Grandiose and elegant, The Balmoral Hotel is the jewel in the crown of Edinburgh’s Princes Street
Words Helen Brown
Introducing The Balmoral Hotel
Towering proud above the city, The Balmoral Hotel has been a landmark in Edinburgh since it began life as a grand railway hotel in 1902. Its majestic clock tower dominates the capital’s skyline, while its castle views are some of the city’s most coveted. This luxury stay recently underwent a multi-million-pound refurbishment, led by Olga Polizzi, who is celebrated for her contemporary twists on traditional design. Despite the revamp, she has remained respectful of the hotel’s history and its prestigious address at No. 1 Princes Street.
Polizzi’s attention to detail shines in the elegance of the rooms. Each embodies a Scottish woodland theme and her colour palette reflects the country’s heathers, lochs and moors. Ours was done out in calming hues of blue and lavender that worked wonders to relax the mind and body. Wizarding wannabes will marvel at the J.K. Rowling suite which has also undergone a restyle. Famously, this is where J.K. Rowling finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. From the purple door with its brass owl knocker to her writing desk and the bust that Rowling herself signed, the room is a magical treasure trove filled with subtle nods to her wizarding world.
Michelin-starred Number One is easily one of Edinburgh’s finest restaurants. It presents modern Scottish cuisine in a plush and inviting setting. From Inverurie hogget to Valrhona chocolate tart, head chef Brian Grigor serves up some of Scotland’s most creative dishes. The smoked salmon is a must during your stay; the hotel has its own secret smoking method and the result is to-die-for. Over in the Scotch Bar you’ll find over 400 malts and blends, accompanied by unusual bar snacks. The guys here really know their stuff so do put their knowledge to the test. Then, work off that whiskey hangover with afternoon tea in the award-winning Palm Court. Here you can choose from 20 loose-leaf teas to sip alongside an array of amuse-bouches, sandwiches, pastries and homemade scones fresh from the oven.