Balmoral Hotel

(North British Hotel)

Balmoral Hotel and Waverley Station, Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Balmoral Hotel and Waverley Station, Edinburgh

With the exclusive address of No. 1 Princes Street, the grand Balmoral Hotel is located on the corner of North Bridge, while its 59-m (195-foot) high clock-tower is one of Edinburgh's best-known landmarks. With 168 rooms and 20 suites, the 5-star Balmoral represents one of the city's top hotels. Originally known as the North British Hotel, this fine example of Edwardian opulence was opened in 1902 by the North British Railway Company above their Waverley Station terminus. The work of W. Hamilton Beattie (1842-98), the building mixes Gothic with Classical details. Inside the level of decoration is as would be expected for a luxury hotel, although the spaces are functional rather than extravagant and the domed Neo-Georgian Palm Court is disappointing. It remained a railway hotel until it was finally sold by the state-owned British Transport Hotels in 1981, having suffered years of decline. Following a three-year closure for a £23 million refurbishment, the hotel opened in 1991 with its new name. In 1996 it was acquired by Sir Rocco Forte, forming the first property in his exclusive pan-European hotel Group.

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