Luxury city centre hotels in sale shock

The Howard hotel on Great King Street. Picture: Greg Macvean
The Howard hotel on Great King Street. Picture: Greg Macvean
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TWO luxury hotels in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic city centre are to shut their doors after more than 20 years so they can be turned into residential properties.

The five star Howard Hotel – located across three of the Capital’s iconic Georgian terraces on Great King Street – and the four-star Channings, on South Learmonth Gardens are set to make way for a number of apartments by the end of the year.

Channings, which has been in Edinburgh for 27 years, will shut at the end of November while The Howard, first opened in 1995, will close its doors in December.

Owners The Edinburgh Collection, who also operate the historic Old Waverley hotel on Princes Street, acquired The Tune hotel at Haymarket last year – rebranding it the Haymarket Hub.

The company also owns the boutique Holyrood Aparthotel, located just off the Royal Mile, but will see its Edinburgh Portfolio cut to three by the start of 2018 with this latest sale.

Ricky Kapoor, Managing Director of The Edinburgh Collection said the move would allow the company to invest in its other ventures around the city.

He added: “We have made the decision to sell Channings and The Howard hotels which will be closing at the end of November and December respectively.”

“Having been operating as hotels the sale will see them return to their original purpose as residential properties.”

He continued: “The focus of the Edinburgh Collection is to provide a greater number of affordable hotel bedrooms to visitors to the Capital, a strategy which we put in place with the purchase of the Tune Hotel which we rebranded as the Haymarket Hub Hotel.

“We are actively looking, therefore, to re-invest the money from the sale of the hotels back into the buoyant local tourism market in line with our overall direction.”

An eight-bedroom property on the sought-after Great King Street sold for more than £1.7 million back in October 2016, while a four-bedroom home sold for £830,000 in June.

It’s thought around 40 jobs staff will be affected by the sale, however Mr Kapoor stated the company plans to redistribute the majority of staff around the rest of its hotel sites.

“As soon as the sale was agreed all our staff at the properties were informed and the management is in individual conversations with those that are affected by the closures.”

“We are hoping to employ as many of them as possible within the other properties in Edinburgh which are the Old Waverley, Haymarket Hub Hotel and Holyrood Aparthotel.”