Blythswood Square: An Ultra-Chic Hotel for Glasgow

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Blythswood Square

A step up The hotel has played a huge role in the square's regeneration

By situating it at the geographical heart of Glasgow and on a prominent hill, the builders of Blythswood Square intended their creation to be focal point of the city when they completed it in 1823. While the buildings were grand enough — imposing four-story Georgian sandstone terraces featuring giant sash windows and colonnades — the inhabitants weren't always. By the late 20th century, Blythswood Square was home to the greatest concentration of prostitutes in Scotland. But thanks to recent regeneration, the working girls are gone and these days the square can once again lay claim to being one of Glasgow's best addresses. The highlight of its redevelopment has been the $37 million conversion of the eastern side into an eponymous ultra-chic hotel.

The expense shows. The 100 rooms are large and feature marble baths at their centers. The central staircase sweeps around a chandelier several stories high. There's a spa, a private cinema, a serious restaurant and a champagne and cocktail bar in a former ballroom — all of it run on energy-efficient technology and harvested rainwater. The decor even contains a few witty references to the square's scandalous past. The lobby features several silk scarlet booths that seem made for illicit assignations, while hanging in every window is a single red light. Rooms are priced from about $170 for a "wee classic" to a socking $2,000 for the penthouse suite — a giant rooftop spread with its own lift, terrace, snooker table, butler, hot tub, bar and dining room.

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