An exclusive look at Edinburgh New Town's newest high-tech luxury hotel
A tech-inspired hotel group are plumping the pillows and adding the final finishing touches to their new home as they prepare to open their doors to their first city centre location in Europe on Monday, right in the heart of Edinburgh.
Located at the West End of Queen Street and surrounded by a UNESCO World Heritage Site, YOTEL have taken over the space previously occupied by the historic Erskine House.
Uniquely inspired by the luxury of first class travel and the convenience that comes with it, the new hotel is uncompromisingly designed around guests who want a sense of community, but don’t want to feel as if their carefully chosen hotel is the centre of their trip.
It has all the essential elements of luxury hotels and top of the range technology, but its central areas are focused around the sense of community.
From the outside, the modern building blends seamlessly with its New Town surroundings, but sets itself apart with a fun pop of purple glowing around their sign, showcasing their uniqueness.
Guests entering the hotel are welcomed to a compact reception area named Mission Control where they will be able to use a self check in system to grab their key and go straight to their room, known as a Cabin.
But those who want to enjoy a more traditional hotel experience aren’t forgotten about as there is the option to use manned check in desks as well.
“People come to Edinburgh they want to be out and about looking around,” said General Manager Stuart Douglas,“they don’t spend a lot of time in their hotel bedroom, in the cabin, so YOTEL make it functional, usable, and high quality.
“That starts at the automated check in, guests don’t want to wait in a queue, they want to get their key, go to their room and get going.”
Mission Control stretches round to a lounge and bar area, sitting just above Queen Street which captures the style of Edinburgh’s West End.
With a window which stretches the length of the wall from ceiling to floor and comfortable furniture the area, named KOMYUNITI, it the perfect place to relax with a cocktail or light bite from the bar while watching the flow of the street below.
Tucked neatly behind the bar KOMYUNITI opens up into a spacious area where breakfast will be served. It is a real hidden gem of the hotel, with a stunning ceiling window and is home to Scotland’s first Imaginex, a 360-degree screening room at the heart of the hotel built from eight state-of-the-art projectors for showcasing content from film screenings, to art installations, to brand presentations.
“My favourite part is the Imaginex screening room,” Stuart said, “It’s really got a lot of potential, but aside from that it’s just really cool, it’s different and nobody else has got it in a hotel.
“Already the interest we’ve had from it has been phenomenal, it’s a hook to have rather than just offering a bar and cafe, we’ve got something different.”
And the brand prides itself on being innovative. Each of the 277 contemporary Cabins are decked out with technology and every room enjoys a plush SmartBed which can be adjusted at the touch of a button from a slightly upright lounging position, to lying flat which allow guests to make the most use out of their Cabin space.
The TVs are also equipped with Chromecasts for travellers who want to lounge on their SmartBed and watch their favourite shows which can be mirrored from their own devices, and colour changeable lights to suit the mood.
Although simple, the Cabins are effective.
Stuart, who has previously worked on two other hotel openings in his career, added: “With the cabin aspect of the rooms, there’s everything you need in it but nothing you don’t need.”
Guests and locals can also make use of YOTEL’s KOHI, the Japanese word for ‘cafe’, located opposite KOMYUNITI.
KOHI, like KOMYUNITI, captures a bit of West End glamour with splashes of rose gold and colourful furniture.
Fresh coffee, sandwiches, and pastries can be enjoyed while working or socialising.
Stuart said: “It’s coming together and it’s a really exciting time to be with the brand as well because its growing massively.
“I suppose the beauty of this site is its two minutes from main hub of the city, but its not as noisy or busy.
“The neighbourhood is lovely and it is only 5 minutes to places like Stockbridge, the West End, Princes Street and the Royal Mile isn’t far.
“For travellers, we’re right in between both of the rail stations and close to the tram, so it is a really special location.”
YOTEL’s smart new addition to Scotland’s capital is perfect for business and leisure travellers alike, with areas to work and socialise there is a space for everyone.
It is ideal for travellers who want a smart luxury get away without breaking the bank and their rooms start from £129.
Across Edinburgh and Glasgow, YOTEL will create 133 new jobs with a combination of front of house, operational and back office support roles.