Scotland on Sunday’s Do Not Disturb
Finnieston, at the west end of Glasgow’s Argyle Street, has gone through quite a transformation. Gone are the traditional pubs, tech shops, newsagents and hair salons, replaced by restaurants, cocktail bars and wholefood grocers.
It is this regeneration that led the Radisson hotel group to open here at the end of April. A short walk from the Finnieston strip, the SECC and Hydro are also nearby.
Described as an upscale, select service hotel brand that presents a playful twist on the conventional, the Radisson Red is definitely a break from the norm and is home to Glasgow’s first sky bar, an events and games room, state-of-the-art gym and Baxter, the hotel puppy.
Budget or boutique?
With standard rooms starting at £99 per night, the Radisson Red falls somewhere in between. The 174-room hotel offers guests a central, fun and funky place to stay when visiting Glasgow, but without a high-end price tag, though if you treat yourself, a corner suite like ours offers panoramic views of the Clyde and iconic Finnieston Crane.
All the walls in the public spaces and guest rooms have been brought to life by Glasgow comic book artist Frank Quitely, and the modern furnishings in the rooms give a contemporary, minimal feel. Our corner studio had a king-sized bed complete with crisp white linen, dining table with modern chairs and a spacious and colourful en-suite (all rooms feature showers, not baths), which had walk-in shower with the Finnieston Crane depicted in the white and red tiles.
But it is the full length windows that really caught the eye as the views of the Clyde, The Clyde Arc (squinty bridge) and Finnieston Crane were unparalleled, especially at sunset.
Also available is a studio suite – bigger than some one-bedroom flats – with king-sized bedroom, en-suite, guest loo, kitchen area, living room and pool table.
Wining and dining
For a laid-back meal, guests can head to the hotel’s OUIBar + KTCHN, which is located on the ground floor and has a fun, diner feel thanks to its bold black and white flooring, bright red chairs, oversized lighting and lightbox menu. Dishes on the menu range from superfood salads, sharing deli platters and soup to burgers (including a vegan option), steak pie and Inverlussa mussels.
The OUIBar has a snug area with a pool table where solo travellers are encouraged to challenge staff to a game.
But it’s the Red Sky Bar which attracts the lion’s share of attention. With its striking decor featuring red bar stools, gold accents and contemporary lighting, it offers panoramic views of the city from the full length windows and outdoor terrace.
Worth getting out of bed for
Although the hotel will no doubt be popular for event-goers to the SECC or Hydro, another attraction is its proximity to Finnieston restaurants and bars, including the celebrated Six by Nico, acclaimed burger joint El Perro Negro, and the institution that is Lebowskis.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Riverside Museum are all within walking distance.
An ideal base from which to explore the city and only minutes away from some of the best music venues in Scotland.
With a gym that creates energy as you burn it, a huge selfie screen in the lobby (which also has local guide and events screens), self-check in stations and a dedicated app (for enquiries, checking in and out and viewing the restaurant menu), the Radisson Red is an extremely modern and funky hotel but it is not without the traditional touches, such as in-room (Teapigs) tea, coffee and complimentary Tunnocks Teacakes. Toiletries are a colourful range from H2K of Harrogate, and there are robes, slippers and a hair-dryer. As with the rest of the hotel, the room had up-to-date technology including a smart TV with mirroring services for Android and Apple.
The warm welcome of Baxter, the hotel’s Boston Terrier puppy, reminds visitors that the hotel is extremely dog-friendly.
Studio rooms are from £99 per night and corner suites are from £149 per night. Radisson Red, 25 Tunnel St, Glasgow G3 8HL, Tel: 0141 471 1700, www.radissonred.com/glasgow