Review: Discover Revolver, Glasgow’s newest LGBT-friendly hotel - Scotland on Sunday Travel
What does it mean when a hotel describes itself as radically inclusive and LGBT+ friendly? For Revolver – a buzzy new hotel in Scotland’s Glasgow, which opened its doors in August – it means quite a lot.
On a mission to boost the city’s LGBT scene, the hotel sits slap-bang in the heart of the action, above the popular nightclub Polo Lounge, Glasgow’s biggest gay bar – and everything from the art on the walls to the interior design showcases local LGBT talent.
Aiming to appeal to younger travellers and groups of friends on a budget, as well as solo visitors and couples or families with a bit more cash to splash, it’s part hostel, part plush boutique hotel. So, what’s it like?
Revolver isn’t just aiming to be part of Glasgow’s LGBT scene – it’s gone and positioned itself right in the middle of it, meaning guests are merely a flight of stairs and a few steps away from prime nightlife hotspots.
Set over two floors with four rooms, Polo Lounge (pologlasgow.co.uk), directly below the hotel, is a bit of an institution, hosting different club nights and events all week long, many with free entry pre-11pm and drinks from £1.50.
Next door, drag and cabaret bar Delmonicas (delmonicas.co.uk) offers a slightly more low-key but equally happening scene – there’s karaoke when we visit on a Saturday night and it’s a blast.
Nightlife aside, the hotel is also just a short walk from Glasgow’s main train stations and ideally located to explore the city’s sights, galleries and museums during the day. For example, the Gallery of Modern Art, GoMA, is just a few streets away and well worth a visit, while George Square, Glasgow’s principle civic square, is a short stroll away.
There are plenty of other bars and restaurants within easy reach too. It’s also a great spot if you’re after some retail therapy, with designer and high-street shops nearby, as well as some great vintage stores and charity shops spread across the city.
Famous for its historical architecture, Glasgow is packed with beautiful old buildings, and Revolver breathes new life into the upper floors of Virginia House, a listed property in the Merchant City area.
After an extensive refurb, the resulting vibe is old-school architectural charm meets contemporary cool, with local artists and designers leading the way: Robbie Croker of Glasgow’s Crocker Smith Design helmed the interiors, while works by local up-and-coming queer artist Lewis Quinn feature in the communal areas and bedrooms (our king double has a fun Ab Fab-inspired mural).
Exposed red brick, sumptuous leather seats and dark accents dominate the entryway and lounge/dining area, with neon signs bringing pops of colour and playfulness. Atmospheric enough for date-night drinks or pre-club cocktails with friends, and relaxed enough for settling in with a coffee and your laptop during the day, the team hope Revolver will become a destination for locals and hosted events, as well as guests from further afield.
Décor in the bedrooms is airier and brighter, with leafy plants, pale woods and hints of Scandi cool. Even the dorms are super stylish, with very decent private shower rooms accessed via the corridors. Our en-suite double, meanwhile, is spacious and comfortable, with a roomy bathroom and power shower. Earplugs on the bedside tables are a welcome touch (you are staying above a nightclub, after all!).
Revolver claims to cater for all budgets – a promise it lives up to. There are 88 beds and 40 guest rooms in total, including shared dorm-style rooms (with a choice of either bunkbeds or Japanese-style pods), en-suite doubles, family rooms and serviced apartments, with rates ranging from £25 to £300 per night.
Though not all ready when we visited shortly after opening, there’s also a rooftop terrace, gym, hot tub and sauna, plus treatment rooms offering massages and facials in the works. Guests can also make use of a laundry room, TV and games room, salad and juice bar, alongside menus promising continental breakfasts and street food.
To book, visit revolverhotel.co.uk
Revolver, 62 Virginia St, Glasgow G1 1TX, (0141 260 5001, https://www.revolverhotel.co.uk/)