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Issue 73 - The best of the branded

Scotland Magazine Issue 73
February 2014


This article is 4 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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The best of the branded

Looking at branded hotels

Brands offer some degree of certainty and predictability for the traveller and in recent years in Scotland we have seen the arrival of new brands of prestigious, funky and budget hotels. What is less well known is that within often tightly-controlled ‘brand standards’, certain hotels have freedom to innovate and aim for exceptional standards of hospitality. In essence, branded hotels are not all they seem; standards vary from country to country and, certainly, from hotel to hotel even within Scotland. At the Scottish Hotel Awards we celebrate the best with the award of ‘Brand Hotel of the Year’.

1 Holiday Inn Aberdeen West
Aberdeen AB31 6TT
Winner of ‘Brand Hotel of the Year’ last year, this modern 86-roomed Holiday Inn sits in the community of Westhill on the northern fringe of Aberdeen, ‘Europe’s oil capital’. It’s on the right side of the city if you’re arriving by air and offers easy access to a magnificent area of the Grampian region including Royal Deeside, the Whisky and Castle Trails, the ruggedly beautiful northern coastline and ski areas such as The Lecht. Hugely successful, its popularity is founded on exceptional management – led by Bill Burnett, Scottish Hotel Manager of the Year 2013 – and a strong product in a convenient location with free parking. The best of the hotel is in Luigi’s restaurant, a hit with the locals, where quality dishes based on fine local produce are given an Italian twist and it recently won the European Holiday Inn of the Year title,
chosen out of 280 contenders
Telephone +44 (0)1224 270300

2 The Caledonian Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AB
Mention the Waldorf Astoria name and thoughts are, perhaps, immediately of the famous New York icon; but here in Scotland we now have our own 5- star story, a hotel reborn over the past two years adorned by the halo brand. The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel – that’s the way they style it – is reportedly Sean Connery’s favourite in the capital and this new air of glamour continues to draw the famous and the fussy. And yet, it is a warm-hearted big hotel, over a century old and rich in historic detail; today’s guests might be spending the day at the beautiful Guerlain Spa, nipping in to Peacock Alley for afternoon tea, lunching at the hit Galvin Brasserie Deluxe or anticipating a superlative dining experience in the famous Pompadour Restaurant. The grand hotel, was originally built as a railway hotel. The best rooms offer superb views of Edinburgh castle.
Telephone +44 (0)131 222 8888

3 Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow
Finnieston Quay, Glasgow G3 8HN
Scotland has a pair of popular Hilton Garden Inns – the other is in Aberdeen – and this particular hotel combines a number a real advantages to make it a very good option for a stay in Scotland’s largest city. For a start there’s the riverside location, a couple of minutes stroll from major venues including the vast new Hydro Arena, the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre, Clyde Auditorium (better known as ‘the armadillo’) and National Science Centre. Not far away is famous architect Zaha Hadid’s landmark new Museum of Transport. Book one of the compact but very welldesigned and thoughtfully-finished rooms with a river view and you’ll look out at a new media city and modern apartments. The City Café restaurant has good contemporary dining and on sunny days the large waterfront terrace is alive with guests enjoying drinks and food.
Telephone +44 (0)141 240 1002

In brief...
4. Hotel Indigo
20 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN
The old Royal British Hotel is being transformed in 2014 into Edinburgh’s second Hotel Indigo, the fast-growing urbane boutique chain. With a literary theme and grand position overlooking the castle, it’s one to watch. Be sure to book a restyled room. Already fully open is the hit Juniper bar with its knowledgeable staff, renowned cocktails and wonderfully comfortable seating areas and library.
Telephone +44 (0)131 556 4901

5. Malmaison Dundee
Whitehall Crescent, Dundee DD1 4AY
Dundee, Scotland’s fourth city and one on something of a roll at the moment, looks forward to the opening of the dramatic new V&A Museum, certainly, but equally anticipated was the glorious transformation of a prominent yet rather derelict old building near the famous Tay Road Bridge into a sleek, witty and decidedly boutique Malmaison hotel. After complications the hotel finally said bonjour in February.
Telephone +44 (0)844 693 0661

6. CitizenM Glasgow
60 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G2 3BW
This genuinely pioneering Dutch brand, now with an array of hotels across Holland, England and America, chose Glasgow for the opening of its first foreign outpost a few years ago. And what a success it has been. Original thinking went into the whole ‘what is a hotel really all about?’ question and this bold product is their answer.Funky bedrooms with high-tech features at great rates; 24hr-open dining area;
Telephone +44 (0)203 519 1111

7. DoubleTree by Hilton Dundee
Kingsway West, Dundee DD2 5JT
Formerly a Swallow hotel for many years, then The Landmark Dundee, this welllocated hotel on the Perth edge of Dundee has, under the award-winning management of Richard Ellison – whose staff won Hotel Team of the Year 2013 – has lately been given a new lease of life under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand. A great restaurant with really good food, wellappointed modern rooms, a leisure club and easy free parking.
Telephone +44 (0)1382 641122
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  • In : Hotels
  • Issue : 73
  • Page : 26
  • Words : 928