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Breaking Travel News investigates: Malmaison Edinburgh City

Breaking Travel News investigates: Malmaison Edinburgh City

Malmaison has opened the doors to its second boutique hotel in the Scottish capital, Malmaison Edinburgh City, and the sixteenth addition to its ever-growing UK portfolio.

The Frasers Hospitality-brand welcomes the property to the city where it all started, with the first Malmaison having opened in Leith in 1994.

Nestled on St Andrew Square, the new Malmaison Edinburgh City is located in the heart of Edinburgh New Town, a short distance from Princes Street, and a ten-minute walk from the Old Town.

The new hotel features en vogue guest rooms and stunning British and French inspired cuisine at the Chez Mal brasserie, which offers an upbeat atmosphere, bespoke cocktails and a range of a la carte dishes throughout the day, alongside liquid brunch offerings, private dining and Sunday lunch.

With the new Malmaison Edinburgh City, designers have taken inspiration from nearby Rose and Thistle Streets to create lavish interiors of contrasting textures, lights and styles, offering one of the most inimitable hotel experiences in Edinburgh.

Tying into the overall theme of juxtaposition, the new design mirrors elements of the original Edinburgh property, utilising darker colours and tones throughout the interiors of the hotel, and also tying into to the Old Town vs New Town geography of the city itself.

The building is steeped full of history; Malmaison Edinburgh City was previously the home of Lord Brougham, the 11th Earl of Buchan.

According to historian Alastair Learmont, the use of 21 and 22 St Andrew Square, the current home of the hotel, can be traced back over two centuries.

From the 1840s onwards, the houses were used for professional and commercial purposes. 

As the century progressed, the square became associated with the insurance industry, with this part of Edinburgh visibly developing into a financial hub. 

By 1846, the Union Deposit Assurance Company had opened an office at 21. 

This was followed in the 1850s by the City of Glasgow Assurance Company who remained at 21 until the outbreak of the First World War to be replaced by the Phoenix Assurance Company. 


The remainder of the building’s office space was used by an assortment of solicitors, stockbrokers and accountants, although other companies and associations, including the Liberal Unionist Society c. 1906) and the Inglis Green Laundry Company between (c. 1926-1936) had offices on the premises.

The use of 22 St Andrew Square followed a similar pattern although division of the house took place towards the end of the 19th century.

Following the departure of one professor Miller in 1845, the Experience Life Assurance (1848) and later the Colonial Life Assurance opened offices on the premises. 

From 1854, 22 was the headquarters of the Scottish National Fire and Life Assurance Company, who commissioned the firm of Peddie and Kinnear to add its distinctive Greek Corinthian Porch. 

On their dissolution in 1878, they were succeeded by the Edinburgh, Leith Gas Co, the Norwich Union Life Assurance Co and the Canada Permanent Mortgage Corporation. 

From the 1890s onwards, the rest of the building, as at 21, was divided between professional and commercial use. 

In 1974, 21 and 22 were acquired by IBM and extensively renovated. 

They opened their Edinburgh office on July 2nd, 1980 and remained in St Andrew Square until 2017.

The buildings were once also once home to Joseph Bell, the inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes.

“Returning to the heart of where Malmaison started is a real milestone for us and we are looking forward to offering a fourth offering in the city, in addition to our Malmaison property in Leith and our Hotel du Vin and Fraser Suites locations in Edinburgh’s old town,” said Guus Bakker, chief executive, EMEA at Frasers Hospitality, who own the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin brands.

“Edinburgh is such an integral and exciting city and the boutique elements of Malmaison and Chez Mal’s offerings really tie in well to the atmosphere and spirit of the Scottish capital.”

The central location of Malmaison Edinburgh City means guests can avail of views of the castle and be within walking distance of the National Museum of Scotland, Camera Obscura, World of Illusions, Scottish National Gallery and Edinburgh Waverley station.

Malmaison offers statement and stylish rooms across its range of 16 eclectic boutique hotels within the most exciting cities in the UK.

Food and drink is the heart and soul of each hotel with the Chez Mal brasseries offering cocktails, bottomless brunch and afternoon tea.

Malmaison is a true pioneer of the metropolitan modern townhouse hotel and whether you are in Birmingham, Manchester or Aberdeen, guests will experience the same unique Malmaison vibe and passion.

Malmaison is part of the Frasers Hospitality Group.

World Travel Awards

Malmaison Edinburgh City is currently in the running for the title of Europe’s Leading New Boutique Hotel at the prestigious World Travel Awards.

With ballots open until September 24th, voters are urged to make their voices heard here.