The developer of a central Edinburgh shopping centre says it is holding talks with the Starwood hotel group about opening a luxury hotel in the facility. TH Real Estate is redeveloping the city’s St James Shopping Centre and senior-director Martin Perry has confirmed the company is in discussions with Starwood on the matter.
Mr Perry told reporters that Starwood wanted to inaugurate one of its prestigious W Hotels at the revamped centre. He added that if the W Hotel launched it would come with 200 guest rooms and all the signature amenities and facilities that the luxury brand is renowned for.
The W brand is currently represented in a little less than 50 global hotspots. If the Edinburgh one comes to fruition it will be the first in Scotland, although Starwood currently operates Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel in addition to the Donald Trump owned Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Hotel in South Ayrshire.
Starwood recently announced that Aspen in the US state of Colorado would be the location for the latest W Hotel. Starwood Hotels’ regional manager for the UK and Ireland, Colin Bennett, noted that while the group always had an eye out for new properties to add to its portfolio nothing definite had been agreed on an Edinburgh one so far.
Insiders close to the talks say representatives for the hotelier seem unphased by an Edinburgh Council proposal to tack on a tourism tax to hotel room rates. The tax could add £1 a night to the cost of an average hotel room in the city. The council says it could generate up to £15 million a year from the room surcharge.