Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Hotel Indigo Glasgow

25 May 2012 by Mark Caswell
Background Intercontinental Hotels Group’s boutique brand Hotel Indigo debuted in the UK in 2009, with a 64-room property in London’s Paddington district. Since then a second hotel has been added in London’s Tower Hill, along with properties in Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle (due to open in June), and the recently announced Hotel Indigo Cardiff (see online news May 21). Glasgow welcomed the first Hotel Indigo in Scotland last year, with a second opening in Edinburgh in March this year (for a full review of the Edinburgh property, see the July / August 2012 issue of Business Traveller). What’s it like? The hotel is housed within a converted industrial office building, which originally served as the city’s first power station, and the ground floor public areas retain the building’s high ceilings, creating a bright lobby area with a purple backdrop behind the reception desk. Throughout the property there are nods to Glasgow’s heritage, from the paintings of the city’s “greatest heroes” in the restaurant, to large prints of landmark buildings and attractions in the bedroom hallways. Where is it? On the corner of Blythwood Street and Waterloo Street, around ten to 15 minutes’ walk to the city’s Charing Cross and Queen Street mainline rail stations. Room facilities Rooms are split into three colourways – lime green, blue, and pink (at check-in a young girl with her family was very pleased to hear she would be staying in the last of these). Our executive room 515 was of the lime green variety, and featured a patterned feature wall behind the bed, and other design elements matching the colour scheme including bed throw, armchair, cushions, lampshades and a green inset shelving space with the tea and coffee facilities and a set of mirrored drawers. Combined with the dark wood flooring and a floor-to-ceiling print of Glasgow buildings on the hallway wall, the décor felt stylish and contemporary. All guests benefit from free wifi (password available from reception) and a complimentary minibar, the contents of which depend on the room category. In our executive room we received cans of coke and lemonade, two bottles of sparkling water, a packet of ready salted crisps and a caramel wafer biscuit. Superior rooms get wine and beers in addition, while guests in the hotel’s one suite receive spirit miniatures. The minibars are refilled daily. Other amenities included a safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, and a full-height mirror. All bathrooms (including in the suite) have large walk-in showers only, with feature tiles and Aveda toiletries, and a sign advised that bathrobes were “available upon request”. The door to our bathroom had obviously not been aligned properly, as it would not click closed, and so the lock could also not be used. Restaurants and bars Limelight Bar and Grill is located on the ground floor next to the lobby, and is open for breakfast (6.30am to 10.30am Monday to Friday, and 7am to 11am on Saturday and Sunday), lunch (midday to 2.30pm) and dinner (4.30pm to 11pm). The restaurant has been stylishly decorated, with colourful furniture, large semi-circular booths for groups, and walls adorned with paintings of 25 famous Glaswegians, created by 25 up-and-coming local artists. When myself and a guest visited on a Friday evening in early May, the restaurant was busy, with what looked like a (well-behaved) hen party in the bar area, and plenty of couples in the restaurant. Our waiter admitted to us from the offset that it was his first night, and although he was a little green (he was unable to uncork our bottle of wine, so a colleague was pressed into service), he was polite and enthusiastic throughout. Indeed when I enquired about one of the paintings, he returned seconds later with a book detailing all of the works and their creators. The menu changes frequently, but has a Grills section with choices including ribeye steak (£22.95), and the Limelight burger (£11.95), and a mains section which typically includes a couple of fish dishes, a risotto and salad choices. My guest is vegetarian, and on the night we visited there were no suitable main dishes on the a la carte menu which was disappointing. Staff offered to create a salad, but in the end she opted for a risotto dish which was available on the set Market Menu. Desserts include a trio of Limelight dessert pots (again these change regularly but guests can expect choices including sticky toffee pudding and Cranachan) - £5.95 for three pots, or £12 for a rack of six pots. Business and meeting facilities There are no dedicated meeting facilities, which is not unusual for the Hotel Indigo brand. A small business centre with a couple of computers is located behind the reception. Leisure facilities A fitness centre is located on the basement level and is open 24 hours (keycard access), featuring two treadmills, one upright bicycle, one cross-trainer and one multi-gym, plus a set of handheld weights. Verdict A central location, with stylish rooms and public spaces make this a good choice for those looking for a boutique hotel, while still retaining the benefits offered by being part of the IHG portfolio, including earning and redemption within the Priority Club loyalty scheme.

Fact file

How many rooms? 94, with one suite Room highlights The large walk-in shower, free wifi and complimentary minibar Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in mid-June started from £120 for a King Bed Executive room. Contact Hotel Indigo Glasgow, 75 Waterloo Street, Glasgow; tel +44 (0)141 226 7700; hotelindigo.com Mark Caswell
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