Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel voted Scotland’s best

THE hotel from where John Logie Baird transmitted the first long-distance television pictures last night received the Scottish hospitality industry’s top ­honour.
The interior of Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel. Picture: ContributedThe interior of Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel. Picture: Contributed
The interior of Glasgow's Grand Central Hotel. Picture: Contributed

Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, which towers over Central Station, was named as hotel of the year, three years after re-opening following a £20 million overhaul.

Built 130 years ago, the Robert Rowand Anderson-designed building hosted Logie Baird’s pioneering transmission in 1927, while the adjacent station is now one of the busiest outside London and used by 25 million people a year.

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Other visitors have included Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and Frank Sinatra. The hotel also won the events hotel award.

Gary McLean Quin, managing director of the Hospitality Research Organisation and chairman of Scottish Hotel Awards’ judges, said: “There were again many strong contenders for Scottish hotel of the year, but the Grand Central stood out because of its all-round performance, passionate leadership, staff management and wise future development. It was great to see the old building reopen a few years ago and its plans are marvellous for Glasgow.”

The award follows general manager Laurie Nicol having being named manager of the year at last year’s event.

In other honours presented at a gold-themed dinner in Glasgow to mark the awards’ tenth anniversary, Loch Melfort Hotel owners Calum and Rachel Ross were named as hoteliers of the year for their establishment at Arduaine, near Oban.

The manager of the year title went to Bill Burnett of the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, while rising star hotelier of the year was Jody Marshall, of Ballathie Country House Hotel, at Kinclaven, near Perth.

The country house hotel award was presented to Laurence and Katie Mackay for Tiroran House on Mull, and the small country house hotel award went to the Pierhouse Hotel at Port Appin in Argyll.

Scotsman Magazine cookery writer Lady Claire Macdonald’s Kinloch Lodge, at Sleat on Skye, was voted most romantic hotel, while island hotel of the year was awarded to Anne Gracie and Ken Gunn’s nearby Toravaig House Hotel.

In the food and chef categories, Michael Simpson of Culloden House, near Inverness, was chef of the year, and the chefs’ team award went to Raemoir House Hotel, at Banchory in Aberdeenshire. Hadrian’s at The Balmoral in Edinburgh was restaurant of the year.

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The new hotel award went to Tune Hotel in Edinburgh, the Malaysian chain’s first UK branch outside London, whose “limited service concept” involves extra charges for everything from towels to televisions and wi-fi.

Among a series of awards for Arran, parts of which were left without power for a week after a blizzard last month, the island was named as destination of the year.

The Douglas Hotel at Brodick received the boutique hotel of the year award, while the Glenisle Hotel in Lamlash won the seaside hotel category.

The winners

Grand Central Hotel (Glasgow) Hotel of the Year

Bill Burnett (Holiday Inn Aberdeen West) Manager of the Year

Calum and Rachel Ross, below (Loch Melfort Hotel at Arduaine near Oban)Hoteliers of the Year

Jody Marshall (Ballathie House, Kinclaven, near Perth) Rising Star Hotelier of the Year

Laurence and Katie Mackay (Tiroran House, Isle of Mull)Country House Hotel

Lady Claire Macdonald (Kinloch Lodge, Sleat on Skye)Most Romantic Hotel

Hadrian’s (The Balmoral, Edinburgh) Restaurant of the Year

Tune Hotel (Edinburgh) New Hotel

Douglas Hotel (Brodick, Arran) Boutique Hotel of the Year

Glenisle Hotel (Lamlash, Arran) Seaside Hotel

One Spa (Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh) Spa Team