Tag: Royal

Royal High School hotel bid rejected in Edinburgh

How the hotel would have looked on Calton Hill. Image: Gareth Hoskins Architects
How the hotel would have looked on Calton Hill. Image: Gareth Hoskins Architects

Duddingston House Properties and Urbanist Hotels had appealed against the refusal by Edinburgh City Council of two schemes for the former Royal High School building on Calton Hill in December 2015 and August 2017.

International hotel chain Rosewood had been lined up to operate the hotel, which would have housed public bars, restaurants, an art gallery and performance spaces..

The £75m project for the city council-owned building, which was long touted as a home for the Scottish Parliament, was expected to create more than 260 jobs and estimated to be worth more than £35m to the city’s economy had it gone ahead.

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But the scheme, which was instigated after the city council staged a competition a decade ago to find a luxury hotel operator for the building – involved the creation of two controversial “Inca-style” stepped extensions, one on either side of the main building.

The developers said the extensions were essential to make the hotel project viable, but critics likened them to putting “Mickey Mouse ears on the Mona Lisa”. However their plans were twice rejected by the council’s own planning committee.

The government’s ruling on the development stated “Overall the proposal does not represent the right development in the right place.”

It described claims by the developers that the development would be “nationally significant” once it was up and running as “a stretch.”

The government’s ruling added: “Ministers conclude that the proposed development would not preserve the former Royal High School building or its setting and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Area.

However Urbanist Hotels chairman David Orr said: “This is a deeply disappointing decision for us, our investors, and our hotel partners. It is a poor day for inward investment in our vital tourism sector.

“It is now 50 years since the old Royal High School had a proper use and we still do not have a solution that safeguards its future. This decision leaves a magnificent building more at risk than ever.

“As a globally significant city, Edinburgh would have been ideally suited to host a Rosewood hotel.

“It is extraordinary that during a national crisis, at a time when it has never been more important to support Scottish tourism and jobs, our country has been denied a world-class hotel to put it on a level with other European capitals.

“This will not help attract the scale of visitors that Scotland desperately needs as a nation or help to drive economic growth when recovery comes.

“We will be gathering our thoughts as to what we do next. “

Alternative proposals to develop the site for St Mary’s Music School were given the green light in 2016 with a seven-year expiry date on consent due to the unique situation with the hotel plans being appealed.

Despite the approval of the music

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Hotel Hit Squad: Once the haunt of royal guest from Hampton Court, The Mitre is truly thrilling

This is, frankly, thrilling. We are still caught in the worst crisis that British hospitality has faced and here I am in a new hotel that brims with optimism and a bright future. Covid be gone. The Mitre is here.

If you know the elegant Lutyens bridge that straddles the Thames between London and Surrey at Hampton, you may have glanced at The Mitre and inwardly sighed: a fine landmark gone to seed, the sort of clapped-out place you hurry past.

In fact, it has always been a hostelry, built in 1665 to accommodate the courtiers of King Charles II when he occupied Hampton Court Palace, which stands opposite. It had a moment in the 1960s, when Shirley Bassey would pop in for lobster thermidor, but after that its fortunes dipped.

Enter Hector Ross, formerly in charge of the Bel & the Dragon pub chain and Beaverbrook hotel. He is young yet, but he knows what he’s doing.

The hotel had a moment in the 1960s but after that its fortunes dipped – until now

Supported by a couple of backers and a substantial bank loan, Ross bought The Mitre shortly before the beginning of lockdown and opened it soon after the end. He and a trusted team of builders (“my brothers”) moved in and spent those lockdown months on a top-to-toe refurbishment, creating a new open-to-view kitchen and implementing his friend Nicola Harding’s gorgeous, country-meets-town interiors, with original art, oak floors, tongue and groove panelling, soft velvet fabrics, Ottoline and de Gournay wallpapers and many subtle shades of paint.

Another good friend and colleague, the very tall Ronnie Kimbugwe, formerly executive chef of Bel & the Dragon, manned a vintage Citroen food van called Polly outside the hotel that made the resurging Mitre a talking point for locals during lockdown. Add Claire Fyfe, MasterChef contestant, interior designer and landscape artist as the new-to-the-game hotel manager, and you have Ross’s dream team.

You’ve either got it or you haven’t in the hospitality game. Ross, who was brought up in St James’s Palace because his father was a senior member of the royal household, has got it. He knows that generosity is key (sensible room rates, a glass of English wine on arrival, complimentary cookies and King’s Ginger liqueur, fresh flowers, Bramley bath products in the bedrooms).

He values his overnight guests enough to give them their own private sitting room (an engaging space in the oldest part of the building with shelves of books, honesty bar and a jukebox).

‘Am I in a London hotel or a rural one? The capital is at my feet, but country pursuits are on hand’

No two bedrooms are the same and they are all lovely: homely yet vibrant, with a mix of old and new furniture (much of it came with the hotel), paperbacks chosen by Fyfe, free-standing bath tubs, charming café curtains and the prettiest of mirrors.

The Mitre is substantial. It has two restaurants, a lovely events space, the orangery,

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Royal Park Hotel | Hotels in Rochester, MI near Detroit & Auburn Hills

The Four Diamond AAA award winning Royal Park Hotel is located in “hip and historical” Downtown Rochester MI.  Situated on the banks of the Paint Creek River, guests will enjoy a serene, picturesque view. Blending European charm with contemporary amenities and services, our boutique hotel is a modern tribute to the English Manor House complete with 143 luxurious rooms. During your stay, enjoy walking and biking trails, fly-fishing, a full-service concierge, fitness center, room service and our PARK 600 restaurant.

Travel Like a Local

Be sure before you arrive to check out our amazing Travel Like a Local Program!  We have partnered with many of our Downtown Rochester merchants to provide our guests with exclusive offers.  To find out more about the program, click HERE.

PARK 600 Locally Crafted

Experience authentic locally crafted cocktails, award winning desserts, and one of a kind, locally sourced dishes. 

Purely unique, purely you—your wedding day at Royal Park Hotel exudes an authentic character you’ll remember for a lifetime. Let us provide the perfect backdrop for your nuptials in a setting that blends European charm with contemporary style in hip and historical Downtown Rochester.
Our wedding venues frame your special day. Choose from the Belgium glass walls in our Conservatory with private garden views, an Italian marble gallery with handcrafted Murano crystal chandeliers in our Grand Ballroom, or our outdoor Park Pavilion draped in white canopy appointed with crystal chandeliers. From crisp linen tablecloths and precise silverware settings to visionary event flow and culinary perfection, consider your wedding details taken care of with visual drama, intimacy, and love.

To Our Newly Wed Couples—Dinner is Served

Delight your guests with chef-inspired cuisine. We create meals precisely to reflect your personality in ways that are delicious in taste and delightful in presentation. Expect to hand-select your menu from tray-served hors d’oeuvres, uncommon appetizers, elegant plated entrées, and remarkable desserts. Then let us take it from there. We prepare your selections to perfection, and serve your guests with precision timing that flows exactly how you planned.

Click here to get started.

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