July, 2011


29
Jul 11

Glamorous Glasgow: The Blythswood Square Hotel

My lovely Dad phoned me a few weeks ago to give me some inside information for my blog – Brad Pitt is apparently on his way to our home town of Glasgow! As it’s not that unusual for my Dad to say something a bit mad I wasn’t sure at first whether he’d got his facts right but, sure enough, it turns out that this August the Hollywood superstar will indeed be visiting one of the finest cities in Britain (I’m not biased) to film his new zombie movie, World War Z. Glasgow has its fair share of fabulous places to stay but my money’s on Brad visiting Glasgow’s hottest new hotel, The Blythswood Square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lowdown

The Blythswood Square Hotel has only been open just over a year but has already established itself as a major player on the Scottish hotel scene. P Diddy was the first of many celebrities to check in and has been followed a host of musical movers and shakers. As I checked in the T in The Park performers and their extensive entourages were exiting stage left and there were rumours that Beyonce herself had been admiring the cityscape from the terrace of the hotel’s privately accessed, three-bedroom Penthouse suite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located smack-bang in the centre of Glasgow’s central conservation area, the Blythswood Square is a magnificent city centre landmark. Once the former home of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, and one of the starting points of the Monte-Carlo Rally, the hotel has retained all of its va-va-va-vroom in its 21st century incarnation. Downstairs, in the swish lobby area there is an excellent restaurant, serving zingy Scottish cuisine, and a smart yet unpretentious bar. Cross the marble floored reception to the spectacular three-storey chandelier and a grand staircase – one that calls out for a sweeping entrance in an evening gown – to access the first floor Salon, a separate area for afternoon tea and charismatic cocktails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rooms are furnished in cool comfortable slate grey shades with specially commission heather-coloured Harris Tweed covering everything from the lilac lampshades to the turquoise blue bolsters and buttoned headboard. Even celebrities expect wi-fi to be included – Katy Perry recently Tweeted that she wouldn’t stay in a hotel that didn’t have it – and the Blythswood ticks this box, as well as having an extensive range of free in-room movies on offer too. Marble peek-a-boo bathrooms and a selection of spicy Anne Semonin amenities make a flamboyant addition to the suites.

 

The Highlights

The Spa at the Blythswood Square is absolutely exceptional; in fact I would go as far as saying it is one of the best city-hotel spas in Britain. Hidden in the hotel’s enormous basement, the spa complex is a shadowy glamorous space where guests can unwind anonymously. Lighting is low. Nightclub low but rather than being annoying it adds to the spa’s relax-in-the-city vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spa’s USP (sorry I’ve been hooked on The Apprentice) is its exceptional “thermal experience”. A series of rooms and pools that take de-stressing to a galactic level; dip in a giant walk-in Jacuzzi, cleanse in the crystal steam room, invigorate in the vitality pool or lounge in the laconium. There’s also a series of saunas and the tranquil tepidarium with luxurious heated stone loungers to fall asleep on. The spa has also wisely steered away from the usual Asian-inspired theme and has instead fully embraced its Scottish heritage with unique treatments using aromatic indigenous ingredients. The beautifully scented oils, used during my Turus hot stone massage, were created by organic skincare specialists Ila and for sixty magical minutes evoked heather-heavy mountaintops and cedar-scented woods – bliss.

 

Star Style


 

The Blythswood Square Hotel was recently named as the official VIP hotel for this year’s MOBO Awards so channel your inner rock star with this little leather number from hot Scottish designer Christopher Kane

£2205

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blythswood Square Hotel: 0141 240 1666; www.blythswoodsquare.com. Doubles from £135

 


20
Jul 11

Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis’ Just Friends?

 

It may be teeming down in Britain but things are certainly heating up in sunny Cancun with the recent arrival of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. The 27-year-old Black Swan actress and her 30 year-old co-star jetted into Mexico to spread the word about their new movie, Friends with Benefits, but it seems that life may be imitating art as rumour has it that the couple are an undercover item.

 

 

 

The cute couple have been laughing off the gossip for a while now but if it is true then Justin and Mila couldn’t have picked a location for some low-key romance than honeymoon heaven, Maroma Resort and Spa. Set amidst lush jungle on the soft white sands of the unspoilt beaches of the Maya Riviera, Maroma offers barefoot luxury and pure escapism.

 

 

Visiting celebrities to the Maroma – and there have been a few – have at their disposal a four-bedroom beachfront villa with views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Just offshore are some of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs and on-site there are flower-filled gardens and a host of poolside restaurants. And if that’s not enough to torture you in this miserable summer, there’s also an award-winning spa, Kinan, where Sharon Stone, Cameron Diaz and Minnie Driver have all made use of the magical Mayan treatments on offer.

 


5
Jul 11

Celebrate Like Royalty at the Hotel Métropole Monte-Carlo

Love was in the air this weekend, as the Cambridges canoodled on their Canadian tour, Kate Moss got hitched to Jamie Hince, and the tiny Principality of Monaco rejoiced at the union of Prince Albert and her Charlene Wittstock.

Some 3500 guests attended the star-studded Royal Wedding including heads of state and the rich and famous. Amongst them were the French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Prince Frederik of Denmark, couturiers Karl Lagarfeld and Giorgio Armani – who made Charlene’s dress. Former super-model Naomi Campbell also made an appearance and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sang Ave Maria for the happy couple.

 

All of these illustrious guests, of course, had to find somewhere to pop on their party frocks and and Monaco’s top hotels were on hand to fuss over their fabulous visitors. The Hotel Métropole Monte-Carlo, voted the ‘Best Hotel in the World’ last year, enhanced the hotel’s decor with an amorous floral theme.

In-house stylist and florist Miss Rose created a stunning ephemeral floral display in the lobby. Named the ‘Garden of Eden’, the centrepiece was a spectacular Cherry Blossom tree surrounded by a halo of whimsical white flowers. The hotel’s discreet archway entrance was also adorned in white and red flowers, as a subtle nod to the official colours of Monaco.

Discerning wedding guests were able to soak up the city’s regal atmosphere in the palatial surrounding of the Jaques Garcia designed Hotel Metropole. Dining here is a divine experience; the hotel has two marvellous Michelin-starred restaurants; YOSHI and Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo both of which are celebrity-frequented all year round. Guests were also able to relax in between the three-day celebrations by sipping cocktails at the hotel’s enchanting summer-in-the-city swimming pool or hanging out at the trendy Lobby Bar. The hotel’s fairy-tale pretty suites and junior suites, which feature terraces and stunning views of the ocean, are bound to have been the most sought-after and on-site there is also the celebrated Espa Spa to keep glamorous guests ready for a world-wide audience.

Hotel Metropole, 4 avenue de la Madone, Monte Carlo. (+377) 93 15 15 15 www.metropole.com ) From £265 per night

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