24-hour room service: Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow

A modern classic that looks to the future

Peter Taylor knows a thing or two about Scottish luxury hotels – as founder and chairman of the Town House Collection he is responsible for launching some of Edinburgh's best-known boutique properties, including Channings, the Bonham and the Howard. But Blythswood Square Hotel, his first venture on the west coast, is a different beast.

Partially opened in Glasgow in November 2009, it has more than double the capacity of the group's largest Edinburgh hotel, with 100 rooms. Its creation involved the renovation of a listed building and the formation of a complicated new structure on a tightly enclosed plot. Now, after lengthy delays caused, in part, by the folding of the original contractor, the hotel is fully open for business. And Peter Taylor must be resting a bit easier.

Sleepless nights should not be an issue for guests. Especially not those with an environmental bent. As luxurious as its five-star status suggests, Blythswood Square is also ecologically conscious. Built using such sustainable technology as ground-source heat pumps and a rainwater harvesting system, the hotel believes its carbon emissions will be over 43 per cent less than those of a similar building without those features.

There's plenty of surface bling, too. The older section of the building, which includes the entrance and lobby, dates from 1823 and is one of four identical classical terraces that surround the eponymous square.

In 1910 the buildings the hotel now occupies were remodelled to form the clubhouse for the Royal Scottish Automobile Club (RSAC). Monochrome photos, displays of racing memorabilia in the hotel and the private cocktail Rally Bar, are a nice reminder that in the 1950s and 1960s Blythswood Square was one of eight official starting points for the Monte Carlo Rally. To mark the event's centenary, Glasgow has again been selected – along with Marrakech, Barcelona and Warsaw – as a starting point for the race; around 100 classic cars will set off from outside the hotel this Thursday.

Back inside, the heart of the hotel is a chi-chi restaurant and bar, set in what was once the RSAC's ballroom. Serving modern Scottish food, the place has an unpretentious buzz – one of those rare places that's cool enough to hang out in with friends but not so cool that you couldn't take granny for a treat. Current favourites include hand-dived scallops, Buccleuch Estates steak and chips and Valrhona Guanaja chocolate crème with cocoa soil, pea emulsion and avocado ice cream.

Blythswood isn't perfect; on my visit some requests went unanswered and drinks orders were forgotten. But, for the price and the style, it's hard to beat.

Location

This is as central as you'd want to be in Glasgow, with Buchanan Street's shops, Bath Street's bars and restaurants and both main train stations within a 10-minute walk. Just brace yourself for the knowing winks if you mention the address; the red lights that hang from its windows are a tongue-in-cheek reminder of Blythswood Square's former incarnation.

Comfort

The 25 rooms in the old building and 75 in the new are designed along one stylish theme courtesy of Graven Images, the team behind Edinburgh's Tigerlily and Missoni hotel interiors. Harris Tweed has been commissioned to fashion almost everything, from seemingly endless lampshades to sofas in muted grey and purple tones; chairs in the hotel's private screening room each get their own differently coloured blend.

Great beds, free Wi-Fi and glamorous marble bathrooms add plenty of comfort in the standard bedrooms while suites are as ostentatious as you'd expect – one has a sunken bath that could surely only have been designed with Peter Stringfellow in mind.

Elsewhere, guests can relax with afternoon tea in the first-floor salon or head down to the just-opened spa to steam away their cares in the thermal suite, or unwind with a massage. Don't be alarmed by the signature Turus treatments which use "indigenous Scottish ingredients"; this involves being expertly massaged with Ila-brand borage and juniper-infused products rather than being immersed in Irn-Bru or wrapped in haggis.

Blythswood Square Hotel, 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4AD (0141-208 2458; blythswoodsquare.com)

Rooms 4 stars
Value 5 stars
Service 4 stars

Double rooms start at £140, including breakfast

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Voices
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
scienceHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried