'A great example of excellent design playing its part here.'
Now that B3 Designers have officially landed in Scotland with a first studio north of the border, our Glasgow team are always on the hunt for new openings to try out and shout about. We recently visited Virgin Hotel Glasgow, having only been open for 4 weeks at the time, the hotel oozed ‘new and exciting.’
Submerging ourselves in the latest design trends, most talked about openings and best practices on a day-to-day basis in the studio, we couldn’t help but smile as soon as we walked through the doors.
It was fantastic to see an example of hospitality design that takes on the challenge of creating a destination F&B location within a hotel setting in the heart of Glasgow – something we here at B3 have successfully executed in many of our projects across the UK and Europe.
Why should guests choose to have drinks in a hotel lobby and dine in their restaurant as opposed to exploring the city's surroundings? How do you pull in trade from the outside world?
The Virgin Hotel Glasgow is a great example of excellent design playing its part here. The operations and Marketing team will complete the partnership for success. When we find spaces like this in Scotland, we certainly want to make their presence known.
'The banquette seating felt homely and comfortable, yet chic and sophisticated.'
The hotel is not a hidden gem, though it is located in a part of town that is slowly being regenerated. The slick-looking building towers tall over the famous river Clyde and can be seen from afar, helping to make this a go-to destination and a new part of the Glasgow skyline.
The attentive staff gave us a warm welcome as we stepped into the Commons Club, the hotel’s flagship restaurant and main cocktail bar. We settled ourselves next to the window with a clear view across the ground-floor dining area. The tables were spacious with plenty of room for multiple small plates, sharing platters and atmospheric table lamps.
The banquette seating felt homely and comfortable, yet chic and sophisticated with layers of scattered cushions and backrest throws.
The open kitchen added theatre, but the main dining area was also housed within timber screens to zone the area and allow the grand cocktail bar to shine in its own right while still feeling connected to the buzz of the restaurant.
It was easy to visualise the subtle transition from the dining room lunch to evening bar liquors, in this comfortable place that we could’ve easily spent the whole afternoon in, watching the world go by.
The Virgin Hotel lobby and secret bar.
The restaurant is overseen by executive Chef Jean-Paul Giraud, who previously held the position of Head Chef at The Spanish Butcher - a B3 favourite in the city.
'an accessible menu that draws inspiration from around the world.'
Labelled as ‘Glasgow’s best dining experience for modern cuisine,’ the Commons Club offers a contemporary menu that not only lives up to Glasgow’s enviable food scene but also provides guests with an accessible menu that draws inspiration from around the world, with Asian, Middle Eastern and Continental European dishes, allowing you enjoy a relaxed and elegant experience.
During our visit, we tried the chicken burger, hotdog, and a delicious Craquelin Choux Bun.
The Lobster Hotdog and Craquelin Choux Bun.
As for the rest of the ground floor, an array of eclectic furniture populates the reception area, drawing inspiration from Glasgow’s industrial shipbuilding past, elevating the finishes for a chic execution. Full of character and details that make this space interesting, with no two corners the same. A secret snug and intimate bar is hidden for guests to discover, and a micro-concept coffee bar is due to open to the public in the coming months.
'There is a space for everyone, every mood, and every occasion in this flexible area.'
The all-day lounge and co-working space on the first floor was a real surprise and treat as we ascended the stairs to arrive in this new, bright, and fresh area. Complete with lounge seating, an external terrace with a retractable roof, panoramic views across Glasgow and a beautiful variety of furniture throughout, there is a space for everyone, every mood, and every occasion in this flexible area. The space felt coherent and stylish, each with rich layers of materials and finishes. Two flexible meeting rooms are available with breakout areas and the whole space is used for morning breakfasts for guests.
The all-day lounge and co-working space on the first floor.
The hotel staff kindly allowed us a mini tour of some of the guest bedrooms which gave us insight into the various room sizes as well as their chosen look and feel.
240 guest rooms span 15 floors. The rooms were well-planned, and it was refreshing to see the needs of the guests being thought through and the design lending itself to this.
Each room no matter the size has two areas – the dressing room separated by a sliding door into the sleeping/lounge area. The neutral materials and tones melted gently into the room sets, with a soft layer of Glasgow to top it off, with local artwork to quirky messages with a distinctive tone of voice and a curated minibar including some classic Scottish favourites.
Highyard, outdoor terrace.
The Virgin Hotel Glasgow has all the characteristics of a hotel that can become a classic and we look forward to visiting the space again not as hotel guests, but as locals who can enjoy its many different facets.