Village Hotel Glasgow

126 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Accommodation

Date of travel

May, 2017

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Wife

Reasons for trip

The Place: Glasgow.
The Date: 19th to 20th Century.

Picture the scene; the heavily polluted and grimy River Clyde, the banks chock-full with run down warehousing, docks and shipyards, the skyline punctuated by a lattice-work of giant iron cranes. Huge cargo ships to-ing and fro-ing, smoky tugs and ferries criss-crossing the water, ship workers scurrying about shifting cargo. These workers were Giants of Men.

The commercial heart of Glasgow at Prince’s Dock was an industrious and industrial place to be, with not a lot to commend it to it’s own citizens, let alone to visitors.

As the industry declined, so the scene changed and in the 1980’s much of the docks area was filled in and levelled, airbrushing it from history.
Only a couple of beautifully ornate, red-brick buildings and one giant, central crane survive from the time.

A new parkland area was created here to host the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival, a celebration of all things gardening. Now named Festival Park, it stands adjacent to the newly sparkling, clean waters of the River Clyde and next to Pacific Quay. How things change.

This area is the new hub for technology and creative industries and an example of inner city regeneration. Only seven miles from the airport, the district is superbly placed to attract tourists.
It hosts the SSE Hydro Arena, Glasgow Science Centre, Film City, an Imax screen, Glasgow Viewing Tower and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Also here is the Riverside Transport Museum – European Museum of the Year 2013 and a regular feature in Scotland’s top ten attractions.

All of these are a short walk from each other.

Fast boat rides can be taken along the Clyde, whilst for a gentler day, bring your bike and cycle the traffic free Clyde and Trossach’s cycle-path to Loch Lomond, only twenty miles away.

There are numerous hotels along the banks at this location, all of them grey, dull boxes of no architectural merit, as are the STV and BBC buildings. All of this could have been so much better aesthetically.
However, I digress. So, where to stay on my city break as a first time visitor to the city?

The U.S. owned Village Hotel Club was formed in 1995 and runs 28 hotels throughout the U.K.
There are twenty ‘Legacy Hotels’ and eight ‘Black Box Hotels’, depending on the style and age of the buildings.

The recently opened, ultra modern ‘Black Box’ styled hotel at Festival Park is a monument to modern Scandi-style.
It is an impressive and striking statement of a building, appearing as a stylish, oblong, matt black box.
It has the all important, large free car park of it’s own.

This hotel does not have the advantage of being directly on the riverbank but is away over a dual-carriageway (toucan crossing), still only a short walk from the river and all the associated attractions however.
There is a bus every ten minutes into the city centre (one and a half miles away) from outside the hotel.

On entering the glossy reception area, whilst there is always some-one on hand to assist, pre-booked guests can check in to a choice of 120 rooms on the desk mounted iPads with only five clicks, taking all the stress out of the procedure. This was simple even for a dinosaur like me.

We could have taken advantage of the industrially influenced décor offered by the in-house Starbuck’s Coffee shop, but I can’t be the only one who finds their coffee too bitter, at least for my tastes.
Instead, we proceeded straight to our room, which was of the standard Club Room variety.

It was a good size, decorated in dark wood with grey and plum coloured walls.
The contrasting candy striped carpet suited it well.
The bed had a Sealy mattress and a topper,…. so comfortable.
There was one of the biggest, wall mounted flat screen TV’s I have ever seen in any hotel room anywhere in the world. It was like being in your own private cinema.

The Bosch Tassimo tea and coffee capsule machine came with ample supplies.
The coffee is assorted Carte Noire flavours and the tea is Twinings.
Complimentary bottled spring water was also to hand.

The en-suite bathroom had a walk-in monsoon shower and benefitted from ESPA products.
The room was floored and tiled in fifty shades of grey, which tickled me (I don’t know about you!).

One of the features of Village Hotels are the superb spa facilities on site. Here we made good use of the 20 metre pool as well as the spin room, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and the wonderfully equipped gym, which had state of the art Technogym Artis and Unity equipment.
All are free for residents. The pool was half-laned off for length swimmers on my visit, which was a good thing to avoid collisions.

There are a number of ESPA treatment rooms with friendly staff.

Within the building, on the ground floor, is The Village Pub. This is a sports bar with several screens, showing …you’ve guessed it, live sports games. It also has a monster 92″ screen behind the bar.
The beers and lagers on offer are all of the keg variety, not a real ale pump to be seen.
There are quite a number of craft ales available by the bottle, however.
Meals in here are standard pub fayre, burgers, pizzas etc, all of a good standard.
There is a comfortable quiet lounge from which to escape sports if you prefer.

Just beyond the Pub is the Verve Grill, separated from it by a coloured glass screen.
This is more formal table dining yet it has no pretensions of being a full-blown restaurant.
It has a more extensive menu yet it is what it is, a grill which provides decent quality food at reasonable prices.

All of the food served in the Pub and the Verve comes from the same kitchens anyway.

The decor in both the Pub and the Verve is dark wood flooring, exposed brick, aluminium ducting and pipework, matt black ceilings and dark green leather upholstered furniture.
The overall look is modernist and quite impressive. Aided by selective lighting, the Black Box concept actually works for me. It is a ‘cool’ place to be.

Breakfasts are taken in the Verve Grill.
This is a self service buffet style operation.
There was the usual selection of cereals, pastries, juices, yoghurts and fresh fruit.
Bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and scrambled eggs were kept warm in heated dishes, from which to help yourself.
Toast and preserves rounded off the meal. It was as good as any hotel buffet.

As might be expected of a modern hotel, free wi-fi was available to all guests.

I look forward to more visits to the Black Boxes around the country.
The next one opens in Portsmouth later this year, I believe.

To stand on the shoulders of giants, go to www.village-hotels.co.uk/hotels/glasgow and for those travelling by car, set the old fashioned Sat-Nav to G51 1DA.

Paul

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