitable for families.

Deluxe Room

Comfortable and contemporary, these large rooms at The Balmoral have a choice of either a king size bed or two single beds, sitting area and spacious bathroom decorated in marble & ceramic with a large bath.

Superior Deluxe Room

Offering views of the Castle from their higher floor location, these rooms are between 18 and 37 sqm. Superior Deluxe rooms come furnished with marble bathrooms with James Bond prints and a king-size bed with the option of twin beds.

Junior Suite

Benefiting from views of the city or the inner courtyard, Junior Suites are a step up in size (28-47sqm) from the Balmoral's bedrooms with the option of an extra bed on request and a comfortable lounge area.

Junior Suite Castle View

As their name suggests, these suites benefit from views of the castle and are a step up in size (28-47sqm) from the Balmoral's bedrooms with the option of an extra bed on request and a comfortable lounge area.

Classic Suite

The Balmoral's first room/suite category with a separate bedroom and sitting room, a Classic Suite spans 44-66sqm, offering enough space for two extra beds for children to be added upon request. Views from these suites are either across the old town, Princes Street or Northbridge.

Grand Suite

Each of these suites measures between 51 and 55sqm and four are located in areas of the building affording turret-style alcoves. They are named Braemar, Stirling, Dunrobin, Tay and JK Rowling. A brass owl door knocker indicates the latter, the room where the final Harry Potter book was completed. Each suite has a king-size bed and enough space for two extra beds for children.

Deluxe Suite

All of these six suites are named after Scottish rivers or castles - Rothesay, Dee, Drummond, Brodick, Bothwell and Spey. Most have original working fireplaces and offer views of Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street Gardens are possible and there is the option to add an extra bed for children. (Each measure between 47 and 58 sqm)

Balmoral Suite

The Balmoral Suite offers guests a king size master bedroom, the option to interconnect with a Classic Room, separate dining room for six people, living room, bathroom and guest powder room. At 66 sqm this suite is ample in size and located so as to provide views of Arthur's Seat and the historic old town.

Glamis Suite

A contemporary suite with sitting room views of Princes Street, Glamis measures 85 sqm and comprises a dining table for four and signature Balmoral bathroom. A king size bed comes as standard with the option for twin beds, an extra bed for children and the possibility to connect to an Executive Room.

Scone & Crombie

The signature suite at The Balmoral, this iconic residence is the largest offered at the hotel and offers the potential to sleep two adults and two children (extra beds added on request) and to be connected to an executive room. Views from the suite are over the historic Old Town and the interior is abundant in traditional and elegant Scottish touches.

Deluxe Old Town View Room

Comfortable and contemporary, these large rooms at The Balmoral have a choice of either a king size bed or two single beds, sitting area and spacious bathroom decorated in marble & ceramic with a large bath. These rooms benefit from beautiful views of the old town.

Deluxe Castle View Room

Comfortable and contemporary, these large rooms at The Balmoral have a choice of either a king size bed or two single beds, sitting area and spacious bathroom decorated in marble & ceramic with a large bath. These rooms benefit from fantastic views of Edinburgh Castle.


The award winning Balmoral Spa is the perfect way to relax after exploring the city of Edinburgh. With a modern gym with weights room, an 15 metre swimming pool and sauna and steam room, the Balmoral Spa is surely not be missed.


The Balmoral Hotel offers guests fine dining in the Michelin starred Number One restaurant as well as traditional and regional cuisine in Hadrian's restaurant. An elegant afternoon tea can be enjoyed in Palm Court which is finely decorated with a Venetian chandelier.

To have a truly Scottish experience guests have a selection of over 400 whiskies to choose from in the traditional Scotch Bar or contemporary cocktails are also available in the Balmoral Bar.


Edinburgh is a breathtaking city with many bars, theatres and museums. Guest can visit the famous Edinburgh Castle which is within walking distance from the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh will certainly be a memorable visit.

If you don't want to venture out of the hotel, there are a wide range restaurants and also the award winning Spa which has a pool, sauna, steam room, weights room and modern gym.



