Last week Edinburgh was visited by inspectors from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) to assess the impact of proposals to turn the city’s Royal High School building into a £55m hotel and to build a 12-storey 210-bedroom ‘ribbon’ hotel within the Edinburgh St James development.
Both developments have caused controversy with talks of the city potentially losing its World Heritage Status if they went ahead.
Speaking to BigHospitality at the Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester last week, Kapoor, who operates four Edinburgh hotels, said he couldn’t understand why the plans were causing such concern.
“We have got to put it into perspective,” he said. “The Royal High School building hasn’t been used for so many years, so it is good to have a new purpose for it. We have heard of the negatives, but there are many people behind it.
“Edinburgh is beautiful as a city and it should still retain World Heritage Status whether we have these hotels or not.”
Kapoor, whose own portfolio includes the five-star boutique Howard Hotel, said he was not afraid of increased competition arising from two more hotels in the city, because it would redress the balance of budget versus luxury.
Currently there are almost 1,700 extra rooms in the pipeline for Edinburgh with 1,100 of those in the budget sector, predominantly under Premier Inn.
Kapoor said: “I’m behind these hotels. It will be good for Edinburgh. We’ve got so many budget operators coming in that having two luxury hotels will help to will create more even spread of hotels. It’s good for business to have a range of hotels in a city."
The Edinburgh Hotel Collection comprises The Howard, Holyrood Aparthotel, Channings and Old Waverley Hotel.