A STUDENT campus in the heart of Edinburgh is bidding for its busiest year yet – as it prepares for the annual summer transformation into Scotland’s largest hotel.
Following a £10.7m investment to refurbish part of Pollock Halls (Holland House), the team tasked with operating the campus is hoping it will further boost occupancy throughout the summer season, where it can house over 1,880 visitors at any one time.
Owned by the University, and operated by the Accommodation Catering and Events division under their commercial brand Edinburgh First, the converted student accommodation offers a broad range of room options, perfect for all budgets from large groups to single travellers.
Lyndsay Wilkie, Director of Business Development, Edinburgh First, said: “Our Pollock Halls campus offers affordable and quality accommodation options to people from all over the world.
Most people would expect our campus to be quiet over the summer months when our students have left, however in June, July and August it takes on a totally different atmosphere as we welcome thousands of guests visiting our wonderful city. Our campus, once again, really comes to life, and this is particularly evident in August when festival goers and performers alike come together to celebrate the incredible culture and arts scene in Edinburgh.
“The size of the campus creates a truly unique buzz, almost like its very own small community. The variety of rooms available at Pollock Halls means that we are able to accommodate a diverse range of guests with varying budgets, from school groups and festival performers to couples who are looking for something slightly different and more affordable.
“We’re continually investing in our student accommodation to ensure we meet high quality standards. This not only benefits the students but also our summer guests.”
In order to convert the site into an expansive hotel, the Campus is swiftly transformed from its term time role as halls of residence, into a slick, commercial offering in late May and early June. The epic job involves a dedicated team of approximately 150 housekeepers, maintenance workers and receptionists who work to clean, signpost and ready the accommodation for summer bookings.
Lyndsay added: “Each year we take on the enormous operation to give our accommodation an entire change of purpose. It’s a real team effort to get the campus turned around and make any required repairs in such a short space of time but it’s a hugely exciting time for everyone involved.”
The Residences @ Pollock Halls have shared bathrooms and rooms for 890 people, Holland House @ Pollock Halls offers en-suite bedrooms and sleeps 350 people, while the three-star Chancellor’s Court and John Burnett House @ Pollock Halls are also en-suite bedrooms and have rooms for an additional 640 guests.
The size of the residence and its advantageous location at the foot of Arthur’s Seat make it the perfect venue for visitors.
Pollock Halls has onsite amenities to suit every traveller’s needs including free parking, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, an on-site self-service restaurant, bar and a bistro and lounge in its 4-star hotel on site – Salisbury Green Hotel & Bistro.
Pollock Halls commercial offering is available to book from 25 May until 10 September before preparations to return it into student halls begin.
Prices start from £37 per person per night and breakfast can be added for £14.25.
Pollock Halls’ award-winning dining options are available to summer guests, at prices from £12.25 for lunches and £16.85 for evening meals.
Edinburgh First provides a full range of hotel, event and catering services with more than 70 meeting spaces across the University of Edinburgh estate.
It operates one other hotel in the City, KM Central as well as self-catering apartments on Richmond Place.