Scotland Steps Up Luxury Hotel Development

edinburgh

With five Scottish cities among the top 10 European cities with the highest hotel occupancy rates during 2011, Scotland is heating up as a prime destination for luxury hotel development.

Edinburgh had the second highest occupancy rate (80.1 percent) in Europe during the past year, surpassing Paris, Rome and other major cities. During the month of August, Inverness, Glasgow and Dundee joined Edinburgh to hold the top four spots in European hotel occupancy. Edinburgh also ranked in the top 10 European cities in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2011.

As Scotland gears up for an influx of tourists over the next few years with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and 2012 Olympics all coming to the UK, top hoteliers and developers have already been investing in the country. For example, U.S.-based Southworth Developments Ltd. has been investing in a 120-acre property in Machrihanish. The development includes the first new 18-hole golf course to open in Scotland in 100 years, redevelopment of the Royal and Ugadale hotels and golf village apartments.

In January, Marriott opened the Residence Inn Edinburgh, the first Residence Inn-branded property in the United Kingdom. After a $32 million refurbishment, The Caledonian, the historic hotel overlooking the Edinburgh Castle, is set to join the Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts portfolio this summer when it reopens. Boutique properties are also blossoming. Set behind the facade of five original residential properties in the heart of Edinburgh, the Hotel Indigo will soon open with 60 guest rooms and suites. The high-end Glen Affric Estate is also scheduled to open in April in the National Nature Reserve outside of Inverness and will offer guests a luxury Highlands hunting lodge experience.

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