The Hoxton shares exclusive first look at its Edinburgh Haymarket hotel
Edinburgh’s Haymarket has never been a luxury hotel destination.
That’s set to change in the summer of 2023, when the first Scottish branch of The Hoxton will be opening on either side of a yet-to-be-officially-confirmed terrace. This 211-room hotel, with a restaurant, events spaces and gallery, is owned by Ennismore, which is also responsible for Gleneagles, Gleneagles Townhouse, and other hotels and restaurants.
We asked chief operating officer Rob Andrew about their plans.
Tell us about the brand
“The Hoxton is a series of open-house hotels that have been doing things differently since they first launched in Shoreditch in 2006. Over the years, we’ve evolved and expanded, growing to 11 hotels and counting (Shepherd’s Bush will open as our 12th property in December) in key cities across London, Europe and North America. Rooted in culture and community, each hotel is a reflection and extension of its neighbourhood, directly inspired by streets that surround them. Vibrant, welcoming public spaces and exciting dining concepts mean every Hoxton is as much a destination for the local community as it is for guests.
“Since day one, the brand has always been about more than just a bed for the night – the guest experience starts online with the digital journey and continues after they’ve checked out with our ‘Best Of’ retail collections – carefully curated keepsakes from local brands and artisans available to buy in our lobbies.
Over the years, we’ve evolved. We understand our guests more and what they’re looking for, and we’ve refined our offering, knowing what we’re good at (comfortable, well designed rooms; atmospheric communal spaces; all-day destination dining) while adapting it and tailoring it to each market.”
“We’re always looking for new neighbourhoods where we can be of added value, in cities that excite us. We’ve had our eye on Edinburgh for a while with its rich cultural scene and history, great independent retail and exciting restaurant scene. Haymarket is incredibly well connected, and rapidly changing – we always like to be part of the change.
“As for the building itself (or buildings should we say – we’re taking over ten-stitched-together Georgian townhouses spread across two sides of the street), we love to breathe life into old buildings and tell a new chapter of their story, so the opportunity and location itself felt like a perfect fit.”
Did the building need a lot of work?
“A full renovation is underway. As with all Hoxton projects, the design will honour and draw inspiration from the original building and local neighbourhood, and with the building being Grade II listed, we are being very sensitive to its original architectural and design features. We’re taking over a former hotel, so much of the layout on the bedroom floors was in place, though we are making some changes to accommodate our different room categories.
“Ennismore Design Studio deep-dive into the history of the building and local cultural scene, to inform the whole design process, influencing everything from the colour palettes to the finishes of the fixtures and fittings. Each property has a common DNA, but is unique to its location in style and aesthetic.”
What are your plans for the restaurant/gallery?
“We don’t want to unveil too much yet, but the whole space will be transformed and refreshed, with a brand new dining concept that promises to bring something new to Edinburgh. Just like all Hoxton hotels, we’ll have our warm and welcoming open lobby where guests and locals can cross paths, eat, drink and meet friends, as well as the dedicated restaurant, which we hope will be just as loved by the locals as our guests. The gallery will be a space to showcase local artists – in each of our Hoxtons, we’re proud to support emerging talent, giving them a free space to share and sell their works.”
Who do you hope to attract?
“We’ve always steered away from defining our demographic by age, but instead think our guests are united in a mindset – they’re curious, open-minded and socially aware. They want more than just a bed for the night and appreciate good design, and great food and drink. We always encourage our guests to get out and explore the neighbourhood through our local Hox Friend tips and neighbourhood guides, and bring the best of the outside in, through carefully curated local events and partnerships.
“Having locals treat our spaces like home is a huge part of what makes a Hoxton feel authentically true to its neighbourhoods. Our doors are always open – in many of our hotels we have regulars who’ve been sitting in our lobbies, or eating in our restaurants from day one, and that’s the sort of community we hope to be able to foster in Edinburgh. We also have The Apartment, our dedicated meeting and events spaces, which offer numerous uses to local business and individuals for everything from team away day to private dining. We’re also really excited to have an extra-large event space in Edinburgh.”
What kind of accommodation will you offer?
“We’re always looking to innovate the brand and guest experience and, over the years, have explored and added various new concepts from Flexy Time to Hox Hounds, and room categories too. In Barcelona we introduced the Homey category with small kitchens, and in a few of our upcoming properties, we’ll have rooms with bunk beds in addition to double beds that provide more flexibility for families travelling with children, or groups of friends.
"We’re really excited about introducing another new category in Edinburgh. We’ll have three three-bed apartments, which will allow guests to be totally self-sufficient, while having all the benefits of The Hoxton’s lobby, restaurant, bar and room service. They’re also well suited for longer-stay guests, and particularly great for Edinburgh where the likes of Fringe Festival sees guests in the city for long periods of time.