Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is set to operate a second property in the UK if plans to transform the former Royal High School in Edinburgh into a luxury hotel are approved.
Details for the £75m five-star hotel were submitted in a planning application to the City of Edinburgh Council yesterday (Wednesday 2 September) by Hoskins Architects.
The move follows a “comprehensive consultation process” after the previous design attracted criticism from some heritage groups.
Expected to open in 2018, the hotel will have 147-bedrooms and will mark the fourth property in Europe for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. The company already runs the Rosewood London.
The Category A-listed building, which enjoys panoramic views over the Scottish capital ,was built by Thomas Hamilton in 1829. It has remained empty since 1968 when the Royal High School moved to new premises in Barnton.
Architect Gareth Hoskins, who also redesigned the National Museums of Scotland, said two new wings containing the hotel’s bedrooms would be set away from the original building and landscaped with the surrounding hill.
Hoskins said: “We’ve listened and taken on board views from a wide range of organisations and individuals through the pre-planning process to develop a fundamentally different design for the site.
“The design focuses around an informed restoration of the central Hamilton-designed building, repairing its decaying fabric and maintaining the strong sculptural presence of its frontage without intervention. The existing building will be entirely given over to the public areas of the new hotel, allowing its spaces to be fully accessible for the first time in the building’s history.”
The plan is being developed by Duddingston House Properties (DHP) and Urbanist Hotels. David Orr, co-founder and chairman of Urbanist Hotels, who previously founded Mint Hotels, said attracting a brand of Rosewood’s stature is “a major coup” for Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole. In December 2014 it was announced that three of the globe’s leading hotel companies had been shortlisted to run what is expected to be a world-class property.
The City of Edinburgh Council, which owns the A-listed building, granted DHP a 125-year conditional ground lease after the company won an open competition in 2010.
The hotel will feature three restaurants and bars, a spa, fitness centre, indoor swimming and 3,200 sq ft ballroom.