By Scott Wright

HILTON has underlined its confidence in the future of business and leisure travel in Glasgow as it revealed plans to open a new hotel on Clydeside – and it will be the first in the UK to trade under its new Motto brand.

The hotel giant, which has had a presence in Glasgow for more than 30 years, expects to open a 186-room Motto by Hilton in autumn 2024, taking its tally of hotels in the city to eight operating under four different brands. It will be just the second Motto by Hilton to be confirmed in Europe, following its debut at a hotel in Rotterdam that launched earlier this week.

The Glasgow hotel will be part of a franchise agreement with Cycas Hospitality, a pan-European hospitality management company. The building itself will be developed by Silk Property Group, the London-based real estate firm which is also building Virgin Hotel as part of the same development.

The Hilton by Motto will be located on the corner of Clyde Street and Maxwell Street.

Steve Cassidy, Hilton managing director for the UK and Ireland, told The Herald: “We see great potential in the local market and the vibrant area around St Enoch Square and Merchant City presents a perfect opportunity to welcome our guests to a new area outside of the west end and the SEC (Scottish Event Campus).

“It’s been great to see Glasgow’s work to transform itself into a world-class tourist destination and business hub. The city’s hosting of high-profile global sporting events has cemented its status. And, of course, last year’s COP26 elevated the city further and established it as the nation’s sustainable business hub. Our hotels were proud to host guests and events for COP26, and we’ve found the legacy from the event to the local area has been significant.

“Glasgow’s focus on sustainable tourism and business in particular strongly resonates with us at Hilton because this is a priority for us and our guests, who have shown they want to do business with companies which share their values. This is the case with leisure and business guests alike, who have told us clearly that they want to know this is something we prioritise.”

Asked to comment on current trading, Mr Cassidy added: “Across Scotland we’ve enjoyed a strong summer, exceeding our expectations. Trade has been led not only by domestic visitors but also a significant growth in international travellers, especially coming from the US. The return of international events including the Scottish Open have increased this draw for tourist trips – and it’s been a great year for the city in terms of entertainment and sporting events with many big names, concerts and tournaments. Our hotel’s performance – especially around such key events and the summer – has given us further confidence as we look ahead to next year and beyond.”

Hilton describes Motto as an “urban lifestyle brand designed to help guests live like a local in prime locations globally”, providing guests with “one-of-a-kind experiences by bringing together the best elements of a lifestyle hotel”.

The interior of the Clydeside hotel will incorporate “distinctive” Glaswegian architectural styles, Hilton noted, with references to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Art Nouveau. Visitors can expect locally inspired food and drink menus, with flexible accommodation options such as connecting rooms.

Rishi Singh of Silk Property Group said: “The forthcoming Motto by Hilton Glasgow is an incredibly exciting addition to the city. We’re delighted to be working...with the team at Cycas Hospitality, using their impressive experience as a pan-European hotel company to launch this new concept on the Scottish market.”

Patrick Fitzgibbon, Hilton’s senior vice president of development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We are excited about the arrival of the Motto by Hilton brand in the UK. The hotel will cater to a range of guests, whether travelling for work or play, solo or in a group. It will give guests the freedom and flexibility to customise their stay in this celebrated Scottish city – and will pave the way for future properties in the UK as we grow the Motto by Hilton brand into vibrant city locations.”