Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Radisson SAS Glasgow

26 Jan 2009 by Sara Turner
WHAT'S IT LIKE? Glasgow was designated the UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999 and the Radisson SAS certainly reflects the city’s creative flair. Opened in 2002, the hotel’s façade is a huge, angled, overhanging wall of copper tiles. The lobby is an open-plan atrium with floor-to-ceiling windows and stairs leading to a breakout area for events. When I checked in at the stand-alone desks, the Atrium Bar and lobby area were buzzing thanks to an event taking place upstairs. WHERE IS IT? The hotel is opposite Glasgow Central station in the financial quarter. You can walk to the centre of town and Merchant City in five minutes. It’s 20 minutes’ drive from the airport. ROOM FACILITIES As with most Radisson SAS hotels, the room décor is themed and in this case the colour schemes and interior design are labelled Nordic, City and Modern. All rooms have free wifi internet access and a “power tower”, which is a single unit housing a range of gadgets including a TV, kettle, iron and ironing board, DVD player, safe and hairdryer. The corner suites are big open-plan rooms, with only a solid screen separating the living area from the bedroom. Business Class rooms also have an espresso machine, turn-down service and breakfast included. My Business room was an odd shape and the bed was positioned at a 45-degree angle to the door. The bathroom had a separate bath and shower, heated floor and Anne Sémonin toiletries, as well as cotton pads, soap, hand cream and bath salts. Bathrobes and slippers were in the wardrobe. I found only one negative point with the hotel – the lifts were infuriating. There were three glass lifts and you had to choose your floor before you got in, as there were no buttons inside. This meant that if two people selected their floor at the same time as a lift arrived, you did not know who it was for. I got in three times not knowing where I would end up, and had to get out to reselect my floor. RESTAURANTS AND BARS The Atrium Bar in the lobby is open to the public until midnight and then it is for guests-only. The Collage Bar is attached to the restaurant of the same name. The eatery features work by Sir Peter Blake – including his Alphabet, the first time it has been shown outside a museum – and poems by Roger McGough on the tablecloths. The service was excellent when I ate dinner here and the atmosphere lively. In fact, it is so popular that I heard one diner being told the restaurant was fully booked but he was welcome to sit in the hotel’s other restaurant and still order from Collage’s menu. Starters ranged from pea and mint soup (£5.50) to seared king scallops (£13). I had crab and chilli linguini, which was very generous in size for a starter and had a real kick. There were ten main courses to choose from and I opted for the salmon fillet, leek and mussel nage with sautéed mushrooms (£15.50). Breakfast is served in TaPaell’Ya, the hotel’s Spanish restaurant, and I was served coffee and toast at the table before helping myself to the fantastic buffet, with eggs made to order and proper bacon (not the usual hotel fare). An à la carte menu is also available. BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The first floor has 14 meeting rooms with large breakout areas. The main room splits into three sections and seats 800 people theatre-style or 500 for dinner. Wireless internet access is free throughout the hotel. LEISURE FACILITIES There is an LA Fitness gym next door to the hotel which can be accessed through a series of internal doors or through the gym’s main entrance around the corner. If you book to use it at least three days before you arrive, you can do so for free. VERDICT The good location, free wireless internet access and food and beverage offerings make it a great place for both the individual traveller and conference groups.

Fact file

HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 250, including 20 Business Class rooms, 12 Junior suites, three Corner suites and the Apartment. ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The desk area was very comfortable for working. The “power tower” is handy and keeps the room feeling clean and spacious. PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from £115 for a Standard guest room. CONTACT Radisson SAS Hotel Glasgow, 301 Argyle Street; tel + 44 (0)141 204 3333;

Felicity Cousins

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