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Scotland’s ‘Dear Green Place’, as Glasgow is affectionately known, is renowned for somewhat steely skies along with its street art and the River Clyde. However, you can always relax at the city’s oasis-esque pools – with free-flowing fountains, plus hot tubs, saunas and spas – to dial up the temperature in Scotland’s second city. Here’s our pick of the best hotel pools and places to make a splash in Scottish style – without the need for an umbrella.
Talk about Batcave credentials: hidden away from the Glasgow streets, this hotel’s spa transports stressed-out Bruce Waynes away from the travails of urban life to a vacuum of inner calm. There’s all manner of rooms to disrobe for: a laconium (for Roman-esque relaxation), a saunarium (for the traditional Finnish take), a tepidarium (for over-baking) and an ice fountain for blasting the circulation back into action afterwards. Take a plunge in two mood-lit pools, complete with free-flowing fountains, then power up with gastropub fare in the chilled-out café lounge.
Mornings at this countryside hotel are best spent in the multi-tiered pool and hot tub, or dozing after a Swedish massage and face-primping beauty treatment. In the evening, quaff bubbles and treat yourself with a British classic or two at Flemings Restaurant. In between, there are ample opportunities to explore either Glasgow or Stirling – both are 20 minutes away by car. Not your scene? Hit the greens on the resort’s 18-hole fairways.
Indoor pool, leisure club and gym: three reasons for every fitness fan to stay here and settle in. This is one of the world’s most lauded hotel chains, so expect first-class service across the board. You haven’t come all this way to stay indoors, though, so on the doorstep are some unrivalled boxes to tick. Start with the Gallery of Modern Art, the stunning Mitchell Library and the Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture.
Here’s a city centre hotel that doesn’t scrimp on tried-and-tested frills. There are best-in-city views the higher up its 20 storeys you go, and it delivers on honest tradition – yup, haggis and whisky – at the restaurant and bar. The lap pool and jacuzzi are well worth a late-afternoon dip, before warming up over a freshly brewed pot in the t-Lounge by Dilmah, the first of its kind in the UK.
Just down the road from see-and-be-seen Finnieston, this River Clyde-set hotel has a mix of clientele: those here for business and others gearing up for live-music hijinks at the next-door venues, the Hydro and the Armadillo. That means the compact pool and hot tub are as popular with early-morning swimmers as pre-drink partygoers. Our tip? Come mid-afternoon to have the place to yourself.