Hotel chains have a deserved reputation as comfort zones for the weary traveler looking for a sense of belonging in a strange city. However, this familiarity can often be at the expense of style and atmosphere. Uniformity can be tiresome, not least for the seasoned traveller. So it is to be welcomed that Ibis Styles has created a formula which breathes new chic and vibrancy into a hotel chain, while retaining the dependable service values expected from a big name hotel group.
This Ibis Styles hotel collection takes pride in putting the host location in pride of place and none more so than the recently opened Ibis Styles in Glasgow city centre. This brand new location takes the city specific brief seriously and pulls off the Glasgow theming with wit and, indeed, a great deal of style. The £7m budget has been cleverly spent to create an understated and harmonious ambience through the 101 bedrooms over 8 floors. Guests will be pleased with the unbeatable location – on Miller Street in the Merchant City housed in the Telfer House building.
The customizing concept of Ibis Styles is seen in its full glory here, where the motifs are simple and effective. The compact and clever bedrooms play to the themes of the city on the Clyde which saw the launch of the legendary cruise liners the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth – proud symbols of the glory days of transatlantic sea travel. This nautical theme is also present with the blue and white striped walls in some rooms, but most particularly with the iconic Clydeside crane – a symbol which can be seen across the hotel.
But this is not the only motif to adorn the rooms. Ibis Styles has in turn embraced a city symbol from just around the corner and it is to be found in multiple formats in multiple colours around the hotel. The bollard on the head of the Wellington Statue in front of the Gallery of Modern Art appeared on a Lonely Planet list of the “top 10 most bizarre monuments on Earth”, along with the Rocky Balboa statue. Visitors unfamiliar with the significance of the image may be left scratching their heads but an enquiry at the front desk will ensure all residents are up to speed on a very modern, very Glasgow, thumbing of the nose at authority and the art establishment. This quirky landmark image is woven into the visual theming and is a nod to the new creative spirit transforming Scotland’s business capital. This people’s prank was a thorn in the side of municipal authorities, who finally decided to embrace the cheeky head gear. The bollard atop the horseman is now a much loved symbol of the city’s irreverence.
So it comes as no surprise that this lively and clever hotel offering has local roots. Accor has partnered with Redefine/BDL Hotels to manage the hotel, which is the Glasgow-based company’s first property in the city and joins its portfolio of 70 branded and private label hotels across the UK.
Ross Morrow, Chief Development Officer for Redefine|BDL Hotels, says: “We are thrilled to announce our first hotel in Glasgow. It feels like a homecoming in a way,as we are based in the city, and this will be our first property here. Not only that, but in addition to the eventual day-to-day running of the property, we are very involved in the design and creation of the hotel, which is something we specialise in. This is all the more exciting as it is on home turf.
“It’s a really interesting project for us as the building is in a superb location. With this regeneration of a key building and new jobs being created it’s a real landmark project for Redefine|BDL Hotels.”
Local knowledge and a love of the city certainly is much in evidence from the moment guests walk in off the street. The relaxed Ibis Styles ambience starts in the lobby which includes a bar and a casually arranged seating area. In the morning this is the setting for a breakfast, which is ample and varied. It even includes local touches like, yes you’ve guessed it, haggis. Once breakfast is served in this informal setting, the area evolves into a convivial place for relaxing throughout the day, which can be most useful for those requiring a break from some serious sightseeing. A pit stop and warming cuppa is a most welcome respite from the pounding march of the city streets and one of the appreciated extras is the free hot drinks service. Come the hour of aperitif and nightcap the lobby takes on more of a lounge ambience as a place before or after enjoying what Glasgow restaurants and nightlife have to offer.
As a jumping off point to explore all Glasgow has to offer, be it for business or pleasure, the Ibis Styles Glasgow has the location, the facilities and the look to enhance your city stay.
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