Scotland’s first luxury ‘boatique’ hotel to open

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Windsor Castle will be turned into a luxury hotel with 25 bedrooms
The Windsor Castle will be turned into a luxury hotel with 25 bedrooms

Related tags: Tourism

The Royal Yacht Britannia has acquired heritage vessel MV Windsor Castle, and intends to convert the ship into a luxury hotel. 

The ‘boatique’ hotel will have 25 bedrooms after a £1m conversion, and will be permanently berthed in the Port of Leith in Edinburgh next to the popular tourist destination, the Royal Yacht Britannia.

VisitScotland’s regional director for the Lothians Manuela Calchini said: “This is very exciting news for tourism. To have Scotland’s first ‘boatique’ hotel moored adjacent to one of the country’s top visitor attractions will prove a great draw for people from all over the world. Edinburgh already has a superb range of top-quality accommodation, and the addition of ‘Windsor Castle’ is a thrilling prospect.”

Natural growth

The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of Scotland’s best tourist attractions. The company aims to deliver a high quality of customer experience, and believes the new hotel will fit well with the brand, and is a ‘natural, organic growth’ for Britannia.

Britannia’s Chief Executive Bob Downie said: “After many years of searching for the right ship, we are delighted that we have been able to acquire this iconic vessel and look forward to opening Scotland’s first ‘boatique’ hotel. 

“As a youngster growing up in Oban I have very fond memories of seeing the Fingal and I am delighted that the long-term future of another much loved classic vessel has been secured.”

Floating hotel

The Windsor Castle is planned to arrive in Leith during the week commencing 25 August. Its conversion into a luxury hotel will then take 18 months, with the renovated ship due to open in the Spring of 2016.

The new ship measures 239ft long, almost two thirds of Britannia’s size. It was first launched in August 1963, built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow. Previously the vessel was the Northern Lighthouse Board’s tender Fingal, working out of Oban for 30 years before spending the last six in Orkney. 

The news comes shortly after the opening of London's first super yacht hotel,​ the Sunborn London, this May.  

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