The controversial "ribbon hotel" in Edinburgh, which has received widespread opposition from local residents, is to be operated under the lifestyle W Hotels brand.
Due to open in 2021, the 214-bedroom W Edinburgh will become the second W hotel in the UK, joining its counterpart in London's Leicester Square, which opened in 2011. It will be operated by the brand's owner, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which will soon merge with Marriott International to become the world's largest hotel company with 5,500 hotels, comprising 30 brands.
The building, which is currently under construction as part of TH Real estate's £850m Edinburgh St James scheme, has been described as the "ribbon hotel" because of the distinctive steel band that will wind around the building. It has also been described, less flatteringly as resembling "dog mess" by Edinburgh author Candia McWilliam.
An online petition was launched last summer after Edinburgh Council gave the go-ahead for the hotel. Protestors claimed that the unusual design "does not fit in with Edinburgh's historical and beautiful look".
Designed by interior design practice Jestico + Whiles, in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, the 12-story building will feature "a signature restaurant", W Lounge, AWAY Spa and 2,450 sq ft of event space. A bar and outdoor terrace on the rooftop will provide panoramic views across the city.
Michael Wale, president, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said he is "confident that there will be a huge appetite for our innovative lifestyle brand" in the Scottish capital.
"W Edinburgh's location at the pulsing heart of the new Edinburgh St James development, combined with its innovative design, contemporary interiors and the W brand's signature programming, will create the perfect setting for the second W hotel in the United Kingdom."
Stephen Wicks, director of shopping centres at TH Real Estate, added: "From the outset, our intention has been to secure a truly world class hotel operator for Edinburgh St James, complementing the rest of the development and forming an integral part of the scheme's vibrant offer."
The Edinburgh St James development will involve the replacement of an existing shopping centre with 850,00 sq ft of retail space, a cinema and up to 250 new homes, as well as W Edinburgh.
W Hotels, which currently comprises 49 properties worldwide, expects to have 75 hotels open by 2020. New launches will include Shanghai, Tel Aviv, Goa and Abu Dhabi.
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