An historic former school building yards from the Scottish capital's Royal Mile is to be converted into a boutique hotel and restaurant as part of the £150 million New Waverley development in the Old Town.

Under the plans the C-listed red sandstone building, one of Edinburgh’s last remaining "school board" designs of the late-Victorian era, will become a 21-room luxury aparthotel, managed by Apple Apartments, by 2017.

Proposals for the two-story building include the conversion of the original school rooms into 21 double-height serviced apartments, each with a mezzanine level providing separate sleeping and living areas.

READ MORE: £65m hotel 'to be given go-ahead' despite UNESCO concerns


The backer of the hotel project said that the rooms will overlook a "light-filled glass atrium forming part of a spectacular central galleried hall, which has remained unchanged since the building was first designed in 1901 as an infant school by Edinburgh School Board architect Robert Wilson".

Launched in 2013, London-based Apple Apartments said it is one of the UK’s most successful niche aparthotel operators, specialising in the conversion of small-scale period buildings into high-quality serviced apartments.

The company is run by Scottish businessman Billy Cowe and his brother Peter, who have been involved in global property management and development for the past 15 years.

“We knew straight away that this historic building would be perfect for our next specialist conversion project,” said Billy Cowe, below.

HeraldScotland: Billy CoweBilly Cowe

READ MORE: £65m hotel 'to be given go-ahead' despite UNESCO concerns

“As well as sitting alongside the Royal Mile, one of the world’s most iconic streets, it also has a range of striking features both inside and out, which make it genuinely stand out as a unique destination not just in Edinburgh but across the UK.

“There is a huge, growing demand for high-quality serviced apartments in good city-centre locations serving both corporate and leisure markets.

"The Canongate Venture is set to become a flagship aparthotel across our UK business, offering something a little different."

It will also have 24-hour butler service, an exclusive customer lounge and a gourmet restaurant which will also provide room service for guests.

READ MORE: £65m hotel 'to be given go-ahead' despite UNESCO concerns

Discussions for the "in-house" restaurant are currently under way with London names including an internationally recognised successful chef, the developers said.

Inside, the new boutique hotel will keep many of the original features such as the glass atrium and original wood floors.

The New Waverley project led by Artisan Real Estate Investors covers the 7.5 acre site linking Waverley Station to the Royal Mile.

Clive Wilding, New Waverley’s project director, said: "We are also welcoming more independent traders to The Waverley Arches, a row of 15 converted Victorian arches which sits along from the Canongate Venture.

"This is all contributing to a major buzz about the area, bringing life and excitement back to what was once a neglected part of the city.”