The Grand Dame of Glaswegian hotels has returned to her former glory, thanks to PH Hotels.
Built 130 years ago, the Grand Central was formerly a British Railway Hotel situated adjacent to Glasgow’s busiest rail station, used by millions of people each year. The magnificent building was originally designed by Robert Rowand Anderson, a Scottish architect. Later, it hosted Logie Baird, who sent the first long-distance TV signals from London to the hotel in 1927.
Since then, legions of VIPs have stayed at the Grand Central Hotel: she has welcomed prestigious visitors as diverse as Her Majesty The Queen, Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and Frank Sinatra.
Unfortunately, the Grand Central Hotel eventually began to fall into a state of disrepair. Thus, after PH Hotels bought the property in 2009, we started a massive £20 million refurbishment of the iconic building including:
The work was difficult but rewarding. As General Manager Laurie Nicol said: ‘I am very proud of what we achieved. We were able to keep the romance of the hotel alive whilst bringing it up to date with a stylish, contemporary, twist.’
For that, we have designer Charles Leon Associates and architect Donald Crerar to thank. How did the hotel fall into disrepair in the first place? Crerar explains:
‘If you were building a 200-bedroom hotel these days, it would probably be a third of the size. The bedrooms are enormous; the public spaces are very, very big. So as the hotel got older its size became an unmanageable problem for the owners. Instead of it costing them – for the sake of argument – £10,000 for one bedroom, it would be double that. So they spread the money very thinly over the years on cheap refurbishment work, and of course that’s a quick fix.’
The PH Hotels team worked with Historic Scotland during the refurbishment, and today the building is protected as a Category A Listed building. That means it’s recognised as a building ‘of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type.’
The Grand Central Hotel also stands tall above other luxury hotels in Glasgow as the finest four-star establishment in the city. Its crowning achievement? Winning the Scottish Hotel of the Year for 2013.
Chairman of the Scottish Hotel Awards’ judges Gary McLean Quin said:
‘There were again many strong contenders for Scottish hotel of the year, but the Grand Central stood out because of its all-round performance, passionate leadership, staff management and wise future development. It was great to see the old building reopen a few years ago and its plans are marvellous for Glasgow.’
That wasn’t the hotel’s only prize. It also won Events Hotel of the Year and Glasgow Hotel of the Year. Other awards include:
Ready for a brief peek at the pinnacle of Glaswegian hotels?
We added a stately new Champagne Bar overlooking the main concourse of the rail station.
We also added a deli with charming, old world style.
The Banquet Hall, like the rest of the property, benefitted greatly by restoring some of its original elements, whilst adding some classic modern touches.
Nor did we forget the rooms: updated with modern amenities and beautiful décor, the spacious rooms represent the heart and soul of the property.
If you’d like to take an in-person tour, we cordially invite you take advantage of one of our special offers currently available at the Grand Central Hotel.
For more information about these offers or to book your visit, please visit us at Principal-Hayley.com.
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