Best Western has revealed it wanted to turn House of Fraser on Princes Street into a hotel.
The chain lost out on the site after drinks giant Diageo snapped it up for its Johnnie Walker Whisky Experience .
Rob Paterson, chief executive at Best Western Great Britain, said the company is targeting empty high street shops as part of plans to double its presence in Britain over three years.
He told PA it was in talks over at least three sites left empty by the high street crisis.
He revealed that the group was previously in the running for Edinburgh’s former House of Fraser, which was eventually snagged by Diageo as the location for its Johnnie Walker whisky experience.
Paterson said the company would continue to look at opportunities on the high street as it aimed to expand the 260-strong portfolio of hotels to 500 sites by 2022.
“Despite the challenging conditions of the British high street, we are looking towards the high street for possible expansion, with our unique offering continuing to disrupt and capture the market share,” he said.
Britain’s high streets were gutted last year as record numbers of shops were left empty, according to Local Data Company research released in June.
Landlords have struggled to fill some units in the wake of high-profile collapses such as Maplin, Toys R Us and House of Fraser and store closure programmes at Debenhams, M&S and New Look.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that just under half of former BHS stores are still unoccupied three years after the retailer went into administration.