Concierge.com's insider take:
If you can't get into Malmaison, this is the place to book. Constructed in 1911 and converted into a hotel in 1999, this former Department of Education office building (on the historical register) was reopened by hotelier Andrew Brownsword and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines at the end of 2005. Thanks to clever, subtle renovations, the boutique property retains its Arts and Crafts detail—tiling in the entrance, bronze lions rearing up on the walls surrounding the grand staircase, a wrought-iron elevator, and a waterfall. Its 60 rooms, decorated in shades of green and robin's-egg blue, are divided into four categories—Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable, and Fabulous. To avoid being stuck in a somewhat cramped space without much daylight (so much for "comfort"), spring for an Enviable or Fabulous room—they're bigger and have original touches such as cornicing and stained-glass windows. Throughout, bathrooms are small (the curse of older properties), but there are handcrafted beds, satellite TVs, DVD players, and free broadband. In the basement, the informal MC Café Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Vibe is a cool lounge with sheer curtains and subtle lighting, where DJs spin until 1 a.m. Eminem and Beyoncé have both tucked up in bed here. Separately.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Taking inspiration from the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison hotel chains, West Country chef Michael Caines has launched a new hotel chain, and the former Art Hotel, renovated top to bottom, has become one of his first addresses. This 60-room property is a charmer, occupying the high-ceilinged 1911 former premises of the Scottish Department of Education. The grand central staircase is ornamented with an amusingly campy motif of metallic copper painted bas-relief lions, and a wheezing old-fashioned elevator operates in the middle of it. Rooms come in four categoriesComfortable, Desirable, Enviable, and Fabulous, with corresponding prices, square footage, and viewsbut all have celadon walls and flat-screen TVs with DVD/CD players. On the ground floor is the Michael Caines Restaurant featuring seasonal cuisine, a more informal café, and a bar. 2006 Hot List
When to go: Early summer.
Which room to book: Third-floor Fabulous rooms have great views over central Glasgow (doubles, $218–$393).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/loungeSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›