List of all operators: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Apex Hotels

Description :

Apex Hotels is an Edinburgh –based company that operates a collection of contemporary four-star city-centre hotels, mostly in Edinburgh and London. The privately-owned  company was founded by Edinburgh entrepreneur Norman Springford and other family members in 1996

The new-build or converted hotels offer conference, spa and fitness facilities to target both the corporate and the leisure market. Its brands include the Metro bar, brasserie or restaurant and the Yu Spa, an holistic Japanese-style programme of water treatments allied with Technogyms. The hotels are known for their relaxed but stylish settings, limited-edition artwork in the bedrooms, public areas and meeting rooms, and for their attention to detail and customer service.

Apex was originally conceived as a three-star economy chain catering for tour groups and the leisure market but Springford quickly perceived a niche in the Edinburgh market for design-led four-star hotels that would attract a more consistent year-round clientele from both the corporate and the short-break sectors. This led to a £1.2m redesign of its first hotel, the Apex International in Edinburgh, followed by a £750,000 revamp of the Apex European (also in Edinburgh) in 2001.

The group is credited with rejuvenating the Scottish hotel scene but a move into London was a long-cherished dream for Springford, who swept south with a property near Tower Bridge in 2005 as soon as falling prices opened up the market. “We have always fancied London but we could never afford it,” he told Caterer and Hotelkeeper in 2004.

All Apex properties were originally company owned except for the Apex Temple Court in London. To fund expansion, the group completed a £54m sale-and-leaseback deal on the Apex International and Apex City in Edinburgh during 2006. In 2013, the group entered ground rent lease transactions on four more properties - Apex Waterloo, Apex City of London, Apex European and Apex City Quay – that would allow it to operate the hotels for 150 years, with an option to buy each back for £1 after that time.
A former Inland Revenue employee and self-employed accountant from 1970, Springford built up a number of businesses in and around Edinburgh after buying his first pub in 1971. His Arrow Leisure business grew to a portfolio of 25 units (including a hotel, sports club and bingo business) which he sold in 1977. During the mid-1980s, Springford owned Britain’s largest theatre, the 3,124 seat Edinburgh Playhouse.

Address :

217 Gilmerton Road
EH16 5UD

Telephone :

0131 666 5100

Email :

Time Line :

THE 2010s



THE 1990s

  • November 1998 The Apex International and Apex European hotels join the Consort Hotels Group, a 240-strong marketing consortium. 
  • August 1998 The 66-bedroom Apex European hotel opens in the Haymarket area of Edinburgh’s West End.
  • Early 1998 Signalling a change in direction, the company refurbishes the Apex International to four-star standards and adds 51 more bedrooms.
  • September 1997 Springford secures the derelict office building in the Haymarket area of Edinburgh that becomes the 66-bedroom Apex European. 
  • June 1997 The new company name, Apex Hotels, is revealed.
  • March 1997 Springford reveals plans to convert a derelict office block into his second hotel. Built by GA Construction, the Apex European will be a ‘new and improved version of the first’ with 70 bedrooms, two suites, a gym and a 70-seat restaurant.
  • October 1996 The Apex International opens its new £400,000 conference centre, Conference Exchange, which can seat 200 people in the main auditorium. 
  • April 1996 The company opens its first hotel, the 120-bedroom three-star Apex International, in Grassmarket, Edinburgh. It brings Edinburgh its first budget lodge and its first rooftop restaurant.
  • 1995 Edinburgh businessman Norman Sprinford buys the derelict Heriot-Watt University Mountbatten building in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket area via his pub business, Arrow Leisure. He spends £6m and 10 months converting it into the city’s first budget-style hotel with 99 bedrooms.

Financial Snapshot :

Year to 30 April 2013

Turnover £50.6m (+21%)
Profits £7m (+25%)

Operating Data :

Total number of hotels 8
Total number of bedrooms More than 1,143
Employees More than 700

London (3)
Apex City of London, Seething Lane near Tower Hill
Apex London Wall, Copthall Avenue near Moorgate
Apex Temple Inn, Serjeants’ Inn, Fleet Street

Edinburgh (4)
Apex International , Grassmarket
Apex City, Grassmarket
Apex European, Haymarket
Apex Waterloo Place, Princes Street

Dundee (1)
Apex City Quay

Key People :

Executive chairman and founder Norman Springford
Directors Dorothea Springford, Ian Springford , David Springford, Joan Springford
Managing director Angela Vickers
Revenue director Paul Sault
Group operations director Yousif Al-Wagga
Environment director Jo Harbisher
List of all operators: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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