Affordable luxury: hotels in Glasgow for a plush getaway without the high price tag

Arguably Scotland’s hippest city, Glasgow has so much appeal if you’re after an affordable luxury getaway filled with gallery visits, jaunts around beautiful botanic gardens and evenings spent at cool cocktail bars.

While it may not be as historic as Edinburgh, Glasgow is rapidly gaining a reputation for being a fun and fascinating city in its own right. From the impressive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and atmospheric University of Glasgow — whose Gothic cloisters were featured in the Harry Potter films — to dozens of great eateries for both fine dining and casual eats, you’ll be nicely surprised by what’s on offer in Scotland’s largest city.

You’ll need somewhere to stay when you’re soaking up all that glory. Whether you’re heading there for a romantic break, to swat up on your art history or simply just to indulge, you’ll find plenty of inexpensive hotels in Glasgow with luxurious and innovative perks.

Futuristic luxury for a low price at citizenM Glasgow


The contemporary design of this hotel makes it really stand out in Glasgow’s city centre, where the majority of the buildings date back to the Victorian era. citizenM describes itself as “Glasgow’s coolest hotel” — and its stylish, almost space-age, interiors certainly don’t disappoint.

Rooms at citizenM are relatively compact yet all about comfort. Spread out on super king size beds made up with luxuriously soft linens and drift off to sleep with lulling mood lighting that manages to be simultaneously relaxing and effortlessly cool. Tech lovers will feel right at home, too, with the hotel’s iPad minis that can be used to tailor your room’s light levels, temperature and even control your TV.

One of the best features about citizenM Glasgow has to be its communal areas that’ve been created to feel like the welcoming home of a friend with trendy tastes. A huge wrap-around sofa takes centre stage in the lobby, plus there’s a handful of more intimate seating areas that are perfect for working or a chat. Floor to ceiling shelving units stuffed with books and cool curios line the walls, while a no-nonsense monochrome colour scheme is uplifted with a few pops of cherry red.

In terms of location, you’ll find the Glasgow School of Art on the same street as citizenM, in addition to several music venues where you can catch both classical and contemporary gigs. The hotel’s canteenM — whose food is definitely more chic bistro than school dinners — additionally has a 24 hour bar should you feel like a wee dram in the middle of the night.

citizenM Glasgow

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (2457 reviews)

Luxury creature-comforts at Malmaison Glasgow


Unusually housed in a former Greek Orthodox church, Malmaison Glasgow is a hotel that’s full of surprises. Once you step through the striking entrance way, you’ll discover a warren of cosy suites that make wonderful refuges after a long day of exploring. The ethos here is all about creature comforts, from having a great night’s sleep in a soft bed, indulging in a candlelit bath or waking up to a fresh mug of your favourite brew without leaving your room.

You’ll find the more affordable rooms boast calming colour schemes and doubles or twins bedecked in plush velvet pillows. Take a moment to smell the wonderful bespoke Malmaison toiletries in your bathroom, and feel free to order room service from the brasserie style menu of the Chez Mal Brasserie at any hour of the day (or night).

If you’re a fan of White Russians, an easy fifteen minute walk into the nearby Finnieston neighbourhood will lead you to Lebowskis, a well-loved pub that serves up over 30 variations of the cocktail. Whisky lovers will particularly enjoy “The Smokey” — a heady mix of Islay single malt, Kahlua and nutmeg.

Malmaison Glasgow

8.4 Very good (1525 reviews)

History and opulence collide at inexpensive Hotel Indigo Glasgow


Like others in the boutique Hotel Indigo chain, the Glasgow venue has been designed with its location’s history in mind. It’s found in one of the most elegant areas of the city, where the buildings sport grand façades and generously proportioned rooms.

Glasgow’s past is admirably reflected in Hotel Indigo’s interiors, with rooms decorated with exotic patterned fabrics — a throwback to its days as a successful trading hub — and murals of the city in decades gone by. You’ll also spot portraits of Scottish poets as well as pieces from Glasgow School of Art alumni that give the whole hotel a rather gallery-esque feel.

If you’re craving a juicy steak, you’ve come to the right place as Hotel Indigo’s resident restaurant is a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse. The meat-orientated menu is largely created from Scottish produce, from local cuts of beef through to flavourful Loch Fyne smoked salmon. Despite the hearty fare, the eatery’s décor is nothing less than sophisticated thanks to its rich velvet booths and eye-catching pendant lights.

Hotel Indigo Glasgow

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (1587 reviews)

Contemporary décor and convenience at the affordable Motel One Glasgow


For those who prefer to get straight off the train and be in their hotel in under five minutes, you can’t beat Motel One Glasgow. Literally next door to Central Station, it’s far from the pokey dimensions and no-frills décor of most budget hotels. In fact, once inside, you’ll discover a stylish and welcoming haven in which to base yourself for a few days of exploring.

