Hotel bookings surge brings back optimism at Surgeons Quarter

Ten Hill Place, Surgeons Quarter, Edinburgh

A CHARITABLE hotel and events business tied to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is rebounding, with strong occupancy at its hotel and forward projections well above expectations.

Surgeons Quarter, which operates the city’s largest independent hotel, Ten Hill Place, will host more than 2000 guests in May, including a range of surgical students sitting vital in-person exams.

It meant that throughout the month, occupancy exceeded 40%, which was 10% above the base level for the city according to data from Smith Travel Research [STR], the world leaders in data intelligence for the sector.

Data from STR also highlights that upcoming bookings at the 129-room Old Town hotel is more than 7% above the average of its 10 closest competitors, as it looks to recapture market share as the sector emerges from lockdown.

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director at Surgeons Quarter, said: “We’re confident that we can emerge from the past 15 months in a very strong position.

“The number of bookings is very heartening and a good 25% above what we were anticipating given all the uncertainty.

“We’re already expecting close to 50% occupancy for June. While we’d expect more than 75% in a normal year, we appreciate that everything has changed – and we’re delighted to be operating at this level. It’s a credit to our team.

“Guests are responding very positively to the expertise of our team, many of whom served NHS workers throughout much of the first lockdown gaining extensive experience of operating in the current climate.”

At the outset of the pandemic Surgeons Quarter hosted more than 500 clinical and frontline workers, providing 2137 free room nights to staff working at nearby hospitals.

As well as the award-winning hotel, Surgeons Quarter typically operates one of the city’s busiest events and conference programmes, making use of the RCSEd’s impressive collection of buildings while they are not in medical use.  

It is now advancing “blended” technologies, hosting the UK hub of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons annual scientific conference – featuring a mix of in-person and live streamed features and Q&As with Professor Jason Leitch and RCSEd President, Professor Michael Griffin.

It also opened a new outdoor venue, Drinks and Dining Al Fresco, with a vast clear roofed marquee enabling guests to enjoy food and drinks in a safe and socially distanced environment.

All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.

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