on March 9, 2010
At the eastern end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, lies one of the greatest hotels in the country, the Balmoral. With stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, this hotel was once a great railroad hotel, and, of course, it lies just steps from the railway station. Today the Balmoral is no less grand than when it was constructed (in 1902), and from the moment travelers are welcomed by the kilted doorman, they know they will be offered up every desirable amenity (as well as plenty of charm and good service) that they could desire.Location, Location, LocationIn addition to its convenience for rail passengers traveling from London or other cities, the Balmoral is famed for its prime location in the heart of Edinburgh. Within easy strolling distance are the shops and restaurants of Princes Street (a main thoroughfare in Edinburgh), the city’s gardens, museums, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House (Queen Elizabeth’s residence when in Scotland), and several other tourist attractions. The hotel is located at the juncture of both Old and New Towns, with the Royal Mile close by.Accommodations and AmenitiesThis premium hotel offers spacious hotel rooms with fine classical furnishings and upscale amenities (such as terry robes) for visitors. The lobby, restaurant, and bar area are all tastefully decorated, and the staff does all it can to accommodate a traveler’s every wish. One of the loveliest and most memorable meals ever to be experienced can be had at the Number One Restaurant at the Balmoral. Accompanied by live piano music with hand-painted French murals on the walls, this romantic setting was the scene for a multi-course dinner beyond expectation, with two desserts and chocolates and petit fours to follow that. It was all accompanied by wines selected by the chef to match his courses. That the restaurant was awarded not only a Michelin star, but several local dining awards speaks volumes about its food and service.In addition to their premium restaurant (reservations required), the Balmoral offers more casual dining, as well as afternoon tea in The Drawing Room.After all that dining, the health and fitness amenities are welcomed. The Balmoral has two types of saunas (dry and wet), an air conditioned gym (air conditioning being a rarity anywhere in the UK), and a pool, as well as offering a wide range of therapies found at a great day spa.In short, the Balmoral Hotel is not only in the heart of historical Edinburgh, it is just as much a part of that history. Whether you stay a day, a week, or simply stop in for afternoon tea, the hotel is not to be missed. It offers classic Scottish warmth and service with outstanding rooms and dining for any traveler to Edinburgh.
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