Virgin Hotels Glasgow opened its doors on the banks of the Clyde in August 2023 – following hot on the heels of Edinburgh which saw the first Virgin Hotels opened in the UK and outside of the USA. The Scottish locations join a select list of luxury hotels from New York to New Orleans, which belong to the brand owned by Sir Richard Branson.

Stepping inside the hotel felt a world away from the familiar city streets with an entrance space which evokes a feeling of bygone glamour. We were shown to the newly completed Grand Chamber Junior Terrace suite, a spacious room with an open-plan bedroom and lounge which can be shut off from the bathroom area with a wood sliding door, which also boasts a dressing table area with a huge mirror.

And wait for it ... in this room there’s also a balcony which, on a less chilly weekend than we visited, would offer a nice outdoor space. There’s a stunning view of Glasgow, but you do have to peek over the balcony to see it. Other features included a mini-bar with a red SMEG fridge, which, as a nice touch, was packed full of Scottish produce, such as Tunnock’s caramel wafers, Glaswegin and even a miniature of Buckfast for local fans of the drink – or unsuspecting tourists.

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We sampled dinner in the Commons Club, which has a menu created by executive chef Jean-Paul Giraud, offering Scottish ingredients with a contemporary twist – such as Cumbrae oysters with lemon & mignonette Yuzu ponzu dressing and Glaswegin cured Belhaven salmon. I was delighted to see a childhood favourite on the sides – rumbledethumps – but in the end opted for the melt-in-the-mouth hand-rolled gnocchi followed by a delicious selection of Scottish cheese.

There’s also an extensive drinks list with some interesting sounding cocktails featuring ingredients such as plum sake, discarded banana peel, fig brown butter and Glenfiddich. I was tempted by a wine colour I had never tried before – a glass of French orange wine, which turns out to handily combine the taste of a deep red and a refreshing white. An excellent buffet breakfast with cooked dishes available to order was served in the Highyard – on the mezzanine level, which boasts an outdoor terrace for those occasional sunny days and serves drinks and small plates of food, offering an alternative place to hang out in the evening.

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There are some quirky touches with the Arran Aromatics toiletries, hairdryer, fluffy bathrobes and also a yoga mat. The hotel welcomes dogs (up to two per room).

The hotel is located on Clyde Street just five minutes’ walk away from St Enoch and Buchanan Street, handy for the city’s shops and nightlife, and the main train stations of Central and Queen Street reachable in a 10-15 minute stroll. One particularly nice feature is the framing of the South Portland Street suspension bridge in the Highyard terrace – putting the often overlooked category A-listed 19th-century structure back in the spotlight once more.

£200 per night for a Petite Chamber, £240 for a Chamber King and £300 for Grand Chamber visit