The new owner of the iconic Caledonian Hilton in Edinburgh today revealed plans to invest £22m in a major overhaul of the hotel.
The Caledonian Operating Company, which paid more than £50m for the property last August, is planning to create a courtyard lounge, relocate the main hotel restaurant and substantially invest in upgrading the hotels bedrooms.
A further planning application will be logged with Edinburgh City Council for the creation of an additional 50 rooms in the car park area.
Discussions are already underway to transform the hotel's leisure club into a spa on completion of the existing plan of work.
Willy Blattner, general manager of the Caledonian Hilton, said: "The Caledonian Hilton is an iconic landmark on Princes Street and this substantial investment will allow us to not only overhaul the interior of the hotel but also to maintain the character of this historic building.
"The creation of a grand courtyard lounge in 2009 on the site of the old original station concourse will form the new heart of the hotel and its glass roof will echo the original Victorian station allowing guests to see the internal façade."
Work is due to kick-off this month with the refurbishment of 84 guestrooms in the Rutland Street wing by interior design firm RPW Design.
The investment will also cover a rolling programme of maintenance, which will see essential repair and conservation work undertaken on the exterior of the building.
Hilton retains a long-term management contract for the 251-bedroom hotel.
By Daniel Thomas