Leonardo Hotel

Edinburgh Premier Inn sold to Israeli-owned hotel chain

A Premier Inn on Morrison Link in Edinburgh’s city centre has been sold to Leonardo Hotels, an Israeli-owned hotel chain.

This is the second UK property sold to Leonardo Hotels, a chain owned by – though independent of – Israel’s leading Fattal Hotels Group.

The Premier Inn, designed by the late Andrew Doolan, was sold in a multimillion-pound deal by owners Sandy Orr, a former lawyer from Oban and director of the Caledonian Brewery, and Donald MacDonald, co-founder of Macdonald Hotels.

The hotel was run by Whitbread, the multinational hotel corporation that owns the Premier Inn brand, for the past 20 years.

Whitbread is now investing in other hotels in Edinburgh, having just opened two hotels for the Premier Inn brand in the New Waverley development between Calton Road and the Royal Mile.

Leonardo Hotels, which owns more than 65 properties in 35 destinations across Europe including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy, mentioned it has “significant” plans for growth in the UK.

Their other UK location is the Leonardo Hotel London Heathrow Airport, opened in 2015.

The Leonardo Hotel Edinburgh City Centre is located near Haymarket station and has 284 rooms and four meeting spaces. It opened as a Leonardo hotel on October 2, 2016.

Daniel Roger, the Managing Director for Europe, told Business Insider: “We are delighted to add Edinburgh to our portfolio.”

He continued by saying Edinburgh was “second only to London as the largest economic and trade centre in Great Britain”.

He further mentioned that he expects “a positive response from our guests at the new destination”.

This investment has indicated that there is still international interest in investing in Scotland’s leisure market following June’s Brexit vote, with remarkable interest coming from South and East Asia.

Additionally, since the Scottish referendum, there has been a sharp increase in investment in the Scottish market from international investors.

Investments from within the UK have declined since the independence referendum, yet overall investment in the Scottish market has risen. This speaks volumes to the importance of foreign investors’ continual support of the Scottish market.

Nicola Sturgeon has recently declared that a bill for consultation on a second independence vote will be released soon.

It remains to be seen how foreign investment will be impacted by both the Brexit decision and a renewed attempt at independence.

The Centre for European Performance predicted a 22 per cent decline in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the UK due to Brexit, the full effects of which have yet to be felt.

Kerr Young, a director of the hotels department of JLL Surveyors who helped to bring about this deal, told The Herald that he had found that the demand among investors for properties in Edinburgh does not seem to have been affected by the choice to leave the EU.


Image: Sebastian Rittau

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