Floating Edinburgh hotel set for ambitious expansion

An Edinburgh hotel is set to double in size as part of an ambitious expansion into a second prime city centre location.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 4:45 pm

The Four Sisters Boatel has been a fixture on the Union Canal for nearly a decade, welcoming hundreds of tourists and travellers looking to step out of the ordinary, in the Scottish Capital.

Now it is expanding into a second location in the Lochrin Basin, as part of a major investment by hotelier and owner, Natalie McLachlan who began The Four Sisters Boatel as a static self-catered accommodation in 2014.

The expansion is the biggest ever investment in the first floating boatel of its kind in the city.

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The Four Sisters Boatel has proved a hit on the not-so-high seas with adventurous travellers from all over the world with their promise of quirky yet luxurious accommodation at value prices.

Last year Natalie was crowned the Regional Rising Star 2019/20 for the Lothian and Borders at the Scottish Thistle Awards, which celebrates young people working within the tourism industry in Scotland who display real passion for their future and the future of the industry.

That passion has led Natalie and The Four Sisters Boatel business to invest in another vessel launching in early 2021.

The new venue – The ‘Camillia’ – will boast three bedrooms sleeping up to eight adults, from three private two-bed cabins and double sofa bed in the lounge area. It will be docked alongside the original boat, The Four Sisters.

The Four Sisters Boatel has been a fixture on the Union Canal for nearly a decade, welcoming hundreds of tourists and travellers looking to step out of the ordinary, in the Scottish Capital.
The Four Sisters Boatel has been a fixture on the Union Canal for nearly a decade, welcoming hundreds of tourists and travellers looking to step out of the ordinary, in the Scottish Capital.

Natalie said: “My mother helped me to develop the business in the early stages and she’s the inspiration for the new boat’s name. I wanted to give the new boat a unique, memorable and excellent name to be proud of and so to name it ‘Camilla’ after my mother, was an obvious choice.”

The Camillia was designed by West London Boat Brokerage and will be built using the highest quality of steel and materials by the expert craftsmen at Collingwood Boat Builder in Liverpool.

It will take around six to eight weeks to reach completion, with the interior fit-out of the boat being completed by a local Edinburgh business, Pinnacle Developments.

Tying together the old with the new, the exterior of the Camilla will also be painted in the same distinctive dark lime green as The Four Sisters boat.

Whilst the two boats may be rented separately, they may also be hired as a package for larger groups.

A stay aboard The Four Sisters Boatel costs from £220 per night inclusive of a free tea, coffee and Wi-Fi in low season, to £450 per night at full capacity.

Also dog-friendly pets can be brought along to stay on board at no extra cost. Prices vary depending on time of year. The boats can also be hired hourly, playing host to a variety of bespoke events including seated dinners or cocktail parties.

While the bulk of the investment will be in the new venue, the original boatel will also benefit from a series of improvements and upgrades, including a revamped kitchen.

The outdoor area under weatherproof canopy allows for alfresco dining or choose to step off the barge and explore one of the vast local eateries only yards away.

Both boats will be permanently berthed in the Lochrin Basin.

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