Standing proud at No.1 Princes Street, its iconic clock tower is a beacon of the capital of Scotland. The Balmoral has been Edinburgh’s most glamorous hotel for the last 115 years. Generous in size and decadent in spirit, its 187 rooms and 20 suites add to the sublime sense of place with views of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat and the Old Town.
The most prestigious of Balmoral’s suites, the Glamis, has hosted some of the most notable figures in history, from members of royal households to musical royalties such as Sir Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones.
This year, the grand old suite of the Balmoral was unveiled after undergoing an extensive refurbishment.
The Glamis Suite is named after one of Scotland’s most beautiful and historic royal abodes, Glamis Castle, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Building & Design, the suite is full of period charm and regal references while its ambience and offerings give a hint of its namesake’s legacy.
Stretching over 100 square metres, with a prime position overlooking the entrance to the hotel on Princes Street, the new suite can be booked with one, two or three bedrooms. A new entrance to the Glamis Suite offers discrete, private check-ins.
Upon entering the generous sitting room, guests are greeted by a lush colour palette of emerald and amethyst, setting the tone for a scheme in which luxurious fabrics meet antiques selected personally by Olga Polizzi from her travels throughout Europe. On one side, patinated bronze screens form as a gateway to a Scottish baronial table set for four in the dining room. Bookcases are set within the original Edinburgh presses, and artworks feature Scottish botanicals. As a nod to the Rock ‘n Roll greats who frequent the hotel is a showpiece Shinola record player and vinyl collection with an ever-growing collection tailored to its guests’ music tastes.
In the Master Bedroom, Lewis & Wood Bosky wallpaper by artist Alexander Hamilton adds a fairy-tale quality to the scene. Two stone lions referencing The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland stand guard over a full height half tester bed at its centre with tapestried canopy. As part of the unique suite experience, guests are offered exclusive turndowns from luxury cashmere brand Johnstons of Elgin and fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland, both aimed at bringing the essence of Scotland to the suite. A spacious Arabascato marble-clad bathroom features an oversized freestanding bath sitting underneath a lustrous vintage Czechoslovakian glass chandelier.
Complimentary for guests staying at the Glamis is personalised Concierge services before and during any stay, full in-room bar, Rocco Forte Nourish healthy in-room bar (upon request), breakfast in-suite or in Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux, unpacking and packing service, pressing of up to 4 garments, in-house movies and high-speed Wi-Fi access.
Guests staying at the Glamis as well as the Scone & Crombie suites for a minimum of three nights before December 31, 2019, may avail the Exquisite Europe Package.
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with a designer Balmoral charm or charm necklace, crafted especially for the hotel by renowned jeweller Hamilton & Inches. For dinner, they are treated to the flavours that have made Michelin-starred restaurant Number One a celebrated culinary destination with a 7-course tasting menu, served with paired wines.
Guests spend the following morning at the award-winning Balmoral Spa, a serene oasis in the heart of the city, to enjoy a nourishing 120-minute Forte Face and Body Ritual by Irene Forte Skincare, personalised to the guest’s skin type and certain to leave one feeling refreshed and restored.
On the final day, an exceptional golfing experience awaits the guests at nearby Archerfield Links. Home to two excellent courses – the Fidra, a coastal course, and its inland sister course, the Dirleton – Archerfield offers a challenging landscape featuring gorse, streams and bunkers. It counts celebrated sportsmen from around the world amongst its members. Guests are chauffeured to this exclusive club, where they receive expert tips from a PGA professional and can test their swing in the state-of-the-art 3D training programmer.
The Balmoral began life as a grand railway hotel in 1902. In addition to the Michelin-starred Number One restaurant, it also hosts an all-day dining venue, Brasserie Prince by Alain Roux. Afternoon Tea is served in Palm Court, and the hotel boasts a collection of over 500 single malt whiskies at SCOTCH. The Balmoral is managed by Rocco Forte Hotels which also manages the historic Brown’s Hotel, London, along with 12 other iconic hotels in 12 destinations. Each address is an expression of the Forte philosophy: “open, intuitive service; airy, elegant design that speaks to its location; exceptional offerings in food, drink, spas and experiences; and a signature Anglo-Italian style, sophistication and warmth.”