An exclusive first look at Edinburgh's newest luxury hotel
A £20 million luxury hotel which is expected to open its doors to visitors in early August is the latest addition to Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Tucked between Craig’s Close and the City Arts Centre stands the eight storey built-for-purpose Market Street Hotel, which adds a splash of modernity to the historic street.
Conveniently placed next to Waverley Station the hotel boasts 98 rooms and a specially designed top floor champagne lounge with panoramic views of the city centre which stretch from Waverley Valley to the New Town from Princes Street Gardens to Calton Hill.
The hotel was designed by FG Stijl, whose impressive portfolio includes Amsterdam’s award-winning The College Hotel, which opened in 2005 and the flagship Park Hyatt, Vienna.
When the development opens, the first visitors will enter through the side of the hotel and be welcomed into a bright open space complete with high ceilings which open up the space.
Most eye-catching is the tall clean wall which is patterned from the floor to the ceiling to look like cracks in the ground – the first nod to Edinburgh’s history which weaves its way through the hotel.
The design captures the essence of the history of Princes Street Gardens, which although lush with greenery and life now, was formerly a loch located in the centre of the city at the foot of Castle Rock.
It may be peculiar that the reception is not located as soon as the hotel is entered, but it is for good reason. Located on the seventh floor beside the aptly named, Nor’ Loft, guests are immediately greeted not only by the reception staff but by arguably one of the best views in the city as the ceiling to floor window stretches the view to the Scott Monument and beyond.
The reception bows into the open plan Nor’ Loft, with unrivalled views across the top of Waverley Station and kitted out with chic velvet and tartan throughout.
The lounge features an island bar made of tasteful marble where guests can enjoy a taste of luxury with 20 specially picked champagnes ranging from the house pick to top of the range.
“My favourite part of the hotel is the Nor’ Loft,” said General Manager Jill Darling, “It is really the pinnacle of the hotel, I think this is a view of Edinburgh people don’t really get to see as you’re usually looking at pictures down from Calton Hill, but we’ve got views right from there to the Castle, you just can’t beat that view of Edinburgh.”
The Nor’ Loft stretches round to an open kitchen area, purposely placed so that guests can approach the Head Chef to ask questions and taste elements.
“There is a small food preparation area in the back but the food is created out here,” said Jill.
The Market Street Hotel will offer food throughout the day from breakfast, to snacks, to small plates of which guests can pick as few or as many as they like.
The area is expected to be the buzzing hub of the hotel and every detail is intentional, from the design of the wall at the first set of sofas past reception which reads as music to be the first notes of Flower of Scotland, to the placement of the windows which accentuate different views and offer different feels and working spaces to meet the demands of different travellers.
But the luxury does not stop in the central areas. Elegant, contemporary interiors are also punctuated with colour and character, featuring traditional tartans used in unexpected ways throughout the hotel.
The hotel also focuses on teaming with local businesses such as sourcing the artwork from places such as the Fruimarket Gallery, which is just a stone’s throw away, to working with the Tartan Weaving Mill to pick out the perfect tartan to splash on to the contemporary areas.
Jill added: “I think we bring a new dimension to the hospitality and hotel industry of Edinburgh.
“Edinburgh is so lucky in the sense that it has so many great hotels and I think we’re an amazing addition but we stand out with regards to unique things, like having our reception on the seventh floor right through to the style of what our bedrooms are like.
“We’re geared towards the modern traveller who wants to enjoy their experience in Edinburgh but also wants to enjoy their hotel room too and have modern comforts which feel like home.”
The hotel offers four room sizes ranging from “cozy” to “vista” and one “Alba Suite” with the rooms starting from £166 per night, but even those who opt for cozy rooms are treated to the same luxury as those occupying the Alba Suite.
“We wanted to offer the same level of luxury,” Jill explained, “that’s why every room has the same feel.”
The contemporary rooms each have a coffee machine, Dyson hair dryer, GHD straighteners, a complimentary mini bar and stylish slippers.
The real key feature in the hotel is the outdoor spaces. Those in the Nor’ Loft can enjoy the city skyline from a balcony which sits above Waverley and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle.
The Alba Lounge also boasts its own private balcony which views that reach past the Scott Monument across the Firth of Forth which will be a treat when the town is lit up.
Jill, who has worked in hospitality for almost 20 years has been at the heart of the development for the last 18 months making sure that Market Street meets exacting standards. She said: “It’s been really nice to be part of every element, so I know the building inside out. I’ve had a fantastic job and been really part of the procurement of the hotel from specific items, to the suppliers, to picking the team who have a hospitality background but also bringing uniqueness to the hotel.”
Market Street’s latest addition offers an escape from the city while being right at the heart of it. With the attention to detail and a passionate team, it offers a unique view of Edinburgh and has been created with the modern traveller in mind.