The Glasgow Grand Central Hotel is an award winning city icon and a building with great heritage and character. Part of the historic Glasgow Central railway station this hotel is perfectly located for guests to immerse themselves in the hub and buzz of the city. Not only does the property make for a perfect city break base but it is also a popular venue choice for award ceremonies, business conferences and weddings too. The Grand Central Hotel is part of the Principal Hotel portfolio whose collection comprises of city-centre hotels all based in landmark buildings with stunning (and original) design, character and quirks – you can read about the Principal Edinburgh here.
This is a perfect example of 24 hours in a city and I have to say that this was the perfect choice hotel for such an occasion. We arrived into Glasgow at Queen Street station and chose to walk to the hotel – which took less than 10 minutes.
Upon approaching the building you’d be forgiven for thinking that Central Station and the hotel are one in the same and that neither are real. It had the feel of a film set. The sheer size of the building and the frontage was very impressive and the Principal Hotel Group certainly lived up to its brand values by adding this site of great heritage and character to its collection.
The spacious reception is stylish without being over the top and acknowledges its railway history with an array of pictures and artefacts throughout the space.
A friendly local lad carried out our check-in. I do prefer a personal check-in to an automated tech one, and was quick, pleasant and very informative. Thumbs up!
We were staying in a Superior room that was located on the fifth floor. We were shown to the lift which was obviously very convenient, however we chose to use the stairs after our first visit to the room, and I recommend that you do so too, not because there is anything wrong with the lift but more so because the wide staircase in so impressive and is home to a giant chandelier which hangs 22.5m in height. A real feature of the hotel – from both aesthetic and an engineering point of view.
The corridors on which the rooms are located seem to go and for miles and miles and because of this the hotel has a very private feel to it. On our floor in alcoves between rooms were small informal meeting / chill out spaces – most of which consisted of easy chairs or sofas and a desk or table. I really liked this touch, especially for business guests.
The room numbers looked like old-fashioned baggage signs or platform signs – again just a subtle nod to the buildings heritage.
Our room was industrial style with everything a guest needs for a city break. I loved the huge floor to ceiling mirror that actually housed the TV behind it. And when I say behind it I don’t mean you had to pull the mirror out to then pull the TV out, you simply turned the TV on via the remote control and the TV screen appeared within the mirror.
The super-king size bed was super comfortable and I couldn’t wait to hide myself away under the plumpest duvet and soft pillows.
The bathroom consisted of a grand walk-in shower with the best taps I have ever seen! See picture below. There wasn’t a bath but this shower was so powerful and relaxing a bath wasn’t needed. The White Company is the bathroom amenity partner and I’m pleased to say that the all important shower cap was also presented. I can’t go anywhere without one!
We chose to eat at The Tempus Restaurant, which is the hotel’s main restaurant. It can also be accessed from the street so is a popular choice amongst both hotel guests and non-residents. The room is very grand with high ceilings and period features. It wasn’t very busy when we were there (it was quite early) so it did feel a little bit cold.
There was a mezzanine style gallery that enhanced the grandeur of the room and evoked sentiments of eras gone by. It’s no longer in use but I could certainly imagine the Lord and Lady of the manor regaling up there.
The menu is simple in its offerings but very tasty and definitely showcases a taste of Scotland. It is a seasonal menu so changes regularly however the menu we chose from presents a good idea of the type of cuisine you can expect here.
For starters I chose the goats cheese cheesecake – this was quite an unusual choice for me as I am not a cheese lover at all, however it was actually the oat crumble base and candied nuts that really sold it to me….and I could always scoop off the cheese?????? No chance I devoured the lot! It was very, very rich but very, very delicious. Simon chose the haggis fritter, which he said, was a good choice.
Upon the recommendation of our waiter, who was extremely knowledgeable and conducted his business in a friendly yet professional manner, I chose the catch of the day which was pan-fried hake served with confit potatoes, creamed leeks and mussel sauce. Simon opted for sirloin steak served with fries and peppercorn sauce.
Dessert had to be the sticky toffee pudding which was very light and a great sized portion so we were both happy about that. Infact I could have even eaten another!
Again the waiter was very helpful with our wine choice and as I was having fish I chose the white Rioja. Simon wasn’t drinking red that night so opted for a couple of St Mungo beers.
The experience was really enjoyable, however it’s not a place I would recommend for quiet, intimate dinners. Based on the night we were there I think the space is more suited to a bigger group to create ambience.
The Champagne Bar
We popped in here for a quick nightcap and the feeling of New York and the anticipation of a flash-mob to appear at any time rang strong. Other than one other small group we were the only people in the bar so it was lacking in atmosphere. I must note that it was a Monday night when we visited.
I do imagine it being quite a cool place to go on a Saturday afternoon after a hard day of shopping. And the waiter informed us that they sell the most champagne in Glasgow so it must be a popular choice.
A great selection of traditional Scottish favourites on the hot buffet including; haggis, black pudding, tattie scones and all the other usual cooked breakfast suspects. A continental breakfast along with a small but perfectly formed selection of pastries (I had three!), fruits, yogurt, cereals (not small boxes but big bowls of granola, muesli and some of the more family favourites). Tea and coffee was served at the table with regular refills offered.
Check-out was at 11am and there was an express option, however the receptionist was quick to do the task for us.
There is a concierge service available to all guests and I hear it is very good. On this occasion we didn’t have a need for this service.
I would definitely recommend this hotel for a comfortable city break and a hotel with character. If you really want to splash out on a Glasgow city break then why not try the Blythswood Hotel – another one of the Principal Hotels in Glasgow. Read our review here.
From £80.75 per night
Address: 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SF
Telephone: 0141 240 3700