Travel: Motel One, Glasgow

Motel One, Glasgow, Scotland's biggest hotel opens its doors
Motel One, Glasgow, Scotland's biggest hotel opens its doors
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Scotland on Sunday’s Do Not Disturb visits Glasgow’s biggest new hotel

For a building that is billing itself as Scotland’s biggest hotel, cost over £20 million and has nearly 400 rooms, the new Motel One in Glasgow is surprisingly unassuming from the outside.



A stone’s throw from Glasgow Central station, adjoining the bridge most famous for providing the roof for The Arches nigthclub, the latest offering from the European chain leaves its design bells and whistles for interiors.

With Glasgow’s gig scene enhanced since the opening of the Hydro, this new hotel in the city centre will be welcome for those who want to make an evening of it or can’t face a late train home.

Budget or boutique?

Motel One, which has hotels across mainland Europe and the UK, including in Edinburgh, describes itself as “budget designer” and the experience really does feel like a mix of the budget and the boutique.

The prices are on the budget side if booked far enough in advance, with prices starting from £69, not including breakfast. Even at short notice, the price tends to only rise as far as about £80, with the chain clearly targeting those who consider some of the city’s better known hotels (like the imposing Hilton and Marriott buildings down the road) a little out of their price range.

Room service

The Queen room I stayed in wasn’t the biggest, but nor did it have the claustrophobic feel that some budget hotels consider a fair trade for a cheaper night.

As is to be expected with a hotel that only opened its doors in early September, there was a freshness about the room, with a queen-sized bed sitting alongside sharp furnishings that were complemented by adjustable lamp-lighting.

Befitting a modern hotel, there was plenty of socket space for phones and other gadgets (not something that can be taken for granted with older hotels) and lightning-fast wifi from the lobby to the top floor.

Wining and dining

The bar and restaurant area of the Motel One is good for a quick drink or even a coffee surrounded by the Highland-inspired décor of the spacious ground floor.

Dining isn’t really a priority for the chain though, and we had to venture out into Glasgow for something more substantial for an evening meal.

The bar does snacks like sandwiches, and there is a continental breakfast option available for an extra £9.50, served until 11am on weekends.

Breads, cereals, yoghurts and cold meats were on offer, and of a high standard, although some may consider the price a little steep considering the lack of cooked breakfast options, especially after an evening spent overindulging in Glasgow.

Worth getting out of bed for

There’s always plenty going on in Glasgow city centre, especially at weekends, with all types of musical tastes catered for at the city’s many venues.

For those who like a bit of spectacle, the aforementioned SSE Hydro is Scotland’s biggest indoor arena, and the fourth busiest in the world.

Currently performing at the 13,000 capacity venue is a run by the country’s favourite comedian Kevin Bridges, and forthcoming highlights include concerts by Frankie Valli, Travis and David Byrne.

When over that side of Argyle Street, it’s always worth a bar crawl or a spot of food in Finnieston, the up-and-coming district that has seen an explosion in popularity since the Hydro opened.

Little extras

The smart TV means the hotel offers a little more than the classic Freeview option favoured by most chains, opening up the use of apps like iPlayer, Netflix, and Spotify to guests.

Guestbook comments

For a one or two-night stay, the rooms and the budget pricing could quickly see Motel One become one of the busiest hotels in Glasgow.

A well-designed, well-lit room makes you forget the budget aspect, and feels like a genuine top drawer hotel experience for a fraction of the outlay.

Ross McCafferty

Prices at Motel One start at £69. More details at 78-82 Oswald Street, Glasgow G1 4PL, 0141-468 0450