Plans to turn historic Edinburgh school into top hotel

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Royal High School will be transformed into a 'world-class' hotel
The Royal High School will be transformed into a 'world-class' hotel

Related tags: Edinburgh

Proposals to transform the old Royal High School building on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill into a ‘world-class’ hotel have been announced by project developers Duddingston House Properties (DHP).

DHP is planning a complete restoration of the building, which dates back to 1829 and has lain empty since 1968. The plan to turn it into a hotel is a fully-funded proposal with £55m committed by a group of institutional investors led by DHP’s Bruce Hare and the Urbanist Group’s David Orr.

The new hotel will be designed by architect Gareth Hoskins and three top international hotel operators, none of whom currently operate a property in Scotland, have been shortlisted as front-runners to manage it.

The hotel will showcase Scottish food and drink, goods, services, design and artistic creativity and offer unrivalled panoramas of the city.

“What we are proposing to do is to add something truly special to the Edinburgh hotel market by bringing one of the best hotel operators in the world to the city," said Orr.

"This will not in any way diminish current hotel provision; indeed it will add another tier at the top which can only benefit all of the city’s operators. 

Benefitting Scottish tourism

When operational, the hotel is expected to create 640 local jobs and contribute on average £27m annually to Edinburgh’s GDP. Throughout Scotland, the hotel could support an additional 100 jobs across the tourism, retail and leisure industries.

Orr said: “By increasing the breadth of hotel offering, Scotland’s capital will be in a position to attract new visitors from the top end of the market as well as improve its ability to compete with other European cities for international diplomatic events and important global conferences.”

Other Scottish businesses have been lending their support to the project. The chief executive of Edinburgh Airport Gordon Dewar said it would help Edinburgh ‘keep ahead of its competition and respond to the needs and demands of the tourist market’.

“A world-class hotel will enable Edinburgh to market itself around the globe as a great place to live, work and study as well as attract further inward investment opportunities to the city,” he said.

“It will also help sell Edinburgh to the airlines at a time when we are competing with many other European Airports to attract their investment into the capital both as a market and a destination.”

Related topics: Business, Hotels, Hotel Trends, Venues

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