'˜Aparthotel' firm targets Edinburgh with Wilde venue

Edinburgh's hotel market has received a fresh boost after a Dublin-based operator of upmarket serviced apartments unveiled plans to open in the city.

An artist's impression of the Wilde 'aparthotel'. Picture: Contributed

Staycity Aparthotels said its establishment in King’s Stables Road would also feature an arts facility incorporating a gallery and exhibition space. This will house art installations open for view to the general public.

It will mark the company’s second Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity – a brand launched earlier this year with its first property due to open on London’s Strand later this year. The name is inspired by 19th century Irish literary giant Oscar Wilde.

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An artist's impression of the Wilde 'aparthotel'. Picture: Contributed

Originally used as a medieval tiltyard for jousting tournaments in honour of James IV, King’s Stables Road later became home to the royal horses.

The historic site, currently owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, had formerly been used as offices, storage premises and workshops but has been vacant since 2009, although has more recently played host to an arts festival.

While the majority of the scheme is new-build, parts of the historic medieval wall will be incorporated into the build.

Barry Hickey, group development director, Staycity Aparthotels, said: “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us. The historic King’s Stables Road provides an amazing setting for our latest venture.

An artist's impression of the Wilde 'aparthotel'. Picture: Contributed

“With the brand’s strong link to cultural icon Oscar Wilde we hope the arts facility element of the scheme will become a destination in its own right, benefiting local businesses and helping King’s Stables Road become a new arts centre for the city.

“We eagerly anticipate welcoming the first collection of artwork and have made a pledge to commit to working with local artists to ensure that their excellent work is being highlighted and promoted.”

Wilde Aparthotels will offer apartments together with a lounge, cafe and gym. The development, undertaken by Peveril Securities and Campus Development Management, forms part of a wider mixed-use scheme comprising residential and commercial units as well as student accommodation.

Work is scheduled to start at the end of 2017, with the apartments expected to open in the latter part of 2019.

The Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity concept will be rolled out across “gateway city centre locations” throughout Europe, with the initial sites in London, Edinburgh and Berlin.

Each apartment will feature the latest in-room technology including a 43” flat screen smart TV and touch control panels for lighting, air conditioning, towel rails and blinds.

Earlier this month it emerged that overseas buyers have been targeting Scottish hotels with US investors leading the way.

Just under £51.3 million has been spent in Scotland’s hotels market by overseas investors so far this year, more than six times the 2016 annual figure, according to property advisor Savills.

US investors have been the most prevalent, spending £35.3m since January, all of which was invested in Edinburgh. Key deals include PGIM’s acquisition of Safestay Hostel and a US investor purchasing the Bonham.