My time in Glasgow was short, which is why I wanted to make sure my hotel was well chosen. Hotels I think are a key part of any travel experience; they have the power to make or kill a trip. Location is one of the most important factors to me, but so is comfort and hospitality, naturally. So when I discovered the Malmaison Glasgow boutique hotel, I was thrilled to have found the best of everything I look for in a hotel all in one quirky package.
Glasgow is a large city and it can be difficult to know the best place to spend the night, but I was thrilled with the location of the Malmaison Glasgow. Situated right on the edge of Glasgow’s fashionable and funky West End, the Malmaison is next to the pastoral Blythswood Square and a very easy walk down to central Glasgow including the central train station and famous Sauchiehall Street. What I loved most about the hotel’s location was that while being well situated, it wasn’t in the middle of a loud and disruptive downtown neighborhood. It felt a little removed, a little quiet but still close enough to the action to make the location work well. City hotels can be hit or miss, a good location oftentimes means loud and annoying evenings, but that unwanted noise was thankfully lacking during my Malmaison experience.
Part of a small chain of boutique, upscale hotels, the Malmaison Glasgow embraces a spirit that I like to call lovingly quirky. Housed inside a former Greek Orthodox Church, this isn’t a hotel that just dares to be different, it revels in it. In a blend of styles that can only be called elegantly avant-garde, each of the hotel’s 72 rooms and suites do more than just bring fashion and pizzazz to the hotel stay. Each room has a massive and comfortable bed, torrential showers and full-sized toiletries that will make you want to snag a couple to take home. I stay in a lot of hotels, and it’s nice frankly to be in a property that has a sense of humor and character. The Malmaison isn’t just a place to spend the night, it’s a place you’ll remember and I think a place you’ll want to return to whenever you find yourself in Scotland’s largest city.
Food and Drink
Many places around the world have rediscovered the importance of well-executed hotel dining options, and Malmaison seems to be leading the way in Glasgow. My first experience with the expertly executed food and drink offerings was at its funky basement lounge, the Chez Mal Bar. The massive and towering beer barrel wall is the first clue guests get at the amazing craft beers on tap, as well as other more traditional staples like fine Champagnes and quirky cocktails mixed by the expertly-trained bar staff. The food is what won me over though, an unlikely and delicious fusion of Scottish, American and Continental influences that transform normal bar food into a dining event unto itself.
The real star of the culinary scene at the Malmaison though is its moodily lit The Honours Restaurant. They describe their food as a mix of British and French-influenced dishes with a subtle Scottish twist, which I think sums up the experience well. A brasserie-inspired establishment, this is great dining experience and entrees like the hand rolled tagliatelle and an perfectly prepared burger with Jalapeño mayo and sweet corn make this a comfortable dining experience that’s high on luxury but low on attitude. Just like the hotel itself, the dining options at Malmaison are very well executed, but without pretension, which is ultimately what we all want when we’re traveling.
The Malmaison Glasgow was a bit of a departure from the hotels I usually patronize, but overall it was a nice surprise. Since my time in the city was so short, I needed a relaxed environment that was convenient and still delivered the level of service and quality I look for in properties. The Malmaison ticked all of those boxes and more, creating a great escape in the middle of the city.