Hotel Review: Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

Discover why the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow offers the perfect mix of old-school glamour and modern-day service.

Entrance of the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, with ornate decorations above the doorway.

I stayed at the Grand Central Hotel as a guest of ScotRail

Stepping through the doorway at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow feels like stepping back in time – in a good way, of course!

Because the Grand Central Hotel feels like it still belongs in a more elegant, glamorous era. 

You’ll find the hotel in the centre of Glasgow, right next door to Glasgow Central Station. It was originally built in 1883 for Caledonian Railways, one of many hotels that opened as the railway network developed throughout the country. 

The Grand Central Hotel soon became one of the most prestigious hotels in Glasgow, and has welcomed many famous guests over the years.

I stayed at the Hotel as part of my ‘Spirit of Scotland’ trip, working in collaboration with ScotRail. I flew into Glasgow with Flybe and took the 15-minute Airport Express bus into the city centre.

Grand Central Hotel: My First Impressions

When you first see the Grand Central Hotel, you can’t help but notice the dramatic front of the building.

Inside the elegant foyer, the impression of timeless luxury continues. I had a little wait to check in, but the concierge came over immediately to ensure that I didn’t need any help and chatted with me for a few minutes while I waited.

This was one of the things that really impressed me about the Grand Central. The staff are welcoming and attentive, and they make you feel like no request could be too large or too insignificant. 

After checking in, I went up to look around my room before dinner.

A neatly arranged hotel room at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, with a large bed featuring a brown bedspread, white sheets, and two pillows with red accents. The bed is situated against a wall with decorative wallpaper and a framed picture, illuminated by lamp lighting, with a window to the left.

A Room at the Grand Central Hotel

The Grand Central Hotel offers a range of rooms, as well as junior suites and suites with a range of amenities included.

I was spending the night in a standard Guest Room, which is available with either a double or two single beds. Single rooms are also available, and the price for this type of room is around £80 per night. My double bed had lovely crisp white linen and plenty of comfy pillows.

I did think that the room was a little on the hot side, and there was no air-con in the room. This was pretty much my only criticism of the hotel, but I assumed that it was due to the age of the building.

The Guest Room is fairly spacious, with a seating area, plenty of storage for clothes, and a very comfortable bed. I was also provided with a small welcome gift bag of chocolates and bottles of mineral water. Other rooms have extras such as mini-bars and fluffy robes.

The bathroom is always one of the most important aspects of a hotel stay for me. A badly appointed or dirty bathroom can easily derail an otherwise pleasant trip.

A clean and modern bathroom at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, featuring a white bathtub, a toilet, a pedestal sink, and a mirror with cream marble wall tiles.

Although my bathroom at the Grand Central Hotel was a bit small, it didn’t disappoint in any other way. The room was clean, with bright, fresh decor and plenty of soft towels.

Obviously, you wouldn’t fit a standalone shower in such a snug bathroom, but the over-bath shower was very powerful – another key factor for me!

The hotel also scored well on the complimentary toiletries front, as it provided an array of products from the White Company. All in all, this felt like a great place to start my rail adventure in Scotland.

Hotel bathroom countertop at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, with complimentary toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, a wrapped soap bar, and a box containing additional amenities, reflected in a mirror.

After settling into my room, I headed down for dinner. This gave me an opportunity to take in the beautiful decor inside the hotel. It combines original period features with some dramatic elements of modern design, such as this glorious crystal chandelier, which plunges down the grand staircase in the middle of the hotel. 

Staying at the Grand Central really makes you feel like you’re in an old-style Hollywood movie – think Brief Encounter, and you won’t be far off the mark.

Dining at the Grand Central Hotel Glasgow

The Grand Central Hotel has three dining options for guests looking for somewhere to eat.

Deli Central is open during the day for fresh daily specials and local favourites. It’s open to the public and ideal for grabbing a quick lunch before your train.

Champagne Central is a glamorous bar with windows overlooking the concourse at Glasgow Central Station. The focus here is on light bites, afternoon tea and of course champagne!

Smoked salmon starter at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. A plate of smoked salmon with garnishes served, accompanied by a lit candle and a glass of wine.

I had reserved a table at the third dining option, Tempus Restaurant and Bar.

My starter was a generous plate of Hebridean salmon, cured in The Botanist gin. The fish was served with horseradish, compressed cucumber and a sharp lime dressing – a delicious combination of flavours and textures. 

I followed my salmon starter with a main course of Pork Wellington.

A gourmet dinner at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, consisting of Pork Wellington, green vegetables, and carrot puree, with a glass of white wine and a lit candle on a restaurant table.

The meat at the centre of this dish was pork from Robertson’s of Ayrshire, surrounded by Campbells of Broxburn black pudding and encased in crisp pastry. Alongside, there was a patty of bubble and squeak, a sweet carrot puree, and some fresh greens. 

I thought this was an excellent dish and loved its use of regional produce. But you can’t finish a meal without a good pudding, can you?

It was hard to choose from the dessert menu at the Tempus Restaurant because the selection was so tempting!

A chocolate dessert at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. It is served on a white plate, topped with whipped cream and garnished with strawberry pieces and sauce drops, with a lit candle and dining ware in the background.

I could have gone for the Orange and Passion fruit tart, and the cheese board did look very good. What I really wanted was the Grand Central Glasgow sharing sundae – full of Arran tablet, Irn Bru ice cream and Tunnocks. But alas, it was only available as a pudding for two, and I was dining alone.

So instead, I opted for the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Marquise, with mascarpone cream and fresh strawberries. It was rich, chocolatey and gooey, with a delicious salted caramel sauce. The strawberries cut through the richness and lifted the overall flavour of the pudding.

It was an excellent way to finish my meal!

Breakfast at The Grand Central Hotel

After a good night’s sleep, I was looking forward to breakfast before heading to the next stop on my journey. To be precise, I was looking forward to a full Scottish breakfast. 

I’m happy to tell you that the breakfast at the Grand Central is excellent. In fact, it’s one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve had.

I was taken to my table and then shown to the self-service breakfast buffet. There’s the usual array of cereals and baked goods, but of course, you can also have porridge. And then there’s the hot buffet…

In addition to the usual bacon, egg, sausage, and so on, you can also choose from haggis, square sausage and potato bread. I tried haggis and square sausage for the first time and really enjoyed both. In fact, I was dreaming of that haggis for the rest of my trip!

Staff circulated around the dining room with jugs of coffee and tea to top up your cups. I’m really fussy about my coffee, but the coffee at the Grand Central Hotel was excellent – hot, strong and smooth. 

The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow: My Verdict

All too soon, it was time to check out. I had a train to Dundee to catch, so I couldn’t linger. My train was leaving from Queen Street Station, which is only a few minutes walk from the Grand Central Hotel.

The location is ideal for exploring Glasgow, and I hope to return soon to take a good look around the city. And the hotel itself is such a wonderful combination of old-style glamour and modern standards of service.

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a touch of luxury at a reasonable price.

The Details

Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street, Glasgow, G1 3SF

Telephone: 0141 240 3700
Hotel Website

6 thoughts on “Hotel Review: Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

  1. MELANIE EDJOURIAN says:

    That’s an amazing hotel. 3 food options is good some can barely manage to cope with one successfully. The food sounds delicious, I’d love to test try afternoon tea!!!

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