Virgin Hotels will open its first hotel outside the U.S. in Edinburgh

Published: 14 May 2018

Edinburgh has been chosen to be the location of the first Virgin Hotel outside the United States. We spoke to Virgin Hotels Chief Executive Raul Leal to discover more…

Your business in brief?

Virgin Hotels is a luxury lifestyle hotel brand launched by Virgin in 2010 and based in Miami, Florida. We opened our first hotel in Chicago in 2015 and are due to open San Francisco this year.

Edinburgh has so much to offer, as a top travel destination in the UK and internationally, it’s an ideal location for our next hotel...we’re thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe.

Raul Leal, Chief Executive, Virgin Hotels

 

As you’d expect of a Sir Richard Branson company, innovation and disruption are at our heart. For example, in Chicago, our groundbreaking two-rooms-in-one ‘Chamber’ design combines a hallway, closet, and bathroom into one luxurious dressing room area, with privacy doors to create a personal sleeping lounge. Other features include our rooftop bar Cerise and our globally-inspired restaurant and bar, Commons Club.

Each property is designed to intermix a passion for food and beverage with music and culture and fuse with the local landscape. Virgin Hotels Chicago was named the "#1 Hotel in United States" by Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards 2016 and "#1 Hotel in Chicago" in the same awards in both 2016 and 2017. 

Richard Branson with Virgin Hotels, chief executive Raul Leal.

What makes Edinburgh an attractive market for you?

Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we’re thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe.

Sir Richard Branson’s grandparents were from Edinburgh and his wife Joan is also Scottish, so the country has always held a special place in his heart. The people of Edinburgh have been so great in welcoming us to their great city; we can’t wait to open our doors to people across the country and, indeed, the world. 

Edinburgh has so much to offer, as a top travel destination in the UK and internationally, it’s an ideal location for our next hotel. This project will further highlight the city’s eclectic style while remaining true to its historic heritage. 

What will this mean for Edinburgh?

City of Edinburgh Council helped take forward the proposals as part of its ‘Edinburgh 12’ portfolio of investment sites. It’s estimated that the hotel will provide a £5 million boost to the local community every year, helping one of the city’s key shopping areas in Victoria Street and the Grassmarket. The development of the site will help support hundreds of jobs during construction. 

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be located in the landmark India Buildings at 1-6 Victoria Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town. The space itself will feature 225 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s flagship Commons Club, as well as numerous meeting spaces. In re-envisioning the building the design team will work to preserve its notable elements while adding a sense of style and sophistication. 

Virgin Hotels is a luxury lifestyle hotel brand launched by Virgin in 2010 and based in Miami, Florida.

What's the vision for your business?

We are actively developing and looking for sites. Virgin Hotels San Francisco is slated to open in Spring 2018.

Locations in Nashville, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, New York, Silicon Valley, and others are to follow.

Virgin Hotels continues to explore hotel and office conversions as well as ground-up development in cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin, Seattle, and London.

 

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.

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

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City of Edinburgh Council

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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