Dubbed the ‘ribbon hotel’ due to its unusual facade, it is expected to open by 2020, with luxury chains including W and Four Seasons thought to be among those interested in moving in.

The 210-rooms hotel will include a top-floor bar with panoramic 360 degree views, according to plans drawn up by architects Jestico + Whiles. It is part of the £850m redevelopment which is to replace the St James Centre at the east end of Princes Street.

But the hotel’s design isn’t to everyone’s liking. Planning officials were urging councillors to reject the idea, claiming the hotel’s proximity to listed buildings could harm Edinburgh’s status as a World Heritage Site. They said the hotel will be wider and 20 metres taller than initially proposed, and will block key views of the city. Doubts have also been raised about the bronze coloured, stainless steel coating, which it is feared could be ‘too shiny and reflective’. The design has been criticized for a lack of open space and leaving it barely visible from most parts of the city centre and New Town. While it will undoubtedly offer visitors stunning views from within – from an aerial vantage point it will look remarkably like a cupcake.

The developer shave been finally granted planning permission by the City of Edinburgh council after the issue was discussed for around three and a half hours.

The regeneration project is one of the largest under way in the UK and will see the current shopping centre at Princes Street demolished and a new retail complex erected. It will include 750,000 sq ft of retail space, up to 250 new homes, 30 restaurants and a multi-screen cinema. Work is due to start on the development by the end of the year.

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