A CITY centre hotel that once served as the University of Edinburgh’s main student halls is calling out for a former resident to cut the ribbon and revisit the past at the hotel’s grand relaunch.
The £4.6m makeover of Salisbury Green Hotel & Bistro, based at Pollock Halls is now finished following the completion of the final phase, the refurbishment of the 18th century Mansion House.
Now the team behind the major refurb are offering the VIP ribbon-cutting duties to somebody who lived in the Mansion House when it served as halls of residence and who can tell of what staying there meant to them at the time.
As well as the opportunity to herald the grand opening, due in February, they will receive a complementary bed and breakfast stay for two - and the chance to see how neighbouring student accommodation has evolved over the years.
The historic Mansion House building was first gifted to the University in 1942 by Sir Donald Pollock and became the main halls of residence for students until 2006 when it was turned into a year-round hotel.
Lyndsay Wilkie, Director of Business Development, said: “If you lived in halls of residence between 1942 and 2006, we would love to hear from you. Likewise, if a friend or relative stayed here, please be sure to tell them.
“This building has an amazing story to tell – and a big part of that was its role as student accommodation for six decades.
“We recognised the need for refurbishment to the building but it was important for us to maintain the original character and historical features. The result is a fresh, new and improved hotel which will appeal to all kinds of visitors.
“We think this is a fitting way to celebrate Mansion House’s heritage. It has been a home to so many and a temporary home in the city for our guests over the last 14 years, so this really marks a new chapter in its long history.”
To apply, the former residents are being asked to recall what Mansion House meant to them as their likely first home-from-home, to be sent along with their name, address and contact details to Natasha.Breen@ed.ac.uk or posting a letter to Pollock Halls of Residence, 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY by 31 January.
Mansion House was originally built in the 1750s for an Edinburgh merchant named Alexander Scott. The supporting walls of this house are still encased within the existing building, which also features original Scots Renaissance detail and traditional décor.
In its long history it has belonged to the Dick family of Prestonfield House and Edinburgh publisher William Nelson before being purchased by Sir Donald Pollock – after whom the University’s main halls of residence is named – in the early 1940s.
From then it became a residence for students of the University of Edinburgh until 2006 when it was converted to a hotel and conference centre.
Edinburgh First brand provides a full range of hotel, event and catering services with more than 200 venues and spaces across the University of Edinburgh estate.
It operates one other hotel in the city, KM Central as well as self-catering city apartments on Richmond Place.