The Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel Review

Mimi ON Feb 17, 2010 AT 4:38 pm

 Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel

Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel

By Tamara Hinson

It’s official. I’ve experienced hotel-room-heaven. I’ve been to lots of hotel rooms, but my room at Edinburgh’s Rocco Forte Balmoral Hotel was the only one I’ve been to which has a log fire. Location wise, it doesn’t get any better, either. It takes about two minutes to walk from Edinburgh’s Waverly train station to the hotel, which is located at the foot of Princes Street, providing unbeatable access to some of the best shops in Edinburgh, while the Royal Mile is also just a short walk away.

The décor within the rooms is distinctly Scottish without being overdone – from the pale tartan print covering the furniture to the print by Scottish artist Jack Vettriano hanging in my bedroom. There’s no wi–fi in the rooms  – just dial-up – but it’s available in the lobby and drawing room, so it isn’t a problem, and to be honest, I loved my room so much this was one the rare occasions where I wasn’t even tempted to open my laptop.

A Bedroom at the Balmoral Hotel

A Bedroom at the Balmoral Hotel

After settling in, it was time for some pampering. There’s a lift which takes guests straight down to the spa, which meant I could change into my dressing gown in the privacy of my room and head straight down. Upon entering the spa, the immediate impression is one of space. There’s five treatment rooms, a 15 metre swimming pool, a Finnish dry sauna and Turkish steam sauna, as well as a gym. All treatments use ESPA products but the spa is also one of the few that offers Ytsara treatments.

I opted for the ESPA Essential Body Massage which used ESPA’s nourishing body oil to soothe and nourish. The massage was amazing and my therapist, Gillian was fabulous, taking the time to suggest products to help ease the RSI strain I was suffering from, and going into great detail about the products she used. I clambered off the massage table feeling rejuvenated and truly pampered.

The Spa at the Balmoral Hotel

The Spa at the Balmoral Hotel

All that pampering left me with a hearty appetite.  The hotel has two bars – the Bollinger Bar, (the only one of its kind in the UK) and the Balmoral Bar, which offers a huge wine list and a great range of cocktails. Restaurant-wise, there’s the prestigious Number One with its distinctly Scottish menu, and Hadrian’s, a more relaxed affair. I was dining at the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant, which promised outstanding cuisine made with local ingredients. 

After being tempted by the crab millefeuille with wasabi mayo, I opted for the West Coast scallops with cauliflower risotto and spiced squid, which tasted amazing. For the main course, I went for Aberfoyle beef fillet served alongside some fabulously juicy mushrooms.

Dine at the Balmoral Hotel

Dine at the Balmoral Hotel

I returned from dinner to find my pillows re-plumped, my toiletries topped up and a card placed on my bed which listed the forecast for the next day. Genius.

The Balmoral has something for everyone, whether it’s the great location, gorgeous rooms, stunning spa, or the wonderful food. So next time you’re looking for the perfect base for a weekend away, head to this fabulous hotel. 

Website: www.thebalmoralhotel.com
Address:
The Rocco Forte  Balmoral
1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Scotland
Tel: +44 131 556 2414
Prices: Double rooms at the Balmoral cost from £135
Getting there: I travelled to Edinburgh with East Coast trains. Return tickets to Edinburgh start at £37.10 and there’s a 10% discount for booking online. Visit  www.eastcoast.co.uk for more information.

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