Here today, gone tomorrow: Edinburgh set for ‘pop-up’ hotel

The interior of one of the portable rooms in the Snoozebox
The interior of one of the portable rooms in the Snoozebox
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THINK of portable accomodation and a vision of en-suite shower rooms, flatscreen TVs and air-conditioning is rarely what comes to mind.

But all that and more will feature in a new solution to the lack of bed space for tourists flocking to the Festival.

A 120-room portable hotel, made up of a series of Portakabins, is set to pop up on the Caltongate site in the Old Town in time for this summer’s extravaganza. It will arrive on the back of a lorry, take less than three days to assemble and will feature a restaurant, bar, 24-hour reception and built-in room safes.

Rooms at the Snoozebox, which sleep up to two adults and a child, cost £149 per night on weekdays and £229 at weekends, with guests obliged to spend at least two nights.

The hotel will be making its Scottish debut during the Festival, having already appeared at racing events south of the Border at Goodwood and Silverstone, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant in 

Artisan Real Estate Investors, which purchased the Caltongate site in December last year, believes the temporary hotel will provide a welcome solution to the lack of accommodation in the city centre during the Festival.

Lukas Nakos, managing director, said: “Forming part of the very fabric of the city’s World Heritage status Old Town, we know that Caltongate is no ordinary site, and our long-term vision is to create a dynamic social and commercial quarter of international appeal which reflects its unique position in the city.

“In the meantime, we want to make full use of its location to add to the vibrancy of the surrounding area.”

Business leaders said quality accomodation at affordable prices in the Capital during the Festival was esssential, with the population of the city doubling. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce managing director Graham Birse said: “We need to provide our visitors and artists with the best quality accommodation at the best available price, and this seems to be an innovative and effective solution.”

The hotel will be open from August 6 to September 3, with Snoozebox also making an appearance at the Olympics when 320 rooms will be provided for security personnel from July 14 to August 15.

The company’s spokesperson, Susan Moorhouse, said: “Snoozebox provides high-quality, safe and affordable accommodation for visitors who want to be at the very heart of the Festival.”

The news comes as a report by accountancy firm PKF showed that the hotel industry in Edinburgh has been struggling. Occupancy fell by 5.4 per cent and revenue was down by 7.9 per cent in the city, according to the company’s May survey.