10 best authentic and inspirational hotels:
Inn with the new: The Virgin Hotels Edinburgh outpost is set in a gleaming new tower of metal and glass looming over the River Clyde at the foot of the elegantly old-fashioned South Portland Street suspension bridge. Inside, a mixture of both the gleaming new and the elegantly old-fashioned. Picture a Cunard Liner redecorated by graffiti artists, with an equally good cocktail list – but with DJs instead of a string orchestra.
The indie choice: Located in the hip West End, on Kelvingrove Park (don’t miss the gothic University of Glasgow), the Alamo Guest House is set in a Victorian town house dating to 1880. This family run guest house offers an enchanting mix of contemporary and period decor.
A swirling red staircase leads up to the citizenM Glasgow‘s self check-in terminals airport-style and a succession of light filled living rooms with Vitra armchairs, sofas, and work tables separated by partitions filled with books and ornaments. The pod style rooms, where everything is controlled by a tablet. The bathroom cubicle in the middle of the room bears an uncanny resemblance to transporters on Startrek’s Starship Enterprise.
The glam & sexy choice: The highly rated Dakota Glasgow is where serenity reigns in discreetly lit lounges and corridors adorned with books, artwork and soft leather seating that invite guests to linger. Suites on upper floors come with full length New York style loft windows evoking a Manhattan vibe come with Nespresso machines, complimentary minibar, bathrobes and slippers.
Style on a budget: The motel name is misleading, though fans of the German budget design hotel chain will love Motel One Glasgow‘s big, open-plan lobby area, dotted with teal and white fluffy armchairs, animal-print rugs, vintage suitcases, wireflow lights and, of course, the brand’s signature blue ‘Egg chairs’, designed by Arne Jacobsen.
The grand choice: A Glasgow staple, the Grand Central, now under IHG’s voco brand, is one of Britain’s great railway hotels. It encompasses two sides of Glasgow’s central station and dates to 1883. It had its ups and downs but by the 1990s was completely run down. Now it is on the up again with people (especially DNA Hotels customers) truly enjoying its authenticity, including the grand staircase and the magnificent Champagne Central Bar with its domed ceiling and marble floor.
The extended stay choice: Native Glasgow is found in an Edwardian building formerly home to the Anchor Line Shipping Company’s headquarters, this city centre aparthotel is inspired by a 1920s ocean liner. With original Art Deco features, there are glazed tiles, terrazzo flooring, timber wall-panelling, fireplaces and even the original safes.
The grand boutique choice: Despite the Doric columns, lobby grand piano and chandelier-topped staircase, the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel is very much a laid-back affair. The hotel hums with urban energy, and this Georgian-trimmed terrace of townhouses with spa and seafood restaurant fits the bill, with glossy marble and modern art that belies Glasgow’s once edgy reputation.
The happening choice: Super heroes flying over Glasgow landmarks on wall murals set the artistic tone of playful, laid-back public spaces in the Radisson RED Glasgow. Nothing staid or stuffy about bright, open-plan layouts with big windows and an eclectic mix of sound tracks that attract locals out to have a good time. The vibe is of a high energy gathering place with rooms that will appeal to fans of Marvel comics and selfie enthusiasts.
The out of town choice: The 17th-century Crossbasket Castle is a luxury country house hotel located 15km from Glasgow. Expect traditional and opulent tastes throughout, with intricate gold leaf cornicing, ceiling roses, chandeliers, tasselled drapes, wood panelling and antique furniture.