Luxury £125m hotel planned for rundown area of city

30 May 2007

The Herald, by Stewart Paterson

Plans have been revealed for a £125m high-rise hotel in a rundown corner of Glasgow city centre.

The 26-storey, six-star Argyle International, with 158 rooms and rooftop swimming pool, will occupy the corner of Argyle Street and Robertson Street, directly across from the SAS Radisson Hotel.

It is hoped the hotel, at the heart of the area which is marketed as the international financial services district, will help meet demand for luxury rooms in the city as hotel occupancy in Glasgow hits its highest level to date.

A block of serviced apartments will be built on adjoining land for clients who want a longer stay in Glasgow. The hotel, which will replace a pawn shop and boarded-up vacant shop units, is the vision of London-based businessman Charles Price, of Progress Property Developments.

Mr Price said: "We have planned this energy-efficient development to complement Glasgow's aim to become a world-class city. To achieve this we have researched the hotel and serviced apartments market throughout Europe and the Middle East. Our aim is to produce a world-class facility to service the increasing number of business visitors to Glasgow."

The hotel will feature a range of facilities - expected to make it one of the most luxurious and well-equipped in the country. The plans feature a banqueting suite capable of hosting 630 people, a health spa and gym.

The upper floors will feature a rooftop swimming pool and two penthouse suites.

A health suite, and bar and restaurant on the 23rd floor will give panoramic views of Glasgow.

The plans were welcomed by officials in the city responsible for regeneration projects. Steve Inch, executive director of Glasgow City Council, said: "Hotel occupancy is currently running at its highest level, and there is an acknowledged shortage at the top end of the local market.

"The proposal to develop the six-star Argyle International will allow the city to compete even more strongly to attract new conference and business tourism."

Earlier this month it was revealed hotel bookings in Glasgow were growing at a faster rate than Edinburgh. During the first quarter of 2007, Glasgow recorded a growth of 13.4% compared with 5.4% in the capital.

Accountants Deloitte said occupancy in Glasgow was higher than ever, prompting predictions it could overtake Edinburgh in the near future.

Major international events such as the Uefa Cup final, and conferences at the SECC and other venues have led to a need for more hotels in the city. If the Commonwealth Games bid is successful it is anticipated there will be even greater demand.

The city already has around 9000 hotel rooms within a 10-mile radius, with more in the pipeline. The Argyle International is one of many new hotels planned for Glasgow.

A few streets away a new complex at the Albany Hotel in Bothwell Street is planned, with demolition of the existing building and a £100m development with two hotels in its place.


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

  • Ground floor detail from architect's impression by Uniform, Progress Property Developments Ltd and Ian Simpson Architects