Eton Opens Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh

3rd Jun 2003

The Eton Group is preparing to unveil The Glasshouse - its latest five-star
luxury boutique hotel - which is situated in the heart of Edinburgh.

Set to open on June 4th, the #7 million development is a combination of
contemporary design and traditional Scottish architecture that incorporates
the gothic fagade of the 150-year-old Lady Glenorchy Church into its main
entrance. It becomes the fifth hotel in The Eton Group, which specialises in
luxury townhouse and boutique hotels. Its other establishments include
Threadneedles - the only five-star hotel in the City of London

Located at the foot of Carlton Hill, the hotel is next to the Playhouse at 2
Greenside Place and just five minutes away from Princes Street. The
Glasshouse is incorporated into the new OMNI leisure complex, which
stretches across six levels. The 65 luxury guest rooms, including 13 studio
suites and five suites, are situated on the top two floors.

The reception area is a combination of marble, granite and glass, and also
boasts a modern fireplace and a spiral staircase that leads to a gallery
that will feature exhibitions from local and international artists. The
snug, with its freestanding central open fireplace and private bar, is
located on the top floor.

The Glasshouse`s distinct interior is the work of Glasgow-based architects,
interior designers and project managers Cobban Lironi Weddell & Thomas, who
also designed the Eton Group`s Quebecs townhouse hotel in Leeds.


The hotel will have around 200 photographs, featuring `artistic imagery of
the female form` from famed Edinburgh-based photographer Trevor Yerbury. The
pictures will hang in bedrooms to further enhance its contemporary feel.

Each air-conditioned guest room contains many luxury features, such as
bathrobes and slippers, CD system and music library, frette Egyptian cotton
bed linen, complimentary fresh fruit, exclusive toiletries as well as
voicemail, broadband Internet and fax and modem points for business

All bathrooms are encapsulated in mirrored glass. Each one was manufactured
as a bespoke `pod` in Denmark, enveloped in shrink-wrapped protective
material and then transported across the North Sea to Edinburgh before being
hoisted into position by a crane.

For business users, the hotel has three boardrooms that cater for up to 80
delegates and two syndicate rooms. Each boardroom contains a PA system, VCR,
DVD, LCD projector with a drop-down screen and board copier, while video
conferencing is also available.

The two-acre rooftop garden - one of the hotel`s most striking feature -
offers views of Edinburgh`s central district, the Folly on Carlton Hill and
the Firth of Forth. The garden, which covers around a third of the OMNI`s
roof, is expected to become popular for summer events, such as weddings,
parties and drinks receptions. Approximately 780 tonnes of soil was laid to
create the garden.

Bedrooms and their terraces look across three sides of the garden, which was
designed by Bath-based landscape architects Macgregor Smith. The garden
rests on a specialist environmental roof system, which protects the building
but encourages growth of trees and plants. The features include a central
lawn, a terrace, a timber pergola and there is also a computer-managed
irrigation system.

There are 22 semi-mature trees - mostly rowan and birch - and assorted
junipers and heathers, which ensure the garden remains colourful as the
seasons change.

A deluxe double room costs from #175 per night including VAT but excluding
breakfast. A full Scottish breakfast costs #16.50 and a continental is
priced at #13.50. Bookings can be made by calling the hotel on 0131 525
8200. Peter Tyrie, founder and managing director of The Eton Group, is no stranger
to Scotland. In 1981, he launched Gleneagles Hotels after a buy-out from
British Rail, which included Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, and the
Caledonian and North British Hotel (now called the Balmoral Hotel) in
Edinburgh. In 1990, he launched Balmoral International Hotels and
redeveloped the North British Hotel to five-star standard.

The OMNI complex, which incorporates the hotel, boasts a 50,000 sq ft health
club, a cinema, around eight bars and restaurants and extensive car parking.
Work began on The Glasshouse in October 2002 and around 35 jobs are being
created. Sophie Lesnoff, a native of Normandy, is general manager and was
formerly director of sales for the Eton Group hotels.


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