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Malmaison, Glasgow, Scotland
Malmaison, the brand, is about turning unusual buildings into hotels - here a former Greek Orthodox Church off Blythswood Square just west of the city centre. The 'Mal' style trademarks are all present, particularly in the bar; the most striking place in the building and a seriously sociable space with a soaring glass ceiling, beer keg wall and neon admonition: 'Don't worry help is on the way'. There's perhaps not so much emphasis on innocent naughtiness (it is, after all, in a former church) but the bedrooms are still more imaginatively decorated than your usual chain with bold use of colour and texture to give a sense of playful drama, and where else can you dine in a glamorously-lit crypt?
Head round the corner and up the hill to Sauchiehall Street for the Centre for Contemporary Arts by day and nightclubs by night.
It's a 15-minute walk to George Square, Princes Square shopping centre and the Gallery of Modern Art.
By plane: flights from London to Glasgow take 1 hour 15 minutes. The hotel is a 10-minute drive. Parking costs £15 per day. skyscanner.com
By train: 4 hours 30 minutes from London and 3 hours from Manchester. The hotel is a ten-minute walk from Glasgow Central station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Anyone who is tired of beige will love it here. The giant houndstooth check-patterned carpets throughout are somehow crazy and classy at the same time.
Service & Facilities
We loved knowing a toasted cheese and ham sandwich in bed is possible, if one comes over peckish in the small hours.
- Free Wi-Fi
The split-level suite on the top floor has loads of space and light. The eye-catching patchwork-upholstered Eames-style chairs in bedrooms are a colourful spin on a classic.
Standard Room, Club Room Club Deluxe Room, Junior Suite, Suite, Signature Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, kettle, iron and ironing board, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
It's a shortish wine list but most wines are available by the glass in two sizes, and 500 ml bottles, too. A generous smoked haddock fish cake with spinach and spiky mustard sauce is a warm, comforting hug on a cold November evening.
Chez Mal Brasserie: relaxed dining, creative twists on classics. Open daily for breakfast and dinner. Afternoon tea served Sat-Sun from £27.
Chez Mal Bar: inventive cocktails, bar snacks and sharing platters. Open daily for 12pm.