As of May 2019, Design Hotels will finally have its first Scottish member when Market Street opens among the castles, medieval tenements, and rugged sea-facing hills of the capital city of Edinburgh. But how do you build a hotel in Edinburgh’s historic heart—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—that at the same time offers guests a contemporary side of this forward-thinking city?
At Market Street, JM Architects began with the façade, taking a contemporary spin on traditional forms and cladding it in a Scottish stone that both preserves and updates the capital’s turreted skyline. Then there’s the entrance, where an expansive wall pays homage to the dried earth of Nor Loch, the lake that used to sit at the foot of nearby Edinburgh Castle. The hotel’s seventh-floor bar, Nor’ Loft, features floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the iconic cityscape, and the vibrant but relaxed Champagne lounge is an architectural marvel, sitting under a folded roofscape in dark whinstone.
The eight-story hotel features 98 rooms, in a large variety of configurations, including one spectacular suite with a private terrace and many with views looking out on the city. Designed by award-winning FG Stijl, the interiors channel a brutal beauty aesthetic inspired by the location’s character and history—think “cracked” walls juxtaposed with the minimalistic lines of contemporary furniture and bursts of traditional Scottish fabrics, such as tartan used in unexpected ways. Poised opportunely between Old Town and New Town, a short walk from Royal Mile, Waverley Station, Edinburgh Castle, and Princes Street Gardens, Market Street is a doorway to Edinburgh’s heart and history.