Design Focus: THE BONHAM HOTEL

By Susan Young

One of Edinburgh’s original boutique hotels, The Bonham Hotel, has now had a top-to-toe refurbishment.


Last year saw the hotel’s 49 bedrooms revamped and now the public areas of the hotel have been redesigned too. The change sees a brand new restaurant called No. 35 at The Bonham and a fresh look for the bar.

Further changes have also been made the lobby and library and the snug – which has been fully refurbished to showcase many of its original features including wood panelling and stained glass windows as well as a stunning hand-painted ceiling.


“Old buildings tell us where we came from – both architecturally and socially,” said Bonham owner Richard H. Driehaus. “Preserving their beauty enhances our lives, our environments and respects our heritage. So it is with The Bonham.”


Architecture is something that Mr Driehaus has been a vocal advocate of particularly the application of humanistic values in the built environment. He has been recognised internationally and has received the INTBAU Visionary Supporter Award from HRH Prince Charles. He was also the first U.S. citizen inducted as an honorary member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, and he has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.


He appointed designer Nigel Howard Creative to fulfil his objectives for the Georgian building, having worked with the designer for many years.

The interiors, by designer Nigel Howard Creative, reference both the architectural heritage of the hotel and the soft highland hues that are typical of Scotland’s landscapes. The colour palette is complemented with a rich choice of materials – including oak, brass, leather and velvet.


Douglas Campbell, general manager at The Bonham Hotel, said, “This multi-million-pound refurbishment has seen our already stunning hotel transformed into a truly sophisticated property combining modern styling with our original Georgian architecture.


“Guests staying in the newly refurbished rooms are already giving us great feedback and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from near and far to experience a taste of elegance here in the West End of Edinburgh.”


Contractors Thomas Johnstone has been involved with the full refurbishment. The company used its combined specialist fit-out skills and bespoke manufactured joinery strengths to ensure that the extensive bedroom and corridor refurbishments, as well as the public areas, were sympathetically restored and delivered on schedule.

David Haddow of Thomas Johnstone told Hotel Scotland, “Our talented team worked in harmony with our family of specialist sub-contractors to deliver the high-quality renovation of this luxurious boutique hotel. Over the course of the entire refurbishment, we have established a strong relationship with the team at The Bonham Hotel. We were delighted to have been part of these works and wish the team every success with their stunning property.”

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Hotel Magazine Scotland News Team

Hotel Scotland is a new publication (2017) from the publishers of DRAM – Scotland’s leading on-trade magazine. Hotel Scotland is a newsy magazine which covers all aspects of the industry in Scotland. From who’s who, to industry issues and refurbishments.
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