Glasgow gives green light to six-star luxury

14 Nov 2007

The Herald, by Gerry Braiden

A massive hotel development, billing itself as Scotland's only six-star accommodation, has been given the green light.

The 26-storey Argyle International will house 160 rooms and 68 service apartments in a rundown corner of Glasgow city centre, with the first guests expected within three years.

Described as a building of international status and quality, it will fill a luxury niche in Glasgow's hospitality trade not currently catered for, with tourism officials adamant it will fuel the already burgeoning conference sector.

Charles Price, the Glasgow-born property entrepreneur behind the hotel, is known to have trumpeted his project as being a Scottish equivalent of the Burg Al Arab in Jumeirah, Dubai, while planning officials at Glasgow City Council said yesterday that "in development terms it will be the best quality hotel in the country".

Leading tourism figures have also claimed Mr Price has now achieved his long-held ambition of securing a UK "trophy hotel" in his native city.

Although there is no six-star category within the UK hospitality industry, the billing has been described as an indication of Mr Price's ambition of developing a hotel of global recognition and high-end luxury.

At least five leisure firms with global brands are negotiating to take on the running of the hotel, which will be located in Argyle Street on the edge of the city's new financial district.

There had been some concern that, given the hotel's bold design, skyline-busting height and a recent refusal of an application for a 20-storey long-stay hotel just streets away, that the bid could be refused.

But the only dissent came from the Green party's Nina Baker, who claimed the height would cast long shadows over several streets and called for the height to be cut to just 11 storeys.

VisitScotland area director for Glasgow, Tom McWilliam, said: "The Argyle International will make a significant contribution to Glasgow's tourism offering, and boost the city's reach in attracting high-spending visitors and major international events.

"In meeting the challenges to increase Glasgow's hotel sector by 3000 quality bedrooms by 2016, a top-end hotel development like this is a confident first step."

 

Reproduced with the permission of the The Herald (Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

  • Ground floor detail of architect's impression by Uniform, PPD Ltd and Ian Simpson Architects

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