Having regularly frequented the Hotel in its previous life as a private members' club, I had been keen to find a reason to stay at the Blythswood, but living only 16 miles away, it was a birthday party in Glasgow that eventually gave me the excuse to book a room.
That morning, we had flown back to Glasgow from Miami via London and, when making the reservation, had asked for a 2.30pm check in to enable us to have some rest before rendezvousing with friends for dinner at 5pm, prior to the birthday party.
Upon arrival, we were informed that our room was not ready and were advised to wait in the bar until someone came to find us. We ordered a couple of glasses of wine at a £8 each and used some matchsticks to keep our eyelids open. We were surprised to be told by the server to ‘smile’ and look as though we were enjoying ourselves - had my brain not been suffering from impending jet lag, I would have told her we had just returned from a funeral! In any event, I do not expect to be scolded in a 5 star establishment, but in common with previous reviews, the Blythswood is really not worthy of 5 stars.
3pm is the Hotel’s published check in time and, at 3.30pm, I returned to reception to enquire as to whether our room was ready. It was one of those experiences, where you go up to the counter and all the staff turn away as they see you coming or suddenly become engrossed in their computer. Even the lady who had originally dealt with us upon arrival deliberately avoided eye contact - obviously not wanting to be the one to inform us that the room was still not ready. I thought I might have to resort to cartwheels in order to attract someone’s attention!
Apparently we had a ‘maintenance issue’ in our room – what the issue was remains a mystery as Eastern Block governments are less secretive than Blythswood’s reception staff. My partner was irritated by the fact that the Hotel charges £20 per hour for late check out, but expected us to subsidise their bar whilst waiting for our room well beyond the published 3pm check in. ‘I think the least you could do is offer us a complimentary drink whilst we wait’ did the trick and we were, subsequently escorted back to the bar and offered a glass of wine.
Eventually, at 3.55pm a very pleasant young man was seen being urged through the entrance to the bar to come and speak with us. You could almost hear ‘you go…no you go…no you….’ At last we were shown to our room and thankfully a very nice room it was.
The problem with the Blythswood Hotel is, as another reviewer put it, ‘Fur coat….’ The rooms and public areas look fabulous, but after a while you notice the poor finishes, the chipped tiles, the uneven gaps between the marble in the bathrooms, the piles of screws and nails sitting outside on your windowsill, the ill fitting sunken spotlights, the fact that the gadgets don’t work, the sink that cannot fill due to the poorly fitted plug, the poorly constructed wardrobes, etc, etc! I cannot imagine what the place will look like after some wear and tear!
I do not wish to be overly critical of the staff, but I did find them lacklustre, insincere and inexperienced. None of them would last a day in a ‘real’ 5 star Hotel. I am sure there was some problem with our room, but Blythswood reception staff, consider this approach; 'I'm sorry, but we have a maintenance issue in your room, which is probably going to take an hour or so to repair. I know you probably want to put your feet up after such a long journey, but how about I take you through to our bar, settle you at a table overlooking the square and serve you a complimentary tea, coffee or glass of wine with a couple of nibbles.' Would that approach be too much to expect of a 5 star hotel?
In comparison to other Glasgow Hotels, the Blythswood could have been the best, but it really does not measure up. Such a shame!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blythswood Square is more than a hotel and is an exciting addition to Glasgow's city centre. Not only does it have 100 stunning guest rooms but it also houses an amazing spa, restaurant, salon bar and private event areas, a true 5 star proposition. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blythswood Square Hotel Glasgow
- Blythswood Square Glasgow, Scotland