It will be Virgin’s 10th hotel and its first in the United Kingdom.
The only Virgin Hotel opened so far is in Chicago. Others are planned for New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Palm Springs, California.
In a phone interview Wednesday night with The Associated Press, Branson said his company plans to “roll out Virgin Hotels around the world.”
The Edinburgh property will be located in the India Buildings at 1-6 Victoria St. in the city’s Old Town near the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. The four-story buildings date to the 1860s and are A-listed, a Scottish designation for buildings with architectural or historic interest. Branson said they planned to “keep the best of the old” as the hotel takes shape. The buildings’ features include a tower and decorative stonework.
The hotel will have 225 suites, multiple dining and drinking venues and meeting spaces.
Branson is British but his grandparents were from Edinburgh and his wife is Scottish as well.
Asked about his private Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which was reported to have been badly damaged in last September’s hurricanes, he said: “We’re working on our own property and the British Virgin Islands as a whole. The people of the British Virgin Islands are wonderfully resilient and working enormously hard to get the British Virgin Islands back on its feet.”
The Edinburgh site has been in development as a hotel for some time, with announcements several years ago that it would be a Leonardo brand hotel developed by Jansons Property. Jansons was named as the developer for the Branson hotel.
Branson has run a number of businesses under the Virgin brand, including records, airlines, wireless carrier and a commercial space venture.