The prospect of staying the night a short walk from the airport, therefore, has its appeal – and this 300-bed, nine-floor Holiday Inn with on-site parking is the closest hotel to Glasgow Airport’s main terminal building.
My room looks out over the airport and is decorated in greys, browns and muted greens as well as a flash of royal blue on the bed. The rooms are apparently sound-proofed while there is a pillow menu, the only potential downside of which I can see being if you have to prise yourself out of bed at dawn to catch an early flight. There’s a table and armchair by the window, as well as a desk big and comfortable enough to do work on without being a token addition, plus a large flatscreen TV, which I watch after a soak in the bath. There are also some distinctive Scottish touches, including a tartan cushion and a can of Irn Bru that makes a cameo appearance in the minibar (something I would like to see at more hotels).
Wining and dining
I have dinner in the hotel’s Traders restaurant, and after dithering between lighter options like salads and the heavier end of the scale with steak or fish and chips, I settle on a happy medium of a light and fragrant Goan chicken curry with rice, springy naan bread and raita flecked with pomegranate seeds from the “home comforts” section of the menu. I follow this with an Eton Mess sundae with dollops of clotted cream and fragments of meringue contrasting in taste, texture and colour with the bright sharpness of jam and strawberries. Breakfast the next day sees me pursue my tried-and-tested strategy of at least one trip to the buffet, starting with fruit and cereal with the inevitable move to fry-up classics like black pudding. You can also get Starbucks coffee, and I imagine myself in a parallel universe strolling over to the airport terminal, cappuccino in one hand and passport in the other, ready to catch a flight.
Worth getting out of bed for
Glasgow Airport recently reported record passenger numbers and serves destinations including a growing list in Europe as well many long-hauls such as Dubai, Las Vegas, New York and Toronto. Looking out my credit card and spontaneously booking a ticket to somewhere glamorous is therefore something I have to go to great lengths to talk myself out of, particularly as the lobby houses both a handy departures screen and computer where you can check in to your flight. However, and especially with the hotel near the M8, there are many excellent destinations much quicker and easier reach, such as central Glasgow, the West End and shopping centre/leisure complex at Braehead, as well as Loch Lomond and beyond if you want to escape the hustle and bustle. The hotel is also a handy place to stay after seeing a show at the SSE Hydro, just 15 minutes away, meaning you don’t have to rush to catch the last train.
Budget or boutique?
A good balance between the two with welcome boutique touches such as Seaweed Therapy toiletries.
The airport parking is a bonus, with the hotel offering a Park, Stay and Go deal (see below). This meant that after breakfast I could head to the terminal to collect a friend arriving from an enviable trip to sunnier climes.
A hotel a mere hop, skip and a jump away from global destinations, I am a convert to the option of a leisurely stroll to the terminal after a good night’s sleep rather than a bleary-eyed, panic-stricken dash.
Rooms start from £79 for bed and breakfast, see website for current details. Park, Stay and Go 15 days from £115, including one night’s stay and up to 15 nights’ parking. One night’s stay and four days’ parking from £70.
Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport, Abbotsinch, Paisley, Glasgow PA3 2TE (0871 9429031, www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/glasgow)