The Balmoral Hotel set to star in new documentary Inside the World's Greatest Hotels

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Show to trace from railway beginnings to celebrity status

It’s impossible to picture Edinburgh without the landmark Balmoral Hotel, and the building is set star in its own documentary about luxury accommodation.

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Inside the World’s Greatest Hotels airs this Friday on Channel 5 and will give viewers the chance to journey through the historic hotel from its railway beginnings to its celebrity status today.

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The Balmoral Hotel will feature in the documentary.The Balmoral Hotel will feature in the documentary.
The Balmoral Hotel will feature in the documentary.

The series has already travelled to Raffles in Singapore and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, unravelling what it takes to become an icon which is as famous as some of its guests.

In its latest episode which will air this Friday at 10pm Edinburgh’s luxury landmark is the star.

117 years of welcoming guests

The Balmoral, which began as the North British Station Hotel, is celebrating 117 years of welcoming guests through its doors and made itself a statement from the beginning.

General Manager Richard Cooke.General Manager Richard Cooke.
General Manager Richard Cooke.

Viewers will have the chance to turn the clock back to learn about when it was first built to be a destination for the wealthy and how it set out to be the grandest hotel in Scotland.

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Exploring how architect, William Hamilton Beattie visited the most luxurious hotels across Europe for inspiration on bringing wealth to Edinburgh, the journey begins at the beginning of the 1900s when the hotel first opened its doors to rail passengers, travelling through time to when Laurel and Hardy put the hotel on the map for stars visiting the Capital.

From the clock tower to the kilts, every nook and cranny of the hotel is explored in detail with input from those who have worked to keep the clock ticking and keep the staff dressed in tartan.

Through privileged access, viewers meet some of the leading characters that make the famous hotel tick and have the chance to go behind the scenes to hear about demanding guests, how much it could all cost and how hotel staff go the extra mile with General Manager Richard Cooke and his dog Lucy.

Executive Chef Gary Robinson.Executive Chef Gary Robinson.
Executive Chef Gary Robinson.

Also featured cooking up a storm in the kitchen is Executive Chef, Gary Robinson who has previously held positions cooking for the Prince of Wales and at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

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The documentary also details the takeover by luxury hotel giants, Rocco Forte Hotels, which it is now owned by today.

The ten-storey Gothic pile on the Edinburgh skyline now has 168 rooms and 20 suites with exquisite interior design, each with their own tales to tell.

Those watching will get a glimpse into the fondly named JK Rowling Suite, where the author spent six months completing the final chapters of Harry

Potter and the Deathly Hallows which has now become a high-priced pilgrimage for superfans.

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Customer satisfaction is key to the five-star status of the greatest hotels around the world and this series gives viewers the chance to take a look through the keyhole at how staff go the extra mile for some of the world’s wealthiest travellers – while learning some of their tricks of the trade along the way.

Inside the World’s Greatest Hotels, Friday January 17, 10pm, Channel 5

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