Richard Branson stuns passers-by with surprise visit to Edinburgh to open new hotel

The Virgin boss turned up at the Royal Mile hotel to celebrate the launch

Doug Shields
Monday 27 March 2023 13:48 BST
Richard Branson stuns passers-by with surprise visit to Edinburgh to open new hotel

Virgin boss Richard Branson surprised passers-by in Edinburgh on Friday (March 24) when he turned up at the Royal Mile to celebrate the launch of the new Virgin Hotels Edinburgh.

Branson pushed the ‘Press for Yes’ button on a 6ft mystery giant red tartan box and a magical whoosh roared out before dancers and bagpipers appeared.

Teams from Virgin Red and Virgin Hotels handed out hundreds of Virgin Red envelopes with Virgin Points inside to spend on more than 200 rewards which can be spent at the hotel, flights, or gigs.

Lucky locals were given more than 200 envelopes containing 500 to 150,000 Virgin Points, allowing those lucky enough to get their hands on them the option to redeem the points.

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh is situated in the landmark India Buildings in the Scottish capital’s Old Town, just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle.

It has 222 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites, as well as multiple dining and drinking outlets, all with their own unique space and distinct design. Guests can enjoy the best cocktails in the city from Commons Club, Virgin Hotels’ flagship restaurant and bar.

Virgin Red is Virgin’s Group-wide rewards club where you can earn and spend Virgin Points on more than 350 rewards and it’s completely free to join! Whether you’re into theatre, music, flying, holidays, staycations, experiences or even sausage rolls – there’s something for everyone.

Virgin Red members can earn 2,000 Virgin Points when they book a stay with participating Virgin Hotels. All members need to do to boost their points balances is make sure that they’re also signed up to Virgin Hotels’ loyalty program, The Know, where they can get the best rates, room upgrades, and a stay tailored to their tastes (think personalised playlists, favourite sips in the mini-fridge or the perfect pillow to match their sleep style).

Members can also treat themselves and a guest, to a stay at the newly open Virgin Hotels Edinburgh for just 35,000 Virgin Points per night (up to six nights). The offer will be available for stays up to 30 April 2023 and between 1 October – 28 December 2023, if the booking is made before the end of April 2023.

To find out more, please visit:

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in