Grand Central Hotel

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Address: 99 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SF, Scotland

Star rating:
4 star hotel


Glasgow’s refurbished city centre four-star hotel is an iconic landmark of Hollywood history.

I love the fact that Roy Rodgers once rode a horse up the stairs of the Grand Central Hotel back in the building’s 1950s heyday. Whether the rumour is true or not, this pioneering hotel became a nostalgic part of Glasgow during its mid-century boom years and has a legacy rich in star-pulling power. Winston Churchill, JFK, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Laurel and Hardy and even the Queen all came to stay.

Originally designed by Scottish architect Robert Rowand Anderson but having undergone a £20 million refurbishment by Principal Hayley, the hotel has returned to its sophisticated and elegant roots. Inside, I particularly love the wide corridors and stairs: built in the Queen Anne style, it was designed to create enough space for two fat ladies in their flamboyant finery and frilly dresses to pass each other without getting stuck.

Leisure facilities
Value for money
Public areas


Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the most central hotel in the city. Perched like a luxurious bird’s nest on top of the bustling Central Station, the hotel overlooks the commuters as they arrive and depart and is perfect for access to anywhere in Scotland. A large taxi rank sits outside reception and there is also a handy travel centre in the station concourse for any other transport needs. Could you really ask for more?


Along arched corridors, which wrap around Central Station like a snug duvet, there are nearly 200 different hotel rooms suitable for all tastes and sizes. Purple thistle carpets, king-size beds, feature wallpapers and silver-twist stand-alone lamps showcase a considered design aesthetic of understated luxury. I love the fact that the ceilings were extended to twice their recent size to fit in with the original style of the building. Although I haven’t checked the stats, they very well could be the most airy and lofty rooms in the city.

Executive rooms are coloured in subtle browns and greys and standard doubles are a mix of red and orange pastels. Back in the corridors, iconic black and white framed photos of the hotel’s former glory years offer a fascinating insight into the starstruck days gone by. While some rooms look into the station directly, others have vistas across the glass roof of the train platforms.

Public areas

As the hotel is still undergoing renovation, many of the public areas are yet to be completed. The centre-point of the renovated staircase is a 25 metre tall waterfall chandeliers – a definite talking point on the way to and from breakfast in the morning.

Eating and drinking

The flagship restaurant Tempus and ground floor delicatessen were both undergoing substantial refits during my last visit and will be opening early in 2011. On the plus side, Champagne Central, a sophisticated and seductive drinking saloon is open for business, and will shortly become one of the most talked about drinking spots in the city. Underneath a renovated cupola, with state-of-the-art mood lighting and chandeliers, the bar has been designed around a stunning marble floor and – once again – looks directly onto the station’s main concourse. If I came here too often for a glass of bubbly, I’d be in danger of missing nearly every train journey home.


Too early to tell, but if it’s anything like the hotel’s sister property in Edinburgh, The George, it’ll be five-star service all the way.

Who stays there

Couples seeking a romantic and sophisticated city break, executives with a taste for Champagne and seasoned travellers looking for nostalgic nights out.


  • Business Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service

Recommended for

  • Business travellers
  • Couples
  • Honeymooners
  • Mature travellers
  • Seasoned travellers
  • Celebrity spotting
  • Shopping
  • Special occasions
  • Trendiness
  • Design and architecture

Pros & Cons

  • Champagne bar
  • History and heritage
  • A work in progress
Book now (price from £57.00)