Rocco Forte Hotels

Like all great cities, Edinburgh’s quirks and feisty charm derive from its spirited community. Steeped in elegant traditions and home to a melting pot of medieval, Victorian and Georgian architecture, it’s easy to see why the city continues to capture the hearts of some of the world’s most iconic authors, film stars, politicians and artists, as well as having provided the inspiration for J.K. Rowling’s remarkable Harry Potter series. 


Much like cities, a hotel’s magic is conjured by its people. Handsome kilt-clad doormen, whisky sommeliers who will walk you through years of liquid history and a galaxy of star guests and colourful soirées are just a handful of the unusual ingredients that give The Balmoral its unique flavour and have earned it pride of place on Edinburgh’s renowned Princes Street.


We feel truly honoured to be sharing a milestone achievement with Scotland; celebrating The Balmoral as Edinburgh’s first luxury hotel to receive a 5-Star award in the Forbes 2021 Star Awards. Hotels which are awarded 5-Stars by Forbes are defined as being “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.” Forbes’ anonymous testing involves a rigorous critique of up to 900 objective criteria, during a minimum two night stay at each hotel. Quality of service is at the heart of their evaluation, as Forbes recognises the fact that “your experience at a hotel, restaurant or spa goes beyond looks - how it makes you feel is what you will remember most.”


Over the years, The Balmoral has become a landmark destination to a phenomenal lineup of celebrity guests. In 1932, comedy duo Laurel and Hardy visited during a trip to Edinburgh, drawing vast crowds of adoring fans outside the hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famous pair. During the 1960s, celebrity visitors to the hotel included Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul and Linda McCartney. The Queen Mother also visited regularly to enjoy a lunch of roast lamb during the 1970s. Prime Ministers, Edward Heath and Harold Wilson, also visited. In 2007, J.K. Rowling finished writing her seventh and final instalment in the Harry Potter series; ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ at the hotel. To mark the momentous occasion, the author signed an antique bust in the room in which she stayed.


Nestled at the heart of the hotel, Palm Court is a glittering venue and the perfect location for a special celebration. Treat loved ones to our award-winning afternoon tea in opulent surrounds for a truly memorable occasion in the utmost luxury.


A tale of two halves, Edinburgh is an elegant juxtaposition of one Old Town and New Town which share UNESCO World Heritage status. The medieval Old Town evolved naturally as the city progressed and is home to Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral and the world renowned Fringe Festival. The New Town was a Georgian development designed between 1767-1890, comprising a cluster of seven small towns grouped together and is home to Charlotte Square’s Georgian House and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Edinburgh’s cobblestone streets are straight out of a film-set, balanced by an expanse of rugged highlands skirting the city, creating an enchanting atmosphere laced with inspiring stories and single-malt whisky you must experience first hand.


Our extended family at Hotel Savoy in Florence, Brown’s Hotel in London and both Hotel de Russie and Hotel de la Ville in Rome are also thrilled to receive the prestigious 5-Star award from Forbes. Over at The Charles in Munich, Hotel de Rome in Berlin and Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg, three more of our hotels have been awarded the coveted 4-star award.


Book a magical escape to our Edinburgh icon, The Balmoral, now recognised as Scotland’s first 5-Star rated hotel in the prestigious Forbes 2021 Star Awards.Email our dedicated concierge team at reservations.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com or call +44 131 556 2414.

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