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Virgin Hotels to open its first European hotel in Edinburgh

Luxury hotel chain Virgin Hotels has revealed that it will open its first ever European property in Edinburgh. Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson...

Laura Mullan
|Feb 2|magazine6 min read

Luxury hotel chain Virgin Hotels has revealed that it will open its first ever European property in Edinburgh.

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said that the Scottish capital would be the location of his first Virgin hotel outside of the United States. 

India Buildings in the city’s Victoria street will be converted into a 225-room high-end hotel, expected to open by 2020. 

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It will boast multiple dining and drinking outlets and is also intended to host a wide range of events including gigs by local musicians. 

“Edinburgh is such an iconic city and we’re thrilled to be able to say it will be the home of the first Virgin Hotel in the UK and across Europe,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.

“My grandparents were from Edinburgh and my wife Joan is also Scottish, so the country has always held a special place in my heart,” he added. “The people of Edinburgh have been so great in welcoming us to their great city; we can’t wait to open our doors to people across the country and, indeed, the world.”

The luxury hotel is forecast to boost the local economy by GBP£5mn and is predicted to create 200 jobs. 

The tycoon added that uncertainty over Brexit had not deterred him from the decision. 

“Brexit will definitely have a negative effect on the UK economy but the best way to offset that is for business people to continue to invest and not freeze like a rabbit in the lights of a car,” Brandon said. 

The high-end hotel group opened its first hotel in Chicago in 2015. It is also currently constructing further sites in San Francisco, Nashville, Dallas and New York City. 

Raul Leal, Virgin Hotels chief executive, said that Edinburgh had been a natural choice for their first hotel in Europe.

“It’s a top travel destination, it’s an amazing place,” he said.“It’s very fitting that our first hotel in Europe is a historic landmark building like Chicago.”