Glasgow Hotels: We experience the modern new four-star AC Hotel by Marriott in the city centre

It’s near Queen Street Station and part of the £100m Love Loan city centre development
View from one of the corner rooms at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor Kery PhotosView from one of the corner rooms at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor Kery Photos
View from one of the corner rooms at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor Kery Photos

I fell back in love with Glasgow, while staying at the new four-star AC Marriott.

We were in an eight-floor Superior corner bedroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view along to George Square.

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We watched an elderly person, dressed in buttercup yellow, sitting on a bench, while, metres above them, a seagull perched on top of a verdigris dome. (Presumably the traffic cone on the Duke of Wellington statue was occupied already).

Hazel Bar at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor KeryHazel Bar at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor Kery
Hazel Bar at AC Marriott Glasgow Pic: Viktor Kery

There were Deliveroo courier cyclists fleeing down the slope of West George Street, and revellers in their finery, freshly decanted from the nearby station and teetering into town.

The other side of our room was a few metres from the rooftop of Glasgow City Chambers. What a building. From up here, it reminded me of the New York Public Library, but maybe that’s only because I recently revisited the original Ghostbusters.

It was all happening in the vibrant centre, but we couldn’t hear a peep.

Our bedroom was the perfect canvas for this busy chaos, all decorated in pristine and contemporary white, as befits AC Marriott’s portfolio of European-style timeless hotels.

Hotel exterior Pic: Viktor KeryHotel exterior Pic: Viktor Kery
Hotel exterior Pic: Viktor Kery

While my own flat is full of clutter, I enjoy a bit of minimalism on a mini break. The design might be pared back, but there is comfort, too.

Our king-sized bed is just the right level of firmness, Goldilocks-style, and there’s a huge smart telly at the end, perfectly positioned so you don’t get a crick in your neck while watching Netflix.

As part of the open wardrobe area, they’ve got tea-making facilities and a Nespresso machine, as well as Borders biscuits and a gratis tartan-wrapped Iron Brew and Popping Candy chocolate bar (as yucky as it sounds, sadly).

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No bath, but we had a smart white-tiled walk-in shower, with Fresh Citrus products from the Greek brand, Korres, and they supply white robes and slippers.

We’re in the more contemporary part of the building, which has filled a gap site on the corner of George and John Street. The suites, as well as the compact gym, are situated in historic properties that were once an Inland Revenue building as well as the city’s Parish Halls, where Soho House were due to open a club before their plans were shelved.

You’ll find the hotel’s open plan but zoned public spaces on the ground level of the modern building. They wrap around the reception area, with its wire sculptures of figures and, rather usefully, a mini shop that’s stocked with ice-cream, bottles of Prosecco, Crossbill gin, fancy popcorn and other weekend essentials.

This area extends into lounges, which are hung with abstract paintings and feature low-slung and velvety sofas and pouffes.

Underneath a hanging plant canopy, you’ll find workspace, the AC Library, and this flows round into a huge dining space, which includes their all-day 100 cover restaurant and bar, Hazel. It’s named after the tree that - along with the fish, bird and bell - is in Glasgow’s crest, and they’ve paid tribute with a faux tree as the focal point of the room.

The previous evening, we’d had steak and chips, and cod with kohlrabi and chicken wings here. That’s the fish and the bird, but no bell, unless you count their cocktails, which include the Dear Green Place with Crossbill Gin, basil, lime and orange, and their Rhubarb Ripple, with Ketel One Vodka, rhubarb, raspberry and ginger.

After that, we took it relatively easy at breakfast, which is also served in Hazel.

I started with the yoghurt, muesli and fresh fruit on the buffet, before moving onto pastries and the Continental selection of cheese and meat. Blue Murder for brekkie? Why not? He thought about going for something on their short al la carte, which includes toasted muffin, poached eggs and Hollandaise, but ended up settling for hot buffet offerings, including scrambled egg and sausages.

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After that, we took one last look at Glasgow from our upper floor observation point, before getting outside.

You’re in a perfect location, especially for the shops and Merchant City’s cafes and bars.

I took my other half slightly further afield, to The Barras, for the first time ever - I know, he’s never lived - and we had coffee at Us V Them. If it’d been later in the day, I might’ve stopped by one of my favourite food pitstops, Ho Lee Fook.

We felt that we’d enjoyed Glasgow from two perspectives - up high, and at street level. I’m smitten with both.

AC Hotel by Marriott Glasgow, 266 George Street, Glasgow (0141 726 0340, www.marriott.com. Rooms start from £116 per night.

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