While most people don’t even put Glasgow on their Scotland itinerary, it is actually a great pit-stop on your to and from the Highlands or island hopping. Finding accommodation is certainly not the problem, but navigating the plethora of budget-friendly, traditionally Scottish and affordable luxury hotels, can be tricky. That’s why I have rounded up my favourite Glasgow hotels for any budget and travel style. Find one that is just right for you!
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Cheap accommodation in Glasgow
I haven’t actually stayed at the SYHA Glasgow myself, but I’m recommending it here anyways because of its location (I’ve also made good experiences at other SYHA properties before). Perched on a hill overlooking Kelvingrove Park, facing south so the sun pours in on a good day, and surrounded by some of Glasgow’s most beautiful townhouses, staying at SYHA Hostel must feel like the epitome of living big on a little budget.
Park Terrace is one of Glasgow’s most expensive addresses and a great starting point to explore the West End and city centre by foot! The hostel has all the standard common areas you would expect, as well as a self-catering kitchen. There is also a self-catering apartment for up to 6 people available.
It’s a great choice if you want to save some pennies and still be within walking distance from all the sights, restaurants and bars the West End and city centre have to offer.
The CitizenM Glasgow is a boutique hotel in the city centre offering luxury design on a shoe-string budget. Staying here is a bit like a trip to the future. You check in at self-check-in terminals in the lobby, which doesn’t mean there isn’t a nice member of staff there to help you out or give you some chat. The rooms are something out of a futuristic film – little box rooms with a massive bed, mood lights and a little bathroom. The light, blinds, TV and temperature can be regulated via the in-room iPad – either manually or by selecting programmed settings such as ‘Party’, ‘Business’ or ‘Romance’. What I mean to say by this: schedule in some time to play around with your new toy and the different settings when you plan your itinerary!
The hotel is carefully designed and the artwork is placed tastefully throughout the public areas. There is a huge lounge area with sofas, armchairs and a library filled with coffee table books. On the same level, there is a bar where the staff serves up some mean cocktails and more great chat. You might have guessed already; the staff really makes this hotel so special. Breakfast is also served in the bar area, even though the vegan selection isn’t mind-blowing.
On the ground floor next to the lobby, you can find a bright and spacious workspace area with desks and power outlets. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel making it a great spot to keep on track with work for digital nomads.
While the hotel is in a prime location for sightseeing, eating out and partying, I have to admit, I found it hard to leave the building at all…
Traditional Scottish hotels
Staying at The Alfred is like a trip back in time (the exact opposite of the CitizenM, if you’d like). The historic hotel is located in a beautiful townhouse towering over Great Western Road in the city’s bubbly West End. Just a stone’s throw away from the University of Glasgow, the Botanical Gardens, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the bustling Byres Road and surrounding alleyways, it is a great spot to thoroughly explore the West End.
I stayed in a very spacious double room with a big, soft bed, a vintage dressing table and a huge marble fireplace. The view from my room was mainly green – onto the trees lining Great Western Road, but I could also see the neighbouring pub The Belle (no pub noise though). The coolest place in the hotel, however, was not the room, but the hallway with a carpet-clad staircase and antique memorabilia on the walls. The owners, who also own the popular gastro- and event-pub Oran Mor down the road, are antique collectors and have turned this hotel into a living museum.
My stay included continental breakfast (sadly no cooked breakfast available) and catering to my vegan diet was no problem at all. The staff was very helpful in giving recommendations and you can pick up a West End map to help you navigate the windy and hilly roads of the neighbourhood.
Not only have my parents stayed here and loved it, this was also our go-to recommendation for festival guests if they wanted a ‘proper’ Scottish experience.
The Argyll Hotel has it all – located in a beautiful townhouse in the West End of Glasgow; tartan carpets and curtains; a cooked full Scottish breakfast in the morning; and an attached restaurant and pub that regularly hosts pub quiz or murder mystery nights.
What makes this hotel even better is its location, just across the road from Kelvingrove Park and within walking distance to the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery. From the airport you can catch a bus (the 77) which stops right outside the hotel (it’s slower than the Airport Bus Service, but worth it if you stay here), and it’s a quick journey onwards to the city centre.
Luxurious hotels in Glasgow
The Dakota Deluxe is the first city hotel of the Dakota group, which I made my first experiences with staying at their Edinburgh property in South Queensferry, very close to Edinburgh Airport. The new hotel in Glasgow makes for a luxurious experience from arrival to check-out.
The Dakota has a very modern vibe – dark, soothing colour palettes, soft materials (from carpets to blankets and sheets), tasteful and elegant decor, and a very relaxing atmosphere. The staff is super friendly and very helpful with recommendations and accommodating when it comes to dietary requests at the breakfast table.
There is a restaurant in the basement serving fresh and seasonal food, as well as a vegan menu, and a cocktail bar on the ground floor where barkeepers fulfill your every wish.
All in all, the Dakota is fancy, without making you feel out of place even if you arrive in your outdoor gear after a fascinating road trip through the Highlands!
Grand Central Hotel
A few years ago, when a long-planned birthday trip to London came to a surprisingly early end because the train tracks in England were flooded, I decided to treat myself and booked a last-minute stay at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.
I couldn’t have made a better choice.
The Grand Central is a hotel with a long tail of history. It’s located in an impressive building attached to Glasgow Central Station – hence the name. The location is, as you can imagine, ideal to explore the city. Our room’s most memorable feature must have been the view over the huge glass roof of the train station (so dreamy) – or maybe the bathtub big enough to fit us both – or maybe the room that was as big as my old flat.
The best thing? We scored all this luxury at the tiny last-minute price of £75. This might be a luxury option, but if you’re flexible and spontaneous you might just score the deal of a lifetime!
I recently spent a night at Fraser Suites Glasgow, which offers serviced apartments and studios in the city centre of Glasgow. Located in the heart of the vibrant Merchant City neighbourhood, this is the perfect home base to explore the city’s sights, restaurants and nightlife.
Fraser Suites Glasgow is located in a historic listed building and as such things like thin walls and single-glazing are part of the deal – but so are high ceilings and a spacious layout. There are several popular pubs in the immediate neighbourhood, so if you’re a light sleeper, I recommend bringing your ear plugs.
I stayed in a one-bedroom apartment and loved having all that space – even if it was just for one night. It makes it much easier for me to feel at home in a hotel room and since I had a few hours before I headed out for dinner, I made good use of the space. The bedroom had a large comfortable double bed and in the living room there was a cosy sitting lounge as well as a small kitchenette – great for a longer stay.
You can book breakfast on site, but with so many cafes at your doorstep – why would you?
Glasgow accommodation is easy to come by and no matter what your budget is, you will find a great location to base yourself from to explore the city!
Where would you want to stay during your trip to Glasgow?
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