New Malmaison hotel set for St Andrew Square

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FIFTY jobs will be created for the city with plans to open a new Malmaison hotel in the heart of Edinburgh’s new town

A Georgian building in St Andrew Square will open as the second of the chain’s properties in the capital.

Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group have signed a development agreement to transform the Grade A listed Buchan House, adding a second Edinburgh location to the Group's collection of boutique hotels. Planning permission was granted for the redevelopment in November 2017. Picture; contributed

Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group have signed a development agreement to transform the Grade A listed Buchan House, adding a second Edinburgh location to the Group's collection of boutique hotels. Planning permission was granted for the redevelopment in November 2017. Picture; contributed

The grade A-listed Buchan House is to be given a new lease of life as developers S Harrison announce the 72-room hotel will be run by the Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group.

Hotel designers want to restore the building’s period features to fit in with the surrounding area as well as put their own “stylish” stamp on it.

Development director David Clancy said: “This is an exciting project and we are very pleased to conclude this deal with Malmaison, who will bring to life such an extremely prominent building. Its rich history and splendid architectural features will ultimately form the foundations of a fascinating, memorable and truly unique hotel.

“Malmaison’s high quality offering and sympathetic styling ensures it will be the perfect fit for Buchan House.”

Located on the Queen Street side of the square, the main part of the building dates back to 1775, built originally as five houses by renowned architect and builder John Young.

It was used more recently as offices for computer giant IBM, which took occupation in 1974, but has since stood empty for a number of years. It forms part of the New Town Conservation Area and also the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

Malmaison chief cxecutive officer Guus Bakker said: “Edinburgh is a much-loved global destination for tourists and business alike and Malmaison is a great fit for the city and its visitors. We are delighted to be complementing our existing Leith hotel with a great venue for visitors to the city centre. Where better to demonstrate our commitment to Scotland than with the opening of Malmaison in the famous St Andrew Square?”

When complete the hotel will mark full circle for the group established by Scottish hotelier Ken McCulloch in 1994, when Malmaison opened the first hotel in Leith in a former seaman’s mission and which at one point was also a brothel.

It went into administration in 2012 and was eventually bought by Frasers Hospitality Group for £363.4 million in 2015.

The 15 hotels in the chain are named after the Château de Malmaison on the outskirts of Paris, which inspire the design and style of the hotels.

The announcement marks the latest development projects in St Andrew Square, which include the distinctive gold and glass Standard Life development the street level of which has been dubbed Edinburgh’s “cuisine quarter”.

Work is almost complete on the square’s historic former RBS headquarters which are being transformed into 50 serviced luxury apartments by developers Lateral City. Due to open in early summer the historic building’s original features have been incorporated into the design including transforming the underground bank vault spaces into a fitness studio and gym and a speakeasy-style bar.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk