Virgin's first hotel opens in the UK

Edinburgh is enjoying a renaissance of new hotels this year.

Starting off a summer of luxury property openings is the new Virgin Hotels Edinburgh, the group’s first luxury lifestyle hotel in UK and Europe.

The 222 bedroom and suite hotel is housed in Edinburgh’s Old Town, in the India Buildings, a collection of Victorian buildings on Victoria Street.

Careful attention had to be paid to the design and rebuild as the three buildings used to make up the property are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From initial concept to completion it's been nine years in the making.

First dreamed-up in 2013 by architects, ICA studios, a remit was followed of creating a contemporary high-end stunner whilst working with classic Edinburgh architecture.

They’ve done all sorts of clever tricks with 'bending' walls and lighting, working with what they call ‘a hidden hotel’.

But first, excavation had to take place and when doing so – get this – artifacts were found that have altered the tomes of history within the city.

Items known as ‘siege weapons’ were found – dating back to the 10th century – and the team also found previously undiscovered parts of the original city walls.

Sir Richard Branson sure knows how to pick them.

Adding to the events wow factor are a rooftop bar with views of Edinburgh Castle and an events space now known as Greyfriars Hall which is housed in the remnants of a 19th century church.

At the top of the church’s ‘bell tower’ is a suite known as Eve Branson’s suite, (sweetly named after Sir Branson's mother). He also christened his own namesake, Richard’s Flat, another of the luxurious 15 unique suites that are spread out across the hotel's ten floors.

Special features inside the property include a showpiece kitchen, a glorious dome ceiling and a suspended glass bridge that links two parts of the hotel, namely a coffee counter and a relaxation area, the two being called the Funny Library Coffee Shop.

There's also a Commons Club (a restaurant-come-social-club) and Eve (another dual purpose place acting as a restaurant by day and an entertainment hot-spot by night).

James Bermingham, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Hotels, commented: “Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we are thrilled it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotels in the UK and across Europe. Through dynamic contextual design and neighbourhood-centric influences the new hotel will be a cultural city hub, with a design that sustains the building’s heritage while adding a vibrant, new style to the area.”

Also opening in Edinburgh in 2022 are:

Red Carnation's 100 Princes Street; the Gleneagles Townhouse and a W hotel.

Virgin Hotels currently has five properties in the USA in Chicago, Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans and Las Vegas.

Two new properties are also opening soon in Glasgow and Miami with further sites being sought in Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, Philadelphia, Seattle, London, and more.