Edinburgh Interviews/Opinions Scotland UK

Gavin MacLennan – Lateral City Apartments

Edinburgh has plenty of luxury accommodation on offer within the city, but one brand that stands shoulders above the rest is Lateral City Apartments who operate the award-winning 5 Star Old Town Chambers and their converted grand Victorian townhouse, Merchiston Residence. With their latest luxurious property The Edinburgh Grand opening in the former Royal Bank of Scotland on St Andrew Square later in the year, we chat to the man who keeps everything running smoothly, General Manager of Lateral City Apartments, Gavin MacLennan.

You are GM of Lateral City Apartments a luxury apartment provider in Edinburgh, tell us about your background and how you got into the luxury travel sector?

Both my parents worked in the hotel industry all of their working lives, so it felt natural for me to follow in their footsteps. Since leaving school, I’ve spent my career working for luxury hotels and hospitality brands here in the UK and abroad. In Scotland, I’ve had the pleasure of working in some of the most prestigious hotels, from The Balmoral, The Caledonian Hotel and The Sheraton Grand here in Edinburgh, to Gleneagles in beautiful Perthshire. I’ve also spent time in London, Brussels and most recently New York where I worked as Global Brand Director for Starwood Hotels, looking after Le Meridien and Westin Hotels.

Tell us more about Lateral City Apartments.

Our serviced apartments, both Old Town Chambers and Merchiston Residence have been designed with guest experience in mind. We offer a unique stay that our guests can cherish. A stay in either of our locations offers every opportunity to experience the history and culture of Scotland’s capital and get wrapped up in Edinburgh’s charm, with a luxury home-from-home serviced apartment.

Old Town Chambers is an award-winning property in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Tell us more about them.

Each 5 star serviced apartment at Old Town Chambers is distinct and unique. Whichever accommodation type our guests choose, they find all of our apartments contain modern elements designed to blend in harmoniously with the historical surroundings. Many original features have been retained and incorporated into the contemporary style, including exposed brickwork and gabled ceilings. Each apartment is individually designed to ensure your stay feels like a home from home, with the luxury you would expect from a 5 star establishment.

What are the benefits of staying with OTC over one of the cities many accommodation options?

Space and freedom! Our apartments offer huge living, dining and sleeping spaces! Guests no longer need to eat dinner on their laps or work on their laptops whilst sitting on their beds! We are the true definition of Home from Home luxury living!

Which part of your role do you enjoy the most?

The variation and not knowing what my day will bring. Having the pleasure of managing this business comes with challenges but every time I look at one of our apartments, it reminds me why I do what I do!

The Lateral City portfolio is growing with the launch of The Edinburgh Grand later in the year, which will be the city’s newest and most luxurious property. What can people expect from this new property?

The Edinburgh Grand is the latest addition to Lateral City Apartments’ portfolio of beautifully appointed serviced accommodation. A building of unique historical merit with an illustrious heritage thoughtfully renovated with genuine original features. Formally the Royal Bank of Scotland, the building was constructed between 1936 and 1942 and sits in St Andrew Square, just minutes away from shops, restaurants and key transport links. It will be thoughtfully renovated into 50 luxury apartments ranging from the Grand Studio apartments to the three-bedroom rooftop Penthouse with 360 panoramic views across the city of Edinburgh. The building will also house a 200 cover bar and restaurant located in the former banking hall, a coffee house and evening venue, as well as a gym and fitness studio. Due to open in Autumn 2017, The Edinburgh Grand promises to offer a luxurious and distinct place to stay in the heart of Scotland’s capital.

The Edinburgh Grand building is quite unique – and you have a few surprises in store for guests, any teasers you can share just now with us?

I think our guests and visitors will be surprised and delighted to see the thoughtful restoration of the building which we are undertaking. The building is full of stunning features, all of which will be restored. Also, our new Gym and Dance studio located in what was originally the bank vault will be a must see space!

Will you be expanding the portfolio further in Edinburgh or into other cities?

Yes and yes! We are currently working on several projects in Edinburgh which will almost double our portfolio in the next 3 years. We are also working on an exciting new development in the heart of Glasgow.

Your ideal day in Edinburgh, what would it be?

Edinburgh is by far, globally, my favourite city. This city was the reason I came home after working abroad for over 8 years. When I get the chance, with my family, we love to just explore the city! From walking my dog around Arthur’s Seat, to sitting on a cute and bespoke coffee shop either in the New Town or up around the meadows! My credit card often takes a beating on George Street and I then love to finish the day dining in one of the hundreds of incredible restaurants! So much to love that I could keep writing for days!