At the far end of the popular shopping thoroughfare Argyll Street, the Marriott is a five-minute walk to the financial district, Central Station and all manner of shops, restaurants and attractions. A short walk in the opposite direction through some grim urban real estate will take you to the SECC and riverfront museums. Despite its location next to the Kingston Bridge, all rooms are triple-glazed and outside noise is kept to a minimum. Anderston low level train station is also right on its front door.
Complete with super comfy beds, a collection of pillow choices and noise-proof rooms, the Marriott doesn’t mess around when giving you a good night’s sleep. With ten standard floors and two executive floors, the Marriott offers 302 rooms fitted with laptop safes, pay movies, ironing boards and windows that actually open (not as common as it sounds!). The bathrooms gleam and sparkle, the perfect advert for floor cleaner and elbow grease. I’d pick one of the front rooms as they are sunnier – on the rare days that the notoriously shy Glasgow sun actually shines…
Without a shadow of a doubt, the reception is the most relaxing and welcoming in the city. Mood music pipes above dozens of cosy gold and red-checked armchairs – Brazilian jazz on my visit – and people watching can become a serious activity. There are plenty of circular mirrors for businessmen to correct their ties too. On the executive floors, the lounge is a welcoming post-office sanctuary and offers unlimited beers and aperitifs between 5 and 8pm.
Eating and drinking
Chefs at the Source Grill on the ground floor wear crisp, white toques, a sign of their professional demeanour and wicked way with a Aberdeenshire steak or morning haggis. The neighbouring Chats bar shows Sky Sports and features a fireplace snug, showcasing the ‘Glasgow Wall’ – a photo gallery of the city’s good, great and ‘gallus’.
Full leisure facilities are onsite including an 18-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and dance hall. Although the leisure club is open to non-guest members, it rarely gets busy and there are three treatment rooms, which offer a variety of beauty therapies including face-mapping (whatever that is). There is also a business centre and a gift shop selling Nessie t-shirts and cliché Highland cow postcards.
The long serving staff know the city inside out and are trained to exceptionally high international standards. Charlie, the head concierge, has been with the team for more than 22 years.
Who stays there
Popular with American travellers – because of the Marriott’s strong US-brand identity – the hotel caters to a mix of corporate and leisure guests.
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Live entertainment
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Executive lounge
- Welcoming reception
- The building's drab exterior