Where to Stay in Glasgow Like a Local

| Courtesy of Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel / Expedia.com
Imogen Lepere

Rub shoulders with locals in vibrant West End or curl up by the inn fireplace, this is where to stay on your next trip to Glasgow, Scotland.

Too long considered Edinburgh’s plain little sister, Glasgow has finally gained the recognition it deserves as a creative hub. Like its music and arts scene, the hotel industry is booming with stylish options that have emerged in recent years. While Kelvingrove and the Burrell Collection are filled with historic treasures, the city really comes alive in its many pubs, where the beer is cold and locals famously warm. Here’s how to visit Glasgow like a local.

1. Hotel Du Vin

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Hotel Du Vin Glasgow
Courtesy of Hotel Du Vin Glasgow / Expedia.com
This luxury boutique option enjoys a prime location on a Grade-II listed Victorian terrace in the city’s West End. Visiting celebrities and Glasgow’s beautiful people congregate over French dishes with a Scottish twist in the oak-panelled restaurant (led by celebrated chef Gary Townsend), before sneaking out to the heated cigar bothy in the garden. Up the sweeping staircases, 49 rooms decorated in jewel-hues boast Egyptian cotton bed linen and some have roll-top baths. Guests have access to a tennis club and gym nearby.

2. Malmaison Glasgow

Hotel

Malmaison Glasgow
Courtesy of Malmaison Glasgow / Expedia.com

This hotel’s buzzy brasserie is a favourite with the thespian crowd, as it has a set menu for just £20 within strolling distance of all the city’s best theatres. Housed in a former Greek Orthodox church, its glittering domed ceilings and imposing entrance create a far grander feel than you’d expect for a hotel at this price point. Rather than icons and stain glass, expect pop art and a lobby sculpture that looks like a wall of speakers.

3. Blythswood Square Hotel

Spa Hotel, Hotel

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel
Courtesy of Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel / Expedia.com
If rubbing shoulders with Glasgow’s glamour set while giving your skin a thermal rejuvination sounds up your street, look no further than the holistic spa at the city’s landmark hotel. This Georgian terrace was once the headquarters of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club but a multimillion-pound restoration project has left it looking like a 21st century star. Its 113 bedrooms all have plenty of character thanks to original features, while The Salon cocktail bar is the place to see and be seen of an evening, whisky cocktail in hand.

4. 15 Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast

15 Glasgow
Courtesy of 15 Glasgow / Expedia.com

Few hotels ooze as much character as this five-room haven, located in a Georgian terrace a few minutes’ walk from the up-and-coming restaurant district of Finnieston, popular with Glasgow’s creatives. Owner Lorriane was born in the city but lived in the Caribbean for 30 years. Interiors are furnished in a feminine palette of neutrals and Georgian features, such as stained-glass windows and Corinthian columns, have been lovingly restored. Breakfast in your room comes at no extra cost; remember to save a rasher of bacon for the guesthouse bulldog, Otis.

5. Dakota Glasgow

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel, Hotel, Luxury

Dakota Glasgow
Courtesy of Dakota Glasgow / Booking.com

This sleek, sophisticated hotel brand was dreamed up by Glaswegian hotelier Ken McCulloch and his designer wife Amanda, and few do affordable luxury so well. An old works and pension building in the city centre is now a moodily lit symphony of dove grey and soft leather, with Manhattan-style loft windows. The restaurant is a favourite for date night with locals, thanks to its well-curated wine list and sizzling Scottish steaks, while the sofas on the heated terrace are always heaving come Friday night.

6. Alamo Guest House

Guesthouse

Alamo Guest House
Courtesy of Alamo Guest House / Expedia.com

Checking in to this quaint guesthouse overlooking Kelvingrove Park feels a little like staying with a Glaswegian friend. The family who run it pride themselves on their warm welcome and enormous full Scottish breakfasts, which are included in the room price. The building itself dates back to 1880 and rooms combine plenty of original features (plasterwork, high ceilings) with modern luxuries such as high-speed wifi and on-site parking.

7. Seton Guest House

Guesthouse

Seton Guest House
Courtesy of Seton Guest House

If value and authenticity are high on your list, this six-room guesthouse is an excellent option. Located in a Victorian terrace in the residential East End, it’s clean, comfortable and offers shared accommodation for less than £30 a night. After a plate of pasta at Coia’s, an Italian restaurant that has been a Glasgow institution for more than 70 years, do the short walk home, let yourself in and pretend you’re a local. Despite the area’s apparent sleepiness, the sights of the town centre are just a mile away.

8. Motel One Glasgow

Hotel

Motel One Glasgow
Courtesy of Motel One Glasgow

Glasgow is the gateway to the West Highland Line and this affordable design hotel takes inspiration from the romance of railway travel – appropriate as it’s located just two-minutes’ walk from Central Station. Interiors are deeply rooted in Scotland’s landscapes and culture. Armchairs are covered in the hotel’s own tartan and striking photography by Scottish duo Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion adorn walls throughout. Live departure boards in the lobby make this a popular spot for locals enjoying a wee dram before catching their train from Central Station.

9. Auchenlea B&B

Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse

Auchenlea Guest House
Courtesy of Auchenlea Guest House

A century-old cottage overlooking fields grazed by horses is the perfect place to get a sense of life as it would have been for a Glaswegian farmer – if a rather lucky one. Although it’s just 18 minutes by car from the city centre, Auchenlea feels like a cosy country retreat with its wooden panelling and tartan bedspreads. Start your day with a full cooked breakfast, before taking the papers to the squishy chairs in the wooden cabin in the garden.

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