Virgin Hotels to make UK debut in Edinburgh

Virgin Hotels will open its first UK hotel in Edinburgh, expected in 2020.

The hotel arm of Sir Richard Branson’s company has previously operated solely in the US.

It plans to transform the Scottish capital’s historic India Buildings, in Victoria Street, into a 225-room property.

Branson said: “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.

“My grandparents were from Edinburgh and my wife Joan is also Scottish, so the country has always held a special place in my heart.

“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.”

Raul Leal, Virgin Hotels chief executive, added: “Edinburgh has so much to offer, as a top travel destination in the UK and internationally, it’s an ideal location for our next hotel.

“This project, from an award-winning hotel brand such as Virgin Hotels, will further highlight the city’s eclectic style while remaining true to its historic heritage, all while offering guests and locals alike an experience like no other.”

The first hotel in the chain opened three years ago in Chicago, and a second one will open in San Francisco during 2018.

The Edinburgh hotel is expected to be joined by more UK and European projects in the coming years.