Date: October 2018
Location: St. Andrews Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
No. of Keys: 33
Seller: The former Bank of Scotland premises, next to Dundas House, which closed its doors in 2016 and is currently empty.
The building was originally built for the British Linen Bank in 1846. It is located within the New Town Conservation Area and is part of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
The building is next door to a former RBS branch currently being turned into the Edinburgh Grand Hotel by the Chris Stewart Group.
Buyer: Ennismore, owners of Gleneagles.
Plans to transform two historic New Town buildings into Gleneagles’ first hotel outside the iconic Perthshire estate have been given the green light by councillors.
Ennismore, won the support of the city council’s development control sub-committee to transform the site into a small hotel.
The development will include a three-story rear extension as well as a bronze-cladded ‘garden pavilion’, which was labelled a “complimentary contrast” by Historic Environment Scotland.
The project is the first expansion in the brand’s 94-year history – labelled a “landmark moment for the business”.
Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner called for the scheme to be rejected due to the impact on the statues. He said: “This is an important building in Edinburgh. I have some concern about the glass box that may obscure your view of the statues.
“I don’t think it would be appropriate to refuse.” Cllr Joanna Mowat said: “I’m satisfied that the impact would be insignificant enough to give permission.
But calls for the plans to be rejected fell after other members of the committee spoke out in favour of the vision for the roof terrace. Cllr Alex Staniforth said: “I do think it’s set back enough and the statues do stand out against glass that I don’t think it’s enough to reject this application. “Other developers looking to turn listed buildings into hotels can learn a great deal from this application.”
Cllr Chas Booth added his support for “probably one of the most important buildings in Edinburgh” He added: “The developer has taken on board comments from Historic Environment Scotland and others.
This roof terrace will not be visible from most views of the building and therefore will have a minimal impact on this setting. “It is bringing a currently disused building back to life.”
Ennismore has also applied for permission to open a Gleneagles club in a Grade I-listed, Georgian building in London’s Mayfair.
THPT Comment: Ironically Diageo bought Gleneagles in 1985 with a view of taking the brand global and expanding in other locations around the world…they never did! They sold the hotel to Ennismore, after a change in CEO in 2014 after a review wondered why they still owned the hotel 30 years later!
First Seen: Edinburgh News