Haile Brant (Staff)

Located in the heart of the new city of Edinburgh, The Balmoral has enjoyed over 100 years with it's esteemed address on 1 Princes Street. Close to plenty of monuments, shops, restaurants, The Royal Mile and the Ediburgh Castle you would be hard pressed to find a better location. Standing out with it's iconic clock tower, The Balmoral show cases it's class, elegance and grandeur from the moment you step foot in this historic building. Once inside, there is plenty to keep you entertained after a long day of discovering the secrets of Edinburgh. Head to Palm Court, a tropical room decorated with palm tree wallpaper, to enjoy a splendid afternoon tea complete with a harpist every weekend and summer afternoon. After refuelling with a spot of tea, take a visit down to the leisure area where you can burn some calories in the recently updated gym offering personal training, and even a fitness studio room. Cool down afterwards in the massive 15m pool or find your zen in the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room. For a relaxing experience, visit the award winning Balmoral Spa featuring products handpicked and created by the hotel owner's daughter, Irene Forte. Once it is time to turn down for the day, find solace in your comfortable room that has a great marriage between Scottish accents and delicate modern features such as bright wallpapers and plenty of natural light. With views that look onto Princes Street and the Edinburgh Castle, you'll never lose the sense of place even when in your hotel room.



This well-placed city hotel, which opened in 1902, has a top restaurant and an excellent spa and is close to the main sights.


Next to Edinburghs main Waverley railway station, at the eastern end of Princes Street, and a short walk from the National Gallery and shopping areas.


Dominating the city centre, this six-storey neo-Renaissance building, with its massive clock tower, has been a landmark for more than a century. Built as a railway hotel, it has accommodated film stars, royalty and prime minsters. In 1997, it was bought by Sir Rocco Forte as the first hotel in the Rocco Forte Collection and completely refurbished by his sister, the designer Olga Polizzi. Original features include ornate plasterwork in the reception, an elegant well staircase and the dome-ceilinged Palm Court tearoom and bar in the centre of the hotel. Guests include families from overseas and across the United Kingdom, couples and groups, particularly Americans, plus business people. Local residents use the restaurants, bars and tearooms. An exceptionally large spa specialises in ESPA and SUNDRI treatments and offers a relaxation suite, swimming pool and gym.


Friendly, highly professional and efficient. Staff make a point of remembering guests names.


There are 188 rooms of which 20 are suites. The most expensive rooms overlook Princes Street, the Castle and Arthurs Seat, but also the less scenic railway station. Inside-facing rooms are the cheapest, but also the quietest, with views onto a deep, inner courtyard. Earthy coloured fabrics and walls (greys, browns, purples) reflect Scottish landscapes, mists and heathers. Some of the light marble bathrooms come with windows and black and white iconic filmshots of Sean Connery. Most of the suites are named after Scottish castles or rivers, with the exception of the JK Rowling Suite where the author finished writing the last of the Harry Potter books in January 2007.

Food & drink

Number One, the hotels Michelin-starred eatery, is one of Edinburghs top restaurants and is overseen by chef, Jeff Bland, who focuses on local Scottish ingredients. The restaurant occupies an intimate space in the hotels basement, with red-lacquered walls, velvet banquettes and well-spaced tables. Expect to pay 64 for three courses or 70 for an eight-course Chefs Tasting Menu. In 1930s Art Deco style, Hadrians brasserie (also used for breakfast) serves traditional Scottish dishes while the Palm Court has a Champagne bar and is a popular place for afternoon tea (from 25); light lunches are also served in the Balmoral Bar.

Value for money

On the reasonable side for a top city hotel that couldnt be much better located and where service is almost faultless. Classic doubles from 295, including continental breakfast.


The 'Five-star Kids programme includes the provision of cots and baby equipment, teddy turn-down, hotel quizzes and childrens menus.


The Balmoral, Scotland - Guaranteed Upgrade Offer

Book your stay at The Balmoral before the 30 March 2021 for a guaranteed room upgrade.

Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Please speak to one of our specialists for more information.

Book from 02 October 2020 to 30 March 2021
Travel from 02 October 2020 to 30 March 2021
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Location & directions

Edinburgh, Scotland

Centrally located next to Waverly station, less than half a hours drive from Edinburgh International Airport. The Balmoral benefits from beautiful views overlooking the famous Edinburgh Castle.

How to get there

The Balmoral is located in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. The hotel is situated just 25 minutes drive from Edinburgh International Airport which is just over an hours flight from London.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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To start planning your holiday to The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel

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