The Balmoral Hotel


1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 131 556 2414
Fax: +44 131 557 3747


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GPS: 55° 57' 11'' N 3° 11' 22.5'' W


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In 1895, W. Hamilton Beattie and A. R. Scott won a competition to build The Balmoral, known then as The North British Station Hotel and owned by the North British Railway Company.

Completed in 1902 it was pronounced as one of the great railway hotels and described as a "free rendering of the renaissance period, linking the old Scottish architecture of the old town with the rather severe classical architecture of the new". Hotel was opened on 15 October 1902. The hotel's Clocktower was set two minutes early, so that people wouldn't miss their trains, which is still the case today. The only day that the Clock runs on time is on 31st December for the city's New Year celebrations.

In 1922, The North British Railway Company became part of the London and North Eastern Railway Company and the hotel started blending and bottling its own whisky, wine and port.

In 1947 the railways were nationalised by British Rail, and the hotel employees became members of the National Union of Railwaymen.

1960s - Over the years a regular galaxy of film and sports stars, princesses and politicians, have posed for photographs by the hotel pillars. Celebrity visitors to the hotel include Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul and Linda McCartney.

1970s - The Queen Mother was a regular visitor to the hotel, Prime Ministers, Edward Heath and Harold Wilson were also among hotel guests.

In 1983 British Rail sold The North British Station Hotel to The Gleneagles Hotel Company and five years later, hotel was closed for a major refurbishment.

1990 Balmoral International Hotels - an Edinburgh-based company bought The North British Station Hotel, with the intention of making it a flagship hotel for a new luxury international hotel group. Under the new name, "The Balmoral", meaning "majestic dwelling" in Gaelic, hotel was reopened in 1991 following a 23-million pounds refurbishment, recapturing its past splendour and majesty.

Since 1997, The Balmoral Hotel is a part of Rocco Forte Collection. In March 2004, hotel completed a 7-million refurbishment programme under the guidance of Olga Polizzi.

2007 - 11th January, J.K. Rowling finished writing her latest novel, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", the seventh and final instalment in the series at the hotel. To mark the occasion, the author signed an antique bust in the room in which she stayed.

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