meet you at the hotel bar?

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Glasgow’s modern hotel bars are now an entirely different beast to the average watering hole. They’re no longer the bland, generic space for tourist groups to tolerate a post-dinner meet up. Once upon a time, the lowly hotel bar was regarded as being on the same level as a soulless airport drinking spot, but Glasgow Living would like to make the case that the most refined and luxurious cocktail experiences within our city can now be found ‘just off the lobby.’ Grab a seat…

The Dakota group’s Glasgow hotel showcases it’s customary, imposing black frontage and dimly-lit interior. Before you arrive at your table in the sumptuous bar, you’ll no doubt have been greeted warmly by numerous members of staff. Little classic touches such as this, or your coats being taken at the table by your host, turn an ordinary night out into something a little more fun and special. Their drinks menu is stellar, with the ‘Misfits’ section of the cocktail menu offering up some of the most well-mixed drinks in the city. We’re talking grown up cocktails not for the faint hearted here! They also have an extensive range of whiskys and liqueurs to be savoured in their cocoon like bar, where an outside world can just about be glimpsed through the black window shutters.

A short meander from the Dakota will find you being welcomed at the steps of Blytheswood Square. The hotel’s name is synonymous with high standards and luxury in Glasgow at this point, though it isn’t merely the beautiful rooms and spa facilities that draw people in. Their ‘Salon’ is located on the first floor and is a sprawling, well-appointed room, smattered with Harris Tweed chairs. The gorgeous full length windows offer views of the gardens and square below. Where the Dakota offers an intimate and brooding Speakeasy style, the Blytheswood showcases its plush, high ceilinged, Scottish charm. An excellent range of wines are on offer and knowledgeable staff are always keen to talk you through the list. Their cocktail menu is one of our favourite in the city due to their inventive take on the classics. The menu itself (or Bar Book) is creatively split up into chapters such as ‘Short, Potent, Hard’ and ‘Sharp, Fresh, Crisp.’ And when they arrive? They taste as good as they look.

The fun Chez-Mal Bar at Malmaison Glasgow can be found in the same neck of the woods as the previous hotels and would make an excellent end of night spot if visiting all three for an evening on the town. As with the others, a mix of clientele can be found in their hotel bar, but with a more casual, modern vibe, it’s a great spot to kick back. The space features bold turquoise seats, pop-art style illustrations on the walls and also a more traditional wooden bar to watch the mixologists do their thing from. With the recent launch of their new Chez-Mal brasserie, people eager to pop in to test the waters will not be disappointed should they stop at the bar. Chez Mal’s very own ‘Malchemy’ cocktails have something to suit every taste. The promise on their cocktail menu is to “mix you up a storm.” They haven’t disappointed yet!

The Brunswick Hotel in the heart of Merchant City is a minimalist and proudly independent hotel. Nestled within a beautiful building, it’s the kind of place that makes you look twice as you pass by, piquing your curiosity and drawing you in to visit. Within their funky Brutti Ma Buoni (translation - ugly but good) café bar, Glasgow meets the Mediterranean and lots of fun is to be found in the crossover. It’s part hotel bar, part neighbourhood hangout and is without doubt the most quirky hotel bar in the city. They have an excellent range of beers on tap and their outside space on the street offers an excellent place to sit, nurse a drink and watch the world go by. With DJs at the weekend and a bit more of an alternative crowd to be found in this wee gem, you’re always guaranteed a good time - if not a seat!

Next time you’ve got something special to celebrate or you just fancy treating yourself to something a little different, why not try one of these? The drinks might not be the same price as in your local but, then, you get what you pay for.

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