Rooms at Motel One are cosy and quiet, with hints of teal in the headboards, curtains and velvet scatter cushions brightening up an otherwise grey colour palette. The hotel’s rather minimalist bathrooms (no bathtubs) are made up for by the nice organic toiletries, while night owls are kept entertained by the array of channels on the smart TVs.  

Motel One Glasgow’s location doesn’t go unnoticed in its interiors, either. Sink into a tartan armchair in the trendy One Lounge bar or have some fun perching on one of the woolly sheep stools. There’s also a fair few design features that acknowledge Glasgow’s status as the starting point of the West Highland Line, from beautiful photography of train tracks and highland villages to the brass lettering in the reception that lists all the stations en route.

Foodies will be glad to know that Motel One Glasgow’s position next door to Central Station not only makes it accessible but also puts it within minutes of the Argyle Street Arches, an underground food market with stalls selling delicious street grub. There’s even a crème brulee truck for those with a sweet tooth!

Motel One Glasgow

9.1 Excellent (1329 reviews)

Boutique décor for a decent price at ABode Glasgow


Art lovers will adore the location and tasteful décor of ABode, an affordable Glasgow hotel just a short stroll from half a dozen of the city’s best galleries. Once the childhood home of the country’s first Scottish-born first minister, the lovely Edwardian townhouse venue has since been transformed into a boutique sanctuary that subtly plays homage to the city.

Rooms at ABode Glasgow fit into four categories, with the cheapest — “Comfortable” — still affording you a spacious and stylish stay. Despite the generous dimensions and wide windows, ABode’s rooms exude cosiness thanks to soft tartan bedspreads and calming colour schemes. The eye-catching wallpaper of paintbrush pots is a nice creative touch, plus you’ll spot golden lions (the royal symbol of Scotland) etched into the wall in the lobby.

When it comes to food and drink at ABode, you can whizz downstairs in the vintage cage lift and sample some classic Scottish cuisine — think haggis and black pudding for breakfast — in the award-winning brasserie restaurant. For a more low key evening, the hotel’s casual basement Pie & Brew bar showcases live music from local bands most weekends.

If you’ve a keen eye for design, don’t forget to check out the Lighthouse that’s just a short stroll away from ABode. It’s a cutting-edge design centre dedicated to Charles Rennie Mackintosh that features seven storeys of unique exhibitions as well as a viewing platform accessed via a spectacular spiral staircase.

ABode Glasgow

7.8 Good (2054 reviews)

Luxurious rooms with botanical views at well-priced Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor


For those hoping to check out the sights and sounds of Glasgow’s West End, look no further than the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor. It’s housed in another elegant period building directly opposite the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, meaning many of the floor to ceiling windows proffer stunning leafy views.

Light-filled rooms and lush furnishings give the Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor an air of effortless quality. Marble bathrooms, LCD TVs and sumptuous toiletries come as standard, while those with more cash to splash will find the deluxe suites even have cosy living rooms and added extras like complimentary snacks and fluffy bathrobes.

The Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor is additionally attached to beGin, a must-visit for aficionados of botanical tipples thanks to its innovative gin and tonic combos. They even stock some rarer Scottish labels, including Isle of Harris gin with its crisp, ocean-inspired taste. Plus, if you’re looking for a lively place for an evening bite, cobbled Ashton Lane is only a short walk south and littered with pubs, restaurants and an indie cinema.

Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor

7.9 Good (1398 reviews)

Luxury interiors and complimentary spa access at The Principal Blythswood Square


Nestled in the heart of the city, The Principal Blythswood Square is a real throwback to the city’s prosperity during the 1900s. It was once the headquarters of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club and this esteemed heritage lives on in the hotel’s grand Georgian façade and gorgeous décor.

It’s obvious as soon as you step foot into the magnificent lobby that no expense was spared in The Principal Blythswood Square’s restoration. Expect to be staying in a classic yet luxurious room that makes the most of the building’s original features without looking old-fashioned. High-ceilinged rooms with paneled walls and huge windows are taken into the 21st century by neutral tones, top of the range tech and luxurious marble bathrooms abundant with Elemis toiletries.

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you’ll be able to glimpse the hotel’s private garden in bloom from your window or from the downstairs Salon. If you opt for the latter, expect to be seated on comfy chairs upholstered in Harris Tweed and to dine off a menu of mouth-watering afternoon treats with decadent twists. The egg sandwiches with truffle mayo and the coconut rum macarons are especially inventive (and delicious).

The Principal Blythswood Square is uniquely one of the few hotels in Glasgow’s city centre to have a spa, making it a perfect pick for those after an extra luxurious break. Pamper your skin with a bespoke mud treatment or ease your muscles with a choice of massages before taking a dip in the heated hydrotherapy pool (which is free for hotel guests to use in the mornings and evenings).

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (1958 reviews)


Jemima Forbes