Glasgow is an impressive city attracting growing numbers of visitors and Chris Burn found an equally impressive place to stay.
With the budget-boutique brand Point A Hotels announcing plans to open two new hotels in Edinburgh and Kensington next summer, one of the company’s existing properties in Glasgow offers the chance to check out the outstanding Scottish city which recorded a near 20 per cent increase in tourist numbers last year.
Location: Within easy walking distance of Glasgow Central and Queen Street railway stations, the hotel, which opened last year, is in the very heart of the city. It sits on the corner of the fashionable Bath and Hope Streets and is just minutes away from the busy shopping areas of Buchanan Street and Princes Square.
Ambience: The hotel is squarely aimed at the modern traveller, with rooms including free superfast wi-fi, USB sockets and smart TVs that include information about the local neighbourhood. There’s a digital jukebox in the reception and internet-enabled tablets for guests to use, while the lounge offers a quiet space to catch up on emails. But the hotel is more of a base for exploring the city rather than somewhere to spend too much time.
Accommodation: The rooms are what an optimistic estate agent would probably describe as ‘compact’ - but cleverly designed with it. Despite their diminutive size, measuring between 8-12sqm, there is plenty packed in, with the bathrooms having power showers, underbed storage and drop-down desk and foldaway chair. The rooms also have blackout curtains, a useful touch given the busy city centre location. There are 122 rooms in the hotel, comprising of 86 standard doubles, 29 twin rooms and seven accessible double rooms.
Food and drink: Breakfast is available in the hotel for an extra £8, with the selection including juices, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cereal, bread rolls and a range of freshly baked patisserie, savoury pastries, muffins and a choice of tea and coffee to set you up for the day. Gluten free options are available.
The hotel also offers discounts to guests at several local restaurants. But there are a wealth of restaurants and bars on the doorstep to choose from - particularly in the nearby Royal Exchange Square, grouped around the impressive neo-classical building that is home to the Gallery of Modern Art.
What to do: There is so much for visitors to do in Glasgow that it is difficult to fit everything in during one visit. Highlights include the impressive Botanic Gardens, the Barras street and indoor market in the East End and the Pollok House, a grand stately home in the heart of the city with an impressive collection of Spanish art and a surrounding country park with extensive woodland and gardens.
Worth writing home about: We went for a delicious meal at The Rum Shack Caribbean bar in the trendy area of Strathbungo, which was named as one of the best places to live in the whole of Scotland by the Sunday Times earlier this year. The delicious but affordable meal was well worth getting out of the city centre for – the Jerk Salmon and the ‘Doubles’ chickpea curry were particularly excellent.
To book: Point.A. Hotel, 80 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 2EN. Phone: 0141 352 2650 Web: https://www.pointahotels.com/our-hotels/glasgow/ Rooms are from £69 per night with breakfast £8.