Historic Edinburgh school set for transformation

Pic Greg Macvean - 19/04/2016 - 07971 826 457 Billy Cowe who is opening a boutique hotel as part of the Canongate development
Billy Cowe

An ex-school situated next to Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is to be turned into a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant.

The C-listed Canongate Venture building is to become an aparthotel, managed by Apple Apartments. The move is part of the £150 million New Waverley development in the Capital’s Old Town.

Plans for the building include converting the original school rooms into 21 apartments, each featuring a mezzanine level providing separate sleeping and living areas. The rooms will overlook a glass atrium that forms part of a galleried hall, which has remained unchanged since the building was designed by architect Robert Wilson in 1901.

London-based Apple Apartments is run by Scottish businessman Billy Cowe and his brother Peter, who have been involved in property management and development for the past 15 years.

“We knew straight away that this historic building would be perfect for our next specialist conversion project,” said Billy Cowe. “As well as sitting alongside the Royal Mile, one of the world’s most iconic streets, it also has a range of striking features both inside and out, which make it genuinely stand out as a unique destination not just in Edinburgh but across the UK.

 “There is a huge, growing demand for high-quality serviced apartments in good city-centre locations serving both corporate and leisure markets. The Canongate Venture is set to become a flagship aparthotel across our UK business, offering something a little different. As well as fully serviced rooms, we will also be incorporating 24-hour butler service, an exclusive customer lounge and a gourmet restaurant which will also provide room service for guests.”