Firms fight to run first 6 star hotel in Scotland

11 Feb 2007

Evening Times, by Vivienne Nicoll

Seven international groups are lining up to run what could become Scotland's first six star hotel.

Plans for the luxury £125million complex for the city's International Financial Services District are to be considered by councillors.

And if given the go-ahead the man behind the project, Glasgow-born businessman Charles Price, expects to announce who will run it within weeks.

The 26-storey Argyle International will include a gourmet restaurant, two huge penthouse suites, a rooftop "sky bar" and an infinity swimming pool.

Today Mr Price said: "We are in discussions with seven multi-national operators who have their head offices in the US, Far East and Middle East.

"We hope shortly to be in a position to announce who will be the hotel operator."

Mr Price is determined the Argyle International will be one of the best hotels in Britain. He revealed he is looking for something very special from the firm which will take over its running.

The property tycoon said: "It is not just the size of the company but a question of whether or not they share our dream. One operator has already told me he understands what I want to do and he can make the dream come true."

Mr Price said considerable work has gone into the detail of the hotel since the plan was unveiled in the Evening Times in May. Initially, he planned to have an infinity pool on the top floor of the hotel but has now decided the top floor will be occupied by a bar with stunning panoramic views across the city. The pool will be on the floor below.

Mr Price said: "We want this development to be in tune with what is happening in Glasgow and Scotland. We have promised the city we will create an iconic building which will be acceptable not only to Glasgow but to Scotland and the rest of the world."

One of Mr Price's more unusual ideas is to introduce an artist in residence who will have a base in the hotel where his or her work will be available for sale to guests.

Councillors will decide on the hotel just a week after they voted to kick out another hotel plan for the city. As first revealed by the Evening Times, the design for Staybridge's 20-storey hotel in Jamaica Street was described as hideous' and ghastly'.

If the Argyle International gets the go-ahead it will have 158 large rooms and suites. Adjoining it will be a block of 68 flats serviced by the hotel for guests planning a longer stay in the city.

The proposed site for the hotel is currently partially occupied by a pawnbroker's store.

 

Reproduced with the permission of the Evening Times (Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times)

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

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