edinburgh luxury hotel opinion

Aug 21st, 2007, 02:36 AM
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edinburgh luxury hotel opinion

Should we stay at The Balmoral or Sheraton? I can get a larger room at the Sheraton for the same rate but, I have heard the Balmoral is wonderful.
skydog is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 03:33 AM
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Dukey is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 04:03 AM
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The Balmoral is a old-style grand hotel with lots of character (although like all older hotels, some rooms are bigger & grander than others). When we stayed there we had one of the cheapest rooms which was still quite large but without the castle view (it looked over the North Bridge) : the decor was quite tweedy & masculine & not really to my taste, but everything was quite luxurious & the service was superb. The public rooms, like the Palm Court bar, are nice too. The pool is quite nice but small and in the basement.

The Sheraton is a modern concrete box - I'm not sure what it claims for itself but IMO it's a 4* as opposed to the Balmoral which is a 5*. When we stayed there, I thought the room could have been in a standard chain hotel anywhere and it wasn't very big. The top floor rooms are a bit bigger. The public areas are pretty average too. It has a fabulous spa, though, although even as a resident you have to pay to access the 'thermal suite', rooftop spa pool etc.

As regards room size/standard, it's possible we were just lucky at the Balmoral & unlucky at the Sheraton - I don't enquire about room sizes in advance.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Two other suggestions are the Scotsman, and the Glasshouse (very modern).
jewela is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 02:36 AM
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I'd be put off the Glasshouse by its location - it may be nice inside but it's a) on a major traffic intersection and b) above the 'Omni Centre' which contains a cinema, a young people's bar & nightclub and cheap chain eateries. From what I've seen of the rooms (peering in through the windows of those that face on to the roof garden) they didn't look that special anyway.

The Scotsman is supposed to be nice and I know Sheila has stayed there more than once.

The Howard is also very posh but I'm not sure I'd fancy it - a bit too small & personal for me (a butler unpacking *my* clothes ? - no thanks !)
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:10 AM
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The Scptsman's lovely, but the Balmoral is my ambition
sheila is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:22 AM
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It was nice but not fantastic - we were most impressed by a) shoes cleaned free overnight & left outside the room nicely gift-wrapped in a basket and b) breakfast delivered in a trolley-cum-hot cabinet-cum-dining table. (We stayed there for our first anniversary.)

But isn't the Scotsman just as expensive as the Balmoral ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:28 AM
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Visited Edinburgh several years ago and stayed at the Balmoral hotel. Highly recommended and although extremely luxurious they sometimes offer very competitive rates. Worth checking out.

There is a story about it. I had found a standard room at the hotel through Lastminute.com at a very reasonable rate, around 100 pounds if I remember correctly. Now while browsing their website checking the room descriptions I noticed that Balmoral said the standard rooms were "30 square feet" in size, which strangely would perhaps fit two people standing up. I then took a look at their suites and it was the same story. Luxury suites with a fireplace, seperate living room and two bathrooms but only "60 square feet" in size.

What had obviously happened is that the hotel had mistaken "square feet" for "square meters" so the rooms were listed as being 10 times smaller than they actually were.

So I phoned the Hotel and speaking to the hotel manager I told him that they had made an error on their website. There was a slight pause on the other end and they he asked me: "Are you calling from Germany?"

It seems that he had already had numerous calls about the error - all from Germany. Germans were the only guests who truly researched the hotel before booking.

To make a long story short the manager upgraded me to a very nice suite as a thank you for noticing the error and not being German. So it might be worth it scanning their website for a few spelling errors.
karlth is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:44 AM
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"not bring German"

Shame on you
Aramis is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 03:47 AM
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We stayed at the Sheraton last month. I am a Gold member and have stayed at many Starwood properties. My honest opinion is that this was my worst experience with a Sheraton ever. I'm not sure what they are trying to be - it has the worst, smallest club lounge, which is closed most of the day anyway. The rooms are OK and yes, the Castle view rooms do have a slight view of the castle from the corner of the window. It is really an overpriced hotel, has no particular character - about the only good thing is location, which is not a particularly unique feature for a city like Edinburgh. That Sheraton would put it's name to this property is a mystry to me.

I have also stayed at the Glasshouse (on a business trip) - it's an OK, efficient hotel but more importantly, not in the category of the Balmoral.
ahmedhaff is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 04:49 AM
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>"not bring German"

>Shame on you

I am sorry if you were offended by the comment, it was not meant to be taken seriously.

karlth is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Balmoral would get my vote.

All that a great traditional hotel should be, in a great old city. The Sheraton could be anywhere in the world.

Do find time to have a tea at the Balmoral. Worth staying there for that alone - although you don't actually need to be staying there to have one!
Londonman is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 12:39 AM
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I was very sorry when they stopped the chocolate buffet tea - mmm.....
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2007, 05:04 PM
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I would reconsider The Howard. Yes, they offer butler's assistance if you want it, but my husband and I have stayed at The Howard twice in 2 years, and both times we never used it. It is not an issue so don't think twice.
I would certainly recommend this hotel for the convenience, the breakfasts, the first rate staff, the comfortable beds, beautiful roomy marble bathrooms, and spacious rooms. When we return to Edinburgh we will once again stay at The Howard.
celticmoon is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 04:48 AM
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Look at the Caledonian. It has a wonderful location and is gorgeous authenic Railroad Hotel (like the Balmoral). The Caley is about two blocks downhill from the Sheraton and is convenient to Princes Street. It is owned by Hilton in case you are into points.
palmettoprincess is offline  
Aug 26th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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I like the Radisson SAS Hotel on the Royal Mile
alanRow is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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Actually the Hilton group has just sold the Caley but apparently will still be running it - not sure what that means for points ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 28th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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JK Rowling took a suite at the Balmoral to finish the final Harry Potter book and they've put up a plaque to that effect. If it's good enough for her ...
arabianjedi is offline  

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