Scotland on Sunday Travel Wishlist - Restoring Glasgow's golden age - voco Grand Central, Glasgow

Built in the 19th-century as a Great British Railway hotel attached to Glasgow Central Station, the Iandmark Grand Central Hotel has been refurbished and is relaunching as Scotland’s first voco branded hotel.

The landmark Central Station hotel in Glasgow city centre has been relaunched as voco Grand Central.

Part of the IHG Hotels Resorts group, there are five other voco hotels in the UK with another one due to open in Edinburgh’s Haymarket this year. Voco Grand Central is closed due to Covid now, but taking bookings for summer and a book now pay later offer means no cancellation fee or deposit, and full cancellations up to three days before a stay

Part of the IHG Hotels Resorts group, there are five other voco hotels in the UK with another one due to open in Edinburgh’s Haymarket this year. Voco Grand Central is closed due to Covid now, but taking bookings for summer and a book now, pay later offer means no cancellation fee or deposit, and full cancellations up to three days before a stay.

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A multi-million-pound refurbishment has seen the hotel’s historic spaces, including the Champagne Central bar, restaurant, ballroom, meeting and events areas, as well as the 200 plus rooms, given a stylish makeover.

A contemporary palette of greys and taupe with pops of teal, peach and mustard sets off the classic proportions of the grand interior with its stylish finishes of wooden panelling, parquet flooring, marble and chandeliers.

New artwork includes a gallery wall of portraits of famous guests - including John F Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Vivian Leigh, John Lennon and Billy Connolly - opposite the central staircase with its cascading red glass light installation.

Besides the well known visitors, generations of locals and international travellers have enjoyed a drink, meal, dance or stay in the much-loved building and with this makeover, the scene is set for their return.

Space is not an issue here - it can entertain up to 400 and is looking forward to doing so - in the meantime, socialising while social distancing is a breeze.

Champagne Central for drinks and light bites amid the Victorian splendour of the refurbished interiors.

The hotel implements the IHG Clean Promise which includes sanitiser stations, social distance floor markers, restrictions on elevator use, grab-and-go food options, fewer in-room furnishings, and amenity cleaning kits and personal sanitisers are available. Up to two hours after checking-in guests can let the hotel know if their room does not meet the Clean Promise and it will be remedied.

Budget or boutique?

As the name says, it’s grand, with scaled up glamour, but aims to give a personal experience at accessible prices.

Room Service

A King Premium Deluxe Room, one of more than 200 that include cosy singles, doubles, suites with separate living areas and modern loft rooms.

More than 200 rooms include cosy singles, doubles, suites with separate living areas and modern loft rooms with marble bathrooms. Green credentials are ticked with energy-saving conservation double glazing to minimise traffic noise, water saving aerated showers, bedding made from 100 percent recycled materials, glass water bottles and large-size toiletries in bathrooms.

Wining and Dining

On reopening Voco will welcome residents and non-residents for lunch, afternoon tea, snacks and dinner. Breakfast is à la carte and an enhanced buffet breakfast served at table.

Tempus Restaurant and Bar, newly decked out in rich plums and aubergine, will focus on serving up Scottish seasonal produce, with pre-dinner cocktails and drinks at the bar.

A contemporary palette of greys, pinks, blues and mustards complements the traditional proportions of the building.

Meanwhile Champagne Central focuses on small plates, sharing boards and afternoon tea with a pop, from a glass of Champagne. Overlooking the station concourse, the bar with its marble columns and floor and sparkling globe chandelier dangling below a light-filled dome, harks back to the golden age of travel.

The room service menu includes soup, sandwiches, vegetable risotto, burgers, haddock and chips and pizza, 24/7.

Worth Getting Out of Bed For

In the centre of the city, voco is your launch pad to explore. Nearby is the Modern Art Gallery, the bars restaurant, the boutiques of the Merchant City’s old market buildings and warehouses and shops of Buchanan Street. Take a walk along the revamped riverfront, explore the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Museum, or trawl the vintage treasure troves of the East End and Byres Road.

Little Extras

Homemade tablet is a sweet welcoming touch.

Portraits of celebrity guests including from Mick Jagger to Churchill and Billy Connolly, are displayed on a gallery wall over the staircase.

Guestbook Comments

The name voco, originating from Latin, means to invite or call together, and as soon as restrictions ease, this landmark hotel intends to do just that.

Prices

The rate for a standard double room starts from £110.

Address, voco Grand Central Glasgow, 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SF, (0141 221 3388 www. grandcentral.vocohotels.com)

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Clean lines in one of the en-suite bathrooms.
Afternoon tea with is popular with overnight guests and those dropping in to the city centre hotel.
Social distancing is easily managed thanks to the grand proportions of the hotel interiors.