The business, which has more than 120 hotels in 50 destinations, invested more than €7m to refurbish the former Premier Inn at Morrison Link in Edinburgh’s Haymarket district and relaunch it under its premium brand as the four-star Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh.
“We saw Edinburgh as providing the ideal location to unveil our marque-defining ‘Royal’ brand in the UK for the first time,” explains Daniel Roger, managing director of Leonardo Hotels Europe.
“Edinburgh is a city on most people’s must-see list – and combined with its growing reputation as a commercial and business tourism centre – the volume of potential visitors makes it a highly-desired location for any hotel operation.”
Less than two months after announcing the new Edinburgh opening, Leonardo Hotels announced the acquisition of the Portland Hotels group in Scotland.
Springboard to growth
“Once the rebranding is completed, this will add five new hotels to our portfolio,” Roger continues. “They include two hotels in Edinburgh – the Edinburgh City and Edinburgh Capital – as well as others in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. It means we now have 445 bedrooms in Edinburgh, making us a significant player in the city’s hotel scene.”
Edinburgh is a city on most people’s must-see list – and combined with its growing reputation as a commercial and business tourism centre – the volume of potential visitors makes it a highly-desired location for any hotel operation.Daniel Rodger, general manager, Europe, Leonardo Hotels
The Invest Edinburgh team supported the group’s move to Scotland after meeting senior Leonardo Hotels management during an International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. This included providing market data on tourism statistics and hotel occupancy, as well as information on potential development sites and acquisitions.
Follow-on marketing support included profiling Leonardo Hotel Group in the Invest Edinburgh magazine and digital content, including two blogs. These were shared across Invest Edinburgh’s social media platforms and international subscribers, reaching a global audience of nearly 19,000 influencers, followers and readers.
“We’ve had a location in Edinburgh in our plans for a number of years,” Roger says. “The city embodies everything that Leonardo Hotels represents; style, quality, individuality – added to the prospect of being a city of culture and class where you know you will have a very enjoyable time.
“We have been delighted with our results for our first six months since opening Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh. We’ve also been delighted with the quality of staff from the Edinburgh area that have joined the Leonardo Hotels family.”
The group employs more than 50 at the 282-bed Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh, and another 250 across Portland Hotels. Leonardo Hotels is the European division of Fattal Hotels Group, founded in 1998 in Israel by hotelier David Fattal. The company’s European management team is based in Berlin and looks after more than 14,000 rooms and 25,000 m² of conference space in countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Hungary and Italy. The last annual results show sales of €305 million.
“We have been expanding at a rapid rate across Europe but yet we had no presence in Scotland,” Roger explains. “Our philosophy is to open hotels in attractive destinations that are characterised by their own regional character, special local flair and design identity. Edinburgh has a world-famous reputation for blending city-chic style with culture and was an obvious choice to perfectly complement our portfolio and company ethos.”
Edinburgh’s accessibility and strong business credentials are also key attractions for investors.
“Throughout Europe, we choose hotels in economically strong locations, centrally located in the city centre with good transport links,” Roger says. “The location of Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh at Haymarket – close to the railway station, tram stop, Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the under-construction Haymarket development – means we’re perfectly placed to service corporate guests.
“The city’s reputation as a major financial centre and burgeoning tech-hub, as exampled by the likes of CodeBase and Skyscanner, also show it has an important role to play in the business objectives of companies like Leonardo Hotels.”
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.