Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh
Wednesday 17 Oct 2012
The transformation of the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh is now complete, following the latest phase of re-planning and refurbishment by MKV Design.
This has involved the redesign of all the hotel's public areas as well as the ballroom and meeting room spaces; MKV Design also handled the recent guestroom refurbishment which was completed at the end of 2010. Now, with its strikingly different lobby lounges, bar, restaurant and function spaces, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa has been recognised as the UK flagship for the brand.
The reception lobby has been totally remodelled, removing the old central staircase that had dominated the area and bringing natural light and volume into the space. Where before spaces were hidden from view under low ceilings, sightlines are now clear with a natural flow across the entire ground floor giving improved clarity of the direction to take for guests arriving in this busy hotel.
The ambience of the reception lobby is now welcoming and refined with a gentle sense of place referenced in the designs of the rugs, some of the fabrics and in selected artworks such the framed "coats" made from Edinburgh city maps that are signage for the cloakroom.
The structural columns have been clad in back-lit, textured resin so that they glow like spun sugar, a modern fireplace burns invitingly and seating groups have been organised to allow for different guest activities. Throughout, contrasting finishes are boldly juxtaposed, hard and soft, glossy and matt, the pale envelope with punches of crimson red upholstery and warm walnut timber cladding. The play of textures is epitomised in the flooring which unifies the entire ground area: three types of Scottish granite, honed, flamed and polished, laid in variously alternating strips, creating a fluidity across the space.
The new main staircase is located in the lift lobby. As much a work of art as a stairway, it is constructed of brushed steel and glass and is set against an image of the famous Scottish Eilean Donan Castle superimposed onto 15 frosted glass panels with integrated lighting behind.
The restaurant and bar areas are on the opposite side of the building from reception with a full-length glazed façade opening onto Festival Square. The transformation here is as complete as elsewhere with the whole space now reading as one area that segues from bar and café to restaurant, wine tasting and private dining.