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Edinburgh’s Eyes on Charlotte Square as Multi-million Pound Hotel Transformation is Revealed

The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, formerly The Roxburghe Hotel, re-opened its doors in one of Edinburgh’s most iconic locations, following a multi-million pound top-to-toe refurbishment by multi-award-winning, British luxury design studio Goddard Littlefair.

As it continues to create and shape its significant collection of city centre-hotels, PRINCIPAL today unveiled The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square’s stylish new look following a year-long phased refurbishment, which includes the complete transformation of its courtyard into an enchanting garden in the heart of the hotel.

The hotel has also revealed 199 newly refurbished bedrooms including 18 suites, a striking, welcoming new reception and a vibrant and buzzing lobby area punctuated with colour and character.

The Garden – a magical oasis nestled away from the humdrum of everyday life – is set to be an destination for tourists and locals alike to escape, unite, and relax, offering food and drink throughout the day, from salads and tea-time cakes to spritzers and mouth-watering Scottish cocktails.

Following the hotel launch, October will see the launch of BABA, conceived by Jonathan MacDonald and the successful team behind Glasgow’s Ox and Finch, which is set to make its mark with a menu of bold eastern Mediterranean mezze in Edinburgh’s city centre.

One of Edinburgh’s oldest and most iconic hotels, the property has been attracting locals and visitors since it first opened in 1881. Part of the fabric of the city, the seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses, designed by Robert Adam and originally built in 1791, continue to form the heart of the hotel – a home away from home for esteemed writers and A-list Hollywood actors.

Each room in the property has been carefully and creatively designed to enhance the features and character of the five-storey Georgian townhouse building, while introducing a carefully chosen selection of modern fabrics and furnishings that evoke the golden age of travel, married with all the services and conveniences desired by today’s modern traveller.  With no two rooms quite the same, each seamlessly blends the old with the new, reflecting the hotel’s location nestled between the Old Town and the New Town of Edinburgh.

Rich in heritage and local charm, The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square incorporates features customary to PRINCIPAL hotels: vintage red post boxes in the lobby with post collected daily; a Corner Shop selling treats to stock the mini-bar at convenience shop prices; and retro, 7-series red phones in guest rooms which invite guests to dial 9 for an outside line and 0 for the ‘everything else line’, a single point of contact for all guest services.

Marcello Ventisei, General Manager at The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, said, ‘It’s been an incredible journey for the entire team here at the hotel, but we’re incredibly proud to be able to reveal the results of our refurbishment. The new space focuses on bringing one of the city’s most impressive buildings back to life, offering guests the perfect blend of heritage and modernity. The refurbishment allows us to continue to push for excellence in the design and service we provide in one of Edinburgh’s most desirable locations.’

Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-founder of design studio Goddard Littlefair said, ‘Like a cosmopolitan clubhouse, the design scheme for The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square is eclectic, intriguing and full of references to travel, from set-dressing with vintage suitcases to the map room, where the walls are lined with historic maps from all around the world.  The interior is plush and elegant, with interesting and varied furniture and richly-coloured velvets and leathers, set within a series of stand-out individual spaces.’

The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square is the Principal family’s second Edinburgh property – following the multimillion pound refit of The Principal Edinburgh George Street in in 2016 – and its fourth in the UK, following Manchester, York and Edinburgh George Street. Later this year, The Principal London will open on Russell Square, following a £75 million restoration of the Grade II listed ‘grande dame’ hotel.


For further information on Principal, please visit

For further information on BABA, please visit