Malmaison rolls out £5m makeover of Scottish venues

Paul Roberts said the revamp will 'respect' Malmaison's luxury lifestyle ethos. Picture: Ki Price
Paul Roberts said the revamp will 'respect' Malmaison's luxury lifestyle ethos. Picture: Ki Price
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The owner of Edinburgh’s Malmaison has completed the majority of a £1.2 million refurbishment of the premium hotel, as part of a £5m upgrade of the group’s Scottish portfolio.

The Leith hotel today unveiled its new-look reception, and Chez Mal brasserie and bar, with the revamp described as a “fantastic step up” by Paul Roberts, chief executive of the Malmaison Hotel du Vin group.

He told The Scotsman that the aim of the refurbishment is to “respect” the original idea of Malmaison as a luxury lifestyle experience. “We’ve now taken that and enhanced it, and turned it into what I believe is right for the market that we’re in now,” he explained.

Edinburgh’s Malmaison was the first in the chain to open, welcoming its first customers in 1994, and Roberts said it has been a “cornerstone of the brand’s success”. However he added that it was a “leap of faith” to open in Leith before its extensive gentrification.

READ MORE: Malmaison and Hotel du Vin change hands in £363m deal

There are now 13 Malmaison hotels, four of which are in Scotland, and they form part of the 33-strong Malmaison Hotel du Vin Group. Boutique chain Hotel Du Vin has three sites in Scotland comprising Edinburgh, Glasgow and St Andrews.

The group which runs at about 82 per cent occupancy across the whole estate, with the multi-million-pound upgrade of five of its Scottish properties over a two-year period, starting with Glasgow’s Malmaison a year ago, and work on the cards for its existing Aberdeen Malmaison branch including refurbishing its bar and restaurant.

Roberts noted the group’s acquisition of part of the city-centre Schoolhill premises of Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University,

Ownership of Malmaison Hotel du Vin last year changed hands in a £363m deal, with Frasers Hospitality UK Holdings, part of Singapore-based property company Frasers Centrepoint Limited, acquiring the business from US venture-capital firm KSL Capital Partners.

Roberts described the deal as “positive news for the brand,” and said Frasers is “supportive of growth in the UK and European opportunities as well”.

He said: “We’re always looking at opportunities in Scotland in the main markets, but nothing concrete right now. We keep our ear close to the ground. We’ve got an active development team.”