The Balmoral reveals renovated event suites
The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, has undergone a multimillion pound refurbishment this year; extending to its main event spaces as well as its castle view bedrooms.
As Rocco Forte Hotels marks its 20th anniversary, it is only right that attention has been turned towards the hotel that marked the beginning of Sir Rocco’s distinguished portfolio in 1997, with Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Building & Design, and sister to Sir Rocco Forte, leading the modernisation project.
For over a century, The Balmoral has found a home at Edinburgh’s most prestigious address, No. 1 Princes Street. The hotel is one of Scotland’s most recognised landmarks and its majestic clock tower dominates the capital’s skyline, while its castle views are some of the city’s most
coveted. Focusing on these views, the hotel’s three main function rooms – Sir Walter Scott, Princes and Holyrood Suites – have undergone a restyle to offer a refined and authentic Edinburgh experience for banquets, weddings, showcases, training and conferences.
When embarking on the redesign, Olga Polizzi’s main purpose was to enhance and emphasise the grandeur and large proportions of the rooms, highlighting their neo-Renaissance architectural detailing such as the original cornicing, high ceilings and windows. Each has a botanical and organic feel thanks to the wallpapers and carpets used throughout; each element selected to reflect the Scottish landscape. A long-standing advocate for home-grown talent, Olga Polizzi has incorporated a number of British brands throughout the redesign. The rooms are timeless yet contemporary, with hints of silvers, golds and green interlaced throughout the suites, a colour scheme chosen as the ideal foil for any event or theme.
The Sir Walter Scott Suite (3,774 sq. ft.) overlooks the Sir Walter Scott monument, the largest dedicated to a writer in the world. It makes a statement with intricate gilding that complements the dark and light greens of the patterned carpet. The ‘Blackberry’ wallpaper, designed by Neisha Crosland, adds depth and interest to the space. The striking Edinburgh mural on the back wall, meanwhile, continues the theme of bringing the outside inside.
Neutral silvers, blues and green meanwhile enrich the Holyrood Suite (1,674 sq. ft.), which are accentuated by the natural light that fills the double aspect room. The gilded mirrors and original chandeliers bring a sense of occasion to this room best suited for weddings. The Princes Suite (1,092 sq. ft.) is bright with a gold, yellow and silver theme and a beautiful period fireplace providing a focal point for the room. Opulent Jim Thompson fabrics sit alongside curtains from James Hare.
The Forte family has long been known for its generous hospitality The Balmoral has hosted important meetings and high profile events for four generations. Known for its five star levels of service throughout the city, the hotel’s dedicated events team work with the kitchen to perfect a culinary experience, carefully designed to nourish, energise and inspire guests. Menus are created by the hotel’s talented chefs, using only the finest seasonal ingredients.
Layout options include theatre, school room, U-shape, boardroom, cocktail, formal banquet and banquet rounds. The Princes Suite is the most intimate space available hosting up to 120 guests; the Holyrood Suite can accommodate up to 200 for cocktails and the Sir Walter Scott Suite can cater from 60 in a boardroom set-up to 450 for cocktails.
The Balmoral’s General Manager, Richard Cooke, says of the refurbishment:
‘The new-look event suites are classic, elegant and timeless. As always, Olga Polizzi’s touch brings new life to the spaces while shining the spotlight on both their period features and their castle views. I always say to guests that we offer a ‘view with a room’, and thanks to this sensitive decorative upgrade the eye is instantly drawn outside. The result is that every event in The Balmoral has a true sense of place.’