A £23 million hotel development in a historic Dundee jute mill will be ready for guests before the year’s Open Championship tees off at Carnoustie in July.
One half of the former Baxter Brothers jute mill on Constable Street is being turned into a boutique hotel while the remainder of the building will house serviced apartments.
Run by Focus Hotels Management, Hotel Indigo Dundee will boast 102 guest rooms, while the Staybridge Suites will have 85 apartments.
Builders have been working on the development for more than a year. It will also see the demolition of the former Marquee building before the hotel opens. It includes a restaurant, named Daisy Tasker after a former mill employee who arranged social functions for workers.
Scaffolding surrounding the former mills is now coming down and work is under way to fit out the rooms. Builders are expected to finish on site at the start of June and it is hoped the hotel will welcome its first guests a short time later.
General manager William Inglis said he believes the new hotel will attract visitors to Dundee in its own right.
He said: “This will be one of the biggest hotel openings in Scotland for a number of years.
“Regardless of the V&A, hotels have been looking at Dundee and seeing there is a gap in the market.
“The V&A is a bonus – we’ll work with places like Verdant Works and the Discovery but it is our responsibility to bring more people to Dundee.”
Mr Inglis said he believes the market in Dundee can sustain the growing number of hotels.
In addition to Hotel Indigo and the Staybridge Apartments, and the existing Apex and Malmaison, Marriott has plans to open a boutique hotel opposite the V&A and the Sleeperz above the railway station will open within a few weeks.
He said Hotel Indigo will stand out from the pack because of the building’s heritage.
Exposed brick has been retained in the ceilings while jute has been used to make the throws that will cover the beds.
Other Dundee and Tayside industries have influenced the decor – one of the completed rooms features cheat codes for Grand Theft Auto along the wall while artwork inspired by Arbroath drinks firm Bon Accord hangs on the wall.
“The philosophy for us is about supporting the local area,” he said.
“The restaurant will serve seasonal food made with local produce and we want to hire people that can be ambassadors for Dundee, who can tell guests where the best places are.”
When it opens, the hotel and apartments will employ around 90 staff.
Recruitment is currently under way for a rooms manager, restaurant and bar manager, director of sales and a financial controller.