An aparthotel right in the heart of the city, Native combines original Edwardian features with a great location
Long before low-cost air fares extinguished the romance of transatlantic travel, there was the Anchor Line. Born from the burgeoning shipbuilding industry on the River Clyde in the late 19th century and buoyed by a growing demand for adventurous travel in the early 1900s, the shipping company established a passenger service between Glasgow and New York.
From its Art Deco headquarters on St Vincent Place, the company rode the waves in a golden age of travel. Following a multi-million-pound renovation, the building was reopened last year as an aparthotel with an enviable location just yards from George Square. It was converted into 64 contemporary apartments, allowing guests the feel of a hotel in more relaxed surroundings. The first venture of aparthotel firm Native outside London, the building features studio apartments and penthouses with panoramic views over the city. The rooms retain many of the original Edwardian features, including glazed tiles, terrazzo flooring, timber wall-panelling and cavernous fireplaces.
Budget or boutique?
It’s a serviced apartment not a hotel room, but there’s a 24-hour concierge service and a restaurant downstairs for those who don’t fancy making their own meals while away from home. The location makes it an excellent base to explore the restaurants and bars in the city centre and nearby Merchant City. It’s also handy for both Queen Street and Central Station for those who want to leave the car behind.
Wining and dining
The nautical theme continues in the Anchor Line Bar and Restaurant where advertising posters from the ocean liner heyday of the 1920s hang on the walls. We opted for a variation on surf and turf – I had the steak, while my partner ordered oysters followed by risotto. There was a good wine list as well as a selection of impressively made cocktails which would not have looked out of place had we been travelling in the first-class cabin of a cruise liner.
Our apartment was large and modern with a sitting room looking out over St Vincent Place. There was a small kitchen equipped well enough for the preparing of snacks but perhaps not for throwing a dinner party. In the bedroom, a huge vault, complete with heavy steel handle, had been cleverly converted into a walk-in wardrobe.
Worth getting out of bed for
The main selling point of Native Glasgow is its location right in the heart of the city – a great base for those who want to explore the nearby Gallery of Modern Art or the Mackintosh-designed Willow Tea Rooms. As a native Glaswegian returning from his adopted home on the east coast, I entertained myself with some rather more lowbrow pursuits: shopping on Buchanan Street followed by drinks in the Merchant City and then a gig at the fantastic SWG3, a converted galvanizers’ yard in the hipster hangout of Finnieston. Native Glasgow guests in need of a big breakfast after a night on the town can get it at the Anchor Line.
This is an aparthotel so there’s no overpriced mini bar like those in more upmarket hotels nor is there room service or the facilities you would usually associate with five-star luxury, such as spas and swimming pools. Otherwise things aren’t too different from a typical hotel stay – there was a selection of teas and coffees which we enjoyed with the beautifully made doughnuts left for us and there are toiletries provided in the bathroom.
An aparthotel won’t be for everyone, especially those who enjoy the luxuries that come with staying in a good hotel, but Native Glasgow provides a great base for exploring Scotland’s largest city. The penthouse offers stunning views across the rooftops which you won’t have to share with other guests.
Prices at Native Glasgow start from £95 per room per night. Native Glasgow, St Vincent Place (+44 (0) 20 7313 3886, https://www.nativeplaces.com/property/native-glasgow/)