Kelvinside is a strong contender for the most exclusive district in Glasgow’s fashionable west end. Its rows of Victorian tenements and town houses may resemble other trendy parts of town, but the examples around Great Western Road can be three times the size of anything in Hyndland.
One of the finest streets is the tree-lined Devonshire Gardens, an ornate terrace dating from the 1870s. Five of its B-listed town houses now form Hotel Du Vin, one of the best-known destinations in the city. Built during Glasgow’s late 19th century commercial peak, when it was considered the second city of the British Empire, each house features double-height ceilings, ornate plasterwork and huge floor-to-ceiling sash windows. The first house was converted into a hotel in 1986 and gradually neighbouring properties were bought up and added to the development.
The hotel now has 49 bedrooms and suites as well as a bistro, bar, cigar shack and whisky snug. Its Bistro restaurant is considered as providing one of the best dining experiences in town.
Wining and dining
Before we sat down to dinner, my partner and I were treated to one of the hotel’s renowned wine tasting sessions. One of the in-house sommeliers guided us through a 45-minute experience, sampling five red and five white wines from the old and new worlds. This was a relaxed and informative activity that’s not restricted to wine buffs – you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy a glass of the fabulous Nielson Pinot Noir 2013.
If you’re feeling particularly flush, the hotel also stocks select vintages worth as much as £3,000 per bottle. But most guests prefer something a little cheaper.
The Bistro, headed up by chef Barry Duff, is at the heart of the hotel and prides itself on using only fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce. The impressive dining room has a stylish, modern feel but still retains grand Victorian period features too.
With food this good in the hotel, there’s little reason to eat elsewhere. But Byres Road and its considerable amenities are less than 10 minutes’ walk away if you fancy a drink or bite elsewhere. The city centre can be reached in 10 minutes via taxi.
We stayed in the luxurious Vettriano Suite – one of the hotel’s grandest rooms. It includes a king-sized bed, spacious lounge area and, best of all, a free-standing roll-top bath in front of a grand fireplace. Downstairs is a bathroom level with walk-in twin monsoon power showers. It’s not difficult to understand why the suite is a favourite with many of the celebrities who frequent Hotel Du Vin. Free wi-fi, complimentary drinks and helpful staff add to the feeling of being well cared for.
Worth getting out of bed for
Glasgow’s west end is home to some of Scotland’s leading cultural destinations. At Hotel Du Vin you’re only a short drive or leisurely walk from Kelvingrove Museum, which features famed works by everyone from Dali to the Scottish Colourists, and the lesser-known but still impressive Hunterian Museum. Set within the University of Glasgow, the Hunterian offers a peerless collection of Roman artefacts discovered across central Scotland. If that wasn’t enough, the Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum, housing the city’s unique transport collection, is also close by. Further afield, Glasgow is surprisingly near to both Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. A stay at Hotel Du Vin can be the base for a short city break or for exploring the hills and glens of the west coast.
Budget or boutique?
This is one of the finest city hotels in Scotland. It’s worth paying that bit extra for what is sure to be a memorable break.
Our room included a Nespresso machine, perfect for an early-morning pick-me-up, as well complimentary drinks and nibbles.
Hotel Du Vin is an urban hotel that feels like it could be in the heart of the countryside. A relaxing environment with luxurious flourishes.
• Prices start from £145 per night bed and breakfast for two adults; special offers are available online. Visit www.hotelduvin.com/locations/glasgow/ or call 0141-378 0385