The Balmoral is a luxury five-star hotel and landmark in Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the North British Hotel until the late 1980s. It is located in the heart of the city at the east end of Princes Street, the main shopping street beneath the Edinburgh Castle rock, and the southern edge of the New Town.
Resulting from a competition of 1895, the hotel originally opened in 1902. It was designed by architect W. Hamilton Beattie and for most of the twentieth century was known as the North British Hotel or simply the N.B., a traditional railway hotel built for the North British Railway Company adjacent to their Waverley Station. It kept the same name until the late 1980s when it was renamed the Balmoral Hotel after refurbishment, despite being located over 100 miles (160 km) south of Balmoral Castle. Edinburgh residents managed to retain the “NB” nickname by the popular but entirely colloquial suggestion that this stood for “New Balmoral”.
For travellers arriving by train, the hotel provided comfortable and elegant lodgings, before they continued their journeys. To assist passengers in reaching their train on time, the hotel tower’s clock, visible from a considerable distance away, is traditionally set to be two minutes fast. The clock tower, at 190 feet (58 m) high, forms a prominent landmark in Edinburgh’s city centre.
The building’s architecture is Victorian, influenced by the traditional Scottish baronial style. Sadly it was stripped of most of its ornamental stone balconies in its refurbishment, and whilst remaining ornate, is visibly “scarred”.
Its traditional rival has always been the Caledonian Hotel at the west end of Princes Street; this was once the station hotel for the now-demolished Princes Street Station, on the Caledonian Railway.
The Balmoral is now part of The Rocco Forte Collection owned by Sir Rocco Forte.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Camera: Canon EOS 50D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm f3.5 – 6.3 @ 42mm
Exposure: f5, 1/400, ISO100, RAW, Handheld
Processing: Photomatix 3.1 (3 exp ±1) & Photoshop CS4