Monday, June 17, 2024

‘Walnut whip’ hotel put on the market months after opening

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Edinburgh’s controversial ‘walnut whip’ hotel which made its mark by changing the city’s skyline has been put up for sale months after it opened.

The W Hotel at Edinburgh’s St James Quarter began welcoming guests in November 2023 after its grand opening had been marred by a series of delays.

The design of its twisting ribbon-shaped spire split the opinions of residents when it was first revealed.

Now, it has been put on the market by owners Nuveen Real Estate along with a 25% stake in the £1bn St James Quarter and New Eidyn apartment complex.

The 174,300 sq ft 244-room hotel is ten storeys tall and boasts a 360 degree rooftop which offers unobstructed views over Edinburgh’s Old Town, Calton Hill and Holyrood Park.

Robert Stapleton, head of hotel capital markets, at Savills said he was “confident” it will “attract significant interest from global investors”.

He said: “The quality of the development is absolutely outstanding and, being positioned in the centre of St James Quarter, Edinburgh’s busiest and best retail district, the hotel benefits from both an exceptional location, but also phenomenal footfall which delivers strong demand for both the food and beverage and bedroom offerings at the W Edinburgh. 

“Edinburgh is one of Europe’s standout hotel markets, and benefits from both high barriers to entry and an enviable mix of both corporate and leisure demand drivers which have driven Edinburgh’s exceptional hotel performance over the past five years.

“The hotel is best-in-class in Edinburgh and requires no additional capital expenditure. We’re confident that the hotel will attract significant interest from global investors.”

Steve Wicks, head of retail, Europe at Nuveen Real Estate said that the sale “was in line with our wider business plan for the development”.

He added: “Having spent the last eight years investing to develop the now iconic quarter in the heart of Edinburgh, the time has come for us to sell our interest in line with our wider business plan for the development. 

“The site and hotel are a resounding success story, both in terms of trading and the impact they have had on the city more generally, and we are immensely proud of the quarter we have created. Providing best in class amenities to the people of Edinburgh and all those who visit, while also creating thousands of jobs in the process, we have no doubt that the quarter will continue to flourish and benefit the local community.”

Both the hotel and shops will continue to operate as normal as the sale is processed with no impact to those working in, living in or visiting the space.

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