Bringing a World Class Hotel to the Old Royal High School, Edinburgh.

Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.
Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.
Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.
Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.
Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.
Scroll through to see how a world class Rosewood Hotel would transform the site of the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh.

Thomas Hamilton’s magnificent centrepiece of the former Royal High School, Edinburgh is one of the nation’s most important buildings. It deserves a future which reflects the vision and aspiration of its past.

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels, the co-investors and developers behind the plan to bring the Rosewood Hotel to the old Royal High School site, are committed to delivering what was promised when the OJEU notified concept competition was decided by the City of Edinburgh Council in 2010.

And that is to bring one of the world’s best hotels to the site, offering something that Edinburgh has simply never experienced before – benefiting our citizens and visitors and creating many long-term job opportunities for the city and for Scotland. Our proposals guarantee the future of Hamilton’s masterpiece – both architecturally and financially – without the need for any public funding.

This is a building which has never been publicly accessible despite being publicly owned for almost 190 years. Our Rosewood Hotel proposal will transform this contradiction, literally opening the doors to all. We want to create an exceptional new legacy for the Royal High School, one that can be experienced and enjoyed by all.

News Update

Hotel Developers Positive about “Bringing a World Class Hotel to Scotland” Following Old Royal High School Inquiry

The developers behind plans to bring the world class Rosewood Hotel to the site of the Old Royal High School, Edinburgh, are positive about bringing a “world class hotel to Scotland” following the conclusion of the month-long Scottish Government public inquiry into the proposed development.

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels appealed last year’s decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to refuse planning permission and listed building consent for revised proposals to bring the Rosewood to the site. The developers also challenged the initial council decision in December 2015 to refuse their first planning application and listed building consent.

Following the formal conclusion of the inquiry this week, David Orr, co-founder of Urbanist Hotels said: “We are, as we always have been, very positive about bringing this world-class hotel development, and its associated investment and jobs, to Edinburgh, and to Scotland.

“The inquiry clearly presented a wide range of positive evidence from a large array of witnesses in support of the hotel proposal, and we remain steadfast in our view that it provided the right forum to discuss such a complex, emotive and divisive issue.”

The Royal High School public inquiry formally completed on Tuesday 23 October with Scottish Government reporters indicating that their initial findings will be published in spring 2019.

Previous updates

The Case for a World Class Hotel at the Old Royal High School

We were first appointed by the City of Edinburgh of Council in 2010 to deliver a world-class privately funded solution for the Old Royal High School following the winning of the formal design competition. And it is now clearer than ever that Edinburgh and Scotland will benefit from our proposals.

Since our agreement was ratified by the relevant Council committees in 2014, we have continued to invest significant time, effort and resources into our proposals. We have listened to a wide range of stakeholders, local interests and heritage experts, and taken their views on board – with heritage and conservation central to our plans.

Our proposal not only protects and promotes the prominence Hamilton’s centrepiece building but is also underpinned by a viable, long-term investment plan to maintain it for the first time as an accessible part of the city’s living and breathing heritage, and bringing a truly world-class brand to Scotland.

Summary of Benefits

– Under our proposals, The Old Royal High School will be transformed into a spectacular and accessible entry point and central focus for the new privately-funded £75 million Rosewood Hotel. It will welcome guests and visitors alike with its renowned hospitality, food and drink – including cafes, restaurants and public art spaces.

– At its centre, will be the magnificent Hamilton Building, designed by celebrated architect Thomas Hamilton in 1826. The building, which has been in a state of disrepair for the last 40 years, will be restored to its former glory and be an accessible and largely unaltered centrepiece for the Rosewood Hotel.

– This is a building which has been publicly owned since 1829 but never publicly accessible. The Rosewood Hotel development plan will change this, and create a long-lasting visible legacy that exists on a world stage, to be enjoyed and experienced by everyone living in or visiting Edinburgh.

– The Rosewood Hotel will become a destination in its own right, regenerating the Calton Hill area of Edinburgh, acting as a landmark focal point for visitors and become an important part of the overall regeneration of Edinburgh’s Eastern Quadrant including the St James Quarter and the Waverley Valley.

– It is anticipated that 250 direct full-time jobs for the city will be created by the Rosewood hotel development, as well as supporting 590 additional jobs in the wider supply chain, particularly in the food & drink and tourism sectors.

– In total the project is expected to generate £35.1 million in gross domestic product annually for Scotland’s economy, sufficient to support 850 jobs on average throughout that period and to generate £13.3 million in taxation annually. (Source Oxford Economics, Economic Impact Assessment 2017).