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Purple Prose for the Viole
Premier Inn (Glasgow City Centre)
Member Name: fizzywizzy
Premier Inn (Glasgow City Centre)
Advantages: Clean, comfortable; good value, good location
Disadvantages: Heavy doors slamming; lack of parking may disadvantage some
NOTE - although Dooyoo describe this room as Glasgow Central, there are now so many branches of Premier Inn in the city that Premier Inn call it Premier Inn George Square
Expecting to spend only approximately five hours in a hotel room in Glasgow, it is understandable (as least I think it should be) that I did not want to spend a great deal of money on a room. We were travelling up from Newcastle to watch our beloved NK Maribor beat Rangers in the knock out round of the Europa Cup and needed to be close to the central station to pick up an early train back to Geordieland the next morning, and within easy reach of an underground station to get to Ibrox and back. We'd originally considered catching a late train to Edinburgh and staying there, effectively letting us be an hour closer to Newcastle in the morning (with all annual leave until April now spoken for I was borrowing time from work) but what with the festival and the fringe rooms in the capital were outrageously expensive and we'd struggle to get anywhere near Waverley for less than £200.
There are loads of Premier Inns in and around Glasgow but there are three that are very close together; location wise we could have chosen any of them but the one at George Square was, at £29.95 a tenner cheaper than the other two. We booked online and paid in advance to secure that price.
We arrived on time into Glasgow Central and ordinarily would have walked to the hotel but we were pressed for time with kick off in an hour and we were hoping to swap our tickets among the Rangers faithful with ones in the visitors' section. We took a taxi which, in retrospect turned out to be a mistake as we had to take a slightly circuitous route due to the closure of several streets around George Square for the filming of World War Z starring Brad Pitt. We'd heard that filming should more or less be over at that time and it had crossed my mind that it might be slow going in a taxi but in our panic we hailed a cab anyway. Usually it would take ten minutes on foot and two minutes by taxi.
I don't know whether this building has always been a hotel, it does rather have a look of a former office block. It's in the Merchants' Area of the city, not quite on George Square, but that is the nearest landmark and it is just a few footsteps away. If you're into star-spotting and can get to Glasgow before filming ends, this hotel is a good option as it is just yards from where the filming is taking place. If on the other hand, you're coming for shopping or entertainment, you're also right in the heart of the city. The hotel doesn't have its own car-park but there are pay-for car-parks close by.
I understand there are rooms that are suitable for wheelchair users but there are several steps leading to the entrance so it would be worth contacting the hotel in advance to confirm how to gain access if this is a requirement for you.
This Premier Inn does not have a conventional reception desk; there are two small lectern style desks on either side of the lobby and a row of three or four express check in machines. One receptionist was on the phone, the other was showing a guest how to check in using the machines. I looked on our paperwork for a reference code but wasn't sure that we could check in with the machine unless we had asked to do so at the time of booking; fortunately a receptionist became free and showed us how to check in using the machine (much as you do at an airport, though I can't say I much care for this way of doing things). A printed receipt tells you your room number and two swipe cards drop out of the machine. It's simple but so impersonal and while I can see the benefit at hotels like this which are really big with a high turnover of guests, I do like to experience a friendly welcome and often have questions for the staff. Fortunately when, having stashed our bags in our room, we came back downstairs we were glad to find one of the receptionists available to quickly direct us the quickest route to Buchanan Street to pick up the "clockwork orange" to get to Ibrox.
The room was just as we've come to expect from the Premier Inn brand; not as large as the palatial room we had at Manchester Airport, but bigger than the room in Belfast. There was plenty of space to move around and room to stash our bags (not that we had much on this occasion) out of the way.
The hospitality tray was perched out of the way on a corner shelf which was a neat and tidy way of doing something that often clutters the desk/dressing table and - a genius move (hotels much get fed up with chipped window sills and furniture edges) - a bottle opener securely screwed to the wall.
I'd challenge anyone to find fault with the room itself. It was clean and comfortable and all items of furniture and soft furnishings were in excellent condition. There was a comfortably upholstered sofa and easy chair, good lighting and spare pillows. A notice informed us that if it was too hot fans could be borrowed from reception (not an ideal way of cooling down but at least they'd come up with a plan) and that there were also extra sheets should the usual duvets be too warm. As usual our bed had the usual runner across the bottom which, it being purple, was held high and swirled around my head when we returned to the room (our team wears purple and supporters are the 'Viole') - I will never outgrow being a football hooligan. Internet access can be paid for additionally if required. A flat screen television had all the usual Freeview channels, great for us to watch Dalibor Volas score his goal for Maribor once again!
The bathroom was again spacious although the washbasin seemed designed for a much smaller room. The shower worked perfectly and it was easy to alter the temperature (after recent near drowning event in a Mercure hotel, I was particularly appreciative of this simplicity). The only complaint I could level about the bathroom is that once it became humid it smelled slightly of cigarette smoke: this could just be one of those strange things, or somebody may well have smoked in there recently, or perhaps the smell of cigarette smoke became ingrained over a long period and has never really gone away. Who can tell?
We'd have slept pretty well had it not been just slightly too hot during the night and we were too tired to bother getting out of bed to adjust the temperature. Another irritation came from people passing down the corridor leaving the fire door to slam and letting the door to their rooms slam too; the doors in this hotel are very heavy.
We didn't take breakfast at the hotel as we were leaving at a rather obscene hour but we did have one last drink in the bar before finally retiring. It's a bit of an indentikit place but there are lots of comfortable nooks and the place is nicely lit which makes it quite cosy at night. The drinks prices were reasonable for a hotel and we paid (to the best of my memory - it was a very exciting night) just over £6.00 for a pint of lager and a bottle of Peroni (approximately what you'd pay in an average pub in the city centre). Food is served until late into the evening.
We paid just £29.95 and booked quite late so we were delighted with the deal we got. As far as Premier Inns go I'd even say this one is slightly higher than the standard we've come to expect. The public areas are very "corporate" but clean and smart and the rooms and the lounge/bar are very comfortable. Who could be vexed for a shade under £30? We certainly weren't and will certainly think of this hotel next time we're in Glasgow.
Summary: Excellent Premier Inn in Glasgow centre
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