RADIS­SON RED

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

FROM DIGS to gigs in two min­utes is one pro­mo­tional line for the lat­est ad­di­tion to Radis­son’s more re­laxed RED brand. And yes, slap bang op­po­site the ho­tel stands the SSE Hy­dro, Glas­gow’s ma­jor con­cert and events venue, whose im­pres­sively il­lu­mi­nated ex­te­rior is an unar­guable noc­tur­nal at­trac­tion.

I check in as those check­ing out are shar­ing rec­ol­lec­tions of the pre­vi­ous night’s Brit­ney Spears show. And the con­cert crowd seem a de­cent fit for an en­ter­prise geared unashamedly to­wards a more youth­ful mar­ket, yet with an ap­peal across the age spec­trum.

The ho­tel is the first of the RED brand in the UK (other lo­ca­tions in­clude Brus­sels and Min­neapo­lis) and it is res­o­lutely true to its colour, both in the open plan re­cep­tion space lead­ing to the din­ing area and the 174 rooms of vary­ing size.

It also serves as a show­case for the work of lo­cal artists Frank Quitely and Adrian McMurchie, af­ford­ing a pleas­ingly comic book ap­pear­ance to walls and wardrobes.

Apart from a funkier feel than most ma­jor chain ho­tel rooms, the essen­tials are as ex­pected. But bonus points for the ex­treme com­fort of the king-size bed, the 55-inch TV and de­cent toi­letries.

There are also VIP ex­tras for spe­cial oc­ca­sions and some re­wards cus­tomers. Mine in­cluded a chilled beer, a wel­come ac­com­pa­ni­ment to the night time view (other lo­cal sights are also lit up), although a more so­cial op­tion is the rooftop RED Sky Bar, where the win­dow berths are the hot tick­ets.

There is a more in­for­mal drink­ing op­tion at ground level, whose din­ing space is the place for break­fast — and other snacks dur­ing the day — and leads on to a snug-like pool room.

A mas­sive touch screen dis­play in the heart of re­cep­tion is a pop­u­lar gather­ing point. While the op­por­tu­nity to take a gi­gan­tic selfie is well nigh ir­re­sistible, guests also can also ac­cess de­tails of lo­cal and wider at­trac­tions, shop­ping and nightlife.

But a young and en­thu­si­as­tic staff are happy to elab­o­rate too, prof­fer­ing their own sug­ges­tions. And gen­eral man­ager Michael We­ston — who stands out in a crowd on grounds of height — prefers to de­scribe his role as “curator, tai­lor­ing the guest ex­pe­ri­ence”.

If that “ex­pe­ri­ence” does not in­cor­po­rate a con­cert at the Hy­dro, lo­cal knowl­edge is use­ful for those with­out a car (although there are park­ing spa­ces for driv­ers). It’s a fair walk to the main shop­ping ar­eas and a longer one to Ibrox Sta­dium around 30 min­utes away, as I dis­cov­ered when tak­ing in a Rangers game, although quicker than try­ing to beat the crowds on pub­lic trans­port. It’s also around a mile on foot to the city cen­tre Gar­nethill Syn­a­gogue.

If it does seem at times that the ho­tel is try­ing a lit­tle too hard to be quirky, it’s prefer­able to the many in the more main­stream mar­ket which do not try hard enough on so many lev­els.

In Brit­ney’s words, hit me baby one more time.

RATES: Rooms from £99. radis­sonred. com/glas­gow

BARRY TOBERMAN

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