26 April 2021

Glasgow's voco Grand Central Hotel projects a bright future

voco Grand Central Hotel shines a light on hotel history in a stunning light show celebrating the hotel’s rebrand to voco and the reopening of Scottish hospitality

The show, running throughout the week, celebrates the reopening of ‘Glasgow’s most loved hotel’ on Monday April 26 following a multi-million refurbishment to become a voco branded hotel, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts, after more than a year of closure due to Covid-19.

Paul Bray, Area Manager for IHG Hotels & Resorts UK North and General Manager of voco Grand Central Hotel said: “It’s been a really tough year for so many people and as hospitality reopens in Scotland we’re excited to celebrate the rebrand of our iconic hotel by looking back at some special moments from the hotel’s rich history. The word voco is inspired by the Latin for ‘come together’ and this couldn’t be truer for us at Grand Central Hotel, a place where many guests have chosen to connect and spend special times together across the years. As we enter a new era as a voco, we hope many will choose to return to voco Grand Central for those special moments when we can reunite and come together again.

“It’s important to us to honour the heritage of our beautiful building and its history, but we’re also looking to the future with a strong focus on sustainability, looking after our planet as we do our guests, and joining a global family of more than 50 hotels that offer a reliably different experience.”

The free light show illuminates the hotel’s icon clocktower with spectacular archive imagery documenting the vibrant history of the hotel; from the building of the station in 1870s, through the golden age of travel as a British Transport Hotel when Hollywood stars including Gene Kelly, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra stayed as guests, right up to the present day and celebrating the future as a voco hotel.

Memories and pictures contributed by former staff and guests are also captured in the projection alongside the words of local playwright Laurie Motherwell in audio poetry which celebrates Grand Central’s cherished place at the beating heart of Glasgow for almost 140 years. To view the full light show including audio poetry please click here.

voco is one of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ newest brands and is part of the group’s premium collection of brands which aim to deliver a sense of belonging and well-being, with thoughtful details to make every trip matter. Developed in the UK in 2018 and rolled out initially in the Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region, the voco brand then went on to expand to the U.S. and Greater China in 2020 and is proving popular with guests, owners and developers alike. The brand has recently reached the milestone of more than 50 signings and openings since it launched less than 3 years ago.

 

Other voco properties across the UK can be found in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Oxford and Reading, and across Europe in destinations such as Paris and Strasbourg, France; Podgorica, Montenegro; and Villach, Brussels. The brand presents owners with a strong return on investment with its flexible model is appealing to a broad range of asset types from conversion to newbuild.

Showcasing high-quality properties which fall into heritage, urban and destination opportunities, is a reflection of the versatility of the voco brand which IHG intends to further grow in 2021 and beyond.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Lauren Thanomkiet
lauren.thanomkiet@ihg.com
+44 (0) 1895 512 663

About IHG®

IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

 

With a family of 16 hotel brands and IHG Rewards, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has nearly 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a further 1,800 due to open over the next five years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 350,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.

 

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.ihgrewards.com for more on IHG Rewards Club. For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

ABOUT VOCO HOTELS

voco™ Hotels combines the reassurance of a big brand with the informality and charm of an individual hotel, providing guests with a dependably upscale experience. The name, voco™, means ‘to invite’ and ‘call together’ originating from Latin, representing the brand’s thoughtful, unstuffy and charming nature. voco™ Hotels combine memorable moments and high-quality touches, from indulgent amenities to big, comfy beds. Guests will always get a warm welcome during a swift check in, a comfy room perfect for unwinding and relaxing, and vibrant bar and restaurant spaces that provide plenty of opportunity to connect and socialise. For more information and to book, visit www.vocohotels.com, and stay connected with us on Facebook www.facebook.com/vocohotels, and Instagram www.instagram.com/vocohotels.

ABOUT VOCO® GRAND CENTRAL, GLASGOW

The recently refurbished voco Grand Central Hotel opened in 2021 following a multi-million rebrand to become one of Scotland’s first voco™ hotels, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts.

The expansive refurbishment updated 230 bedrooms, meeting rooms and reception areas enhancing the historic charm and existing grandeur of the Grand Central Hotel with bold branding and a distinctive new identity. A contemporary fresh palette of blues and voco signature yellow compliments the original Victorian architecture throughout the 19thcentury great British railway hotel, preserving memories of the hotel’s golden age, the stories of which are much loved by visitors to the hotel and Glaswegians alike. Guests can enjoy a new gallery wall featuring artworks created by the Scottish public which remembers many of its celebrity guests including John F Kennedy, John Lennon and Frank Sinatra.

The hotel bar Champagne Central, overlooks Central Station and evokes the golden age of travel. Serving champagne, cocktails, afternoon tea and a new tapas menu celebrating the best of Scottish produce, guests can enjoy an afternoon or evening surrounded in glamour.

The history of Grand Central Hotel

From its opening in 1883 as a British Railway Hotel, The Central Hotel as it was known for many years has long been a place where people would come together to spend special times. Connecting the second city of the empire to London, the evolution of the railway and its hotel offered increasing numbers of Victorians who could afford it the opportunity to take holidays in Glasgow, perhaps on their way to the Highlands and Trossachs. Leisure time was more freely available than it had ever been and many new pastimes evolved, including the enjoyment of tearooms, for which the palatial interiors of the hotel suited greatly.

The hotel was at the heart of innovation and global history including the first ever long distance television broadcast by John Logie Baird, from London to a room on the Hotel’s fourth floor. It was also where a young John F Kennedy met the survivors of the Clyde Built liner The Anthenia, sunk by a U-boat in 1939 with many Americans on board. It was his first visit to the UK, having been sent by his father the US ambassador to support the survivors.

In the hotel’s golden age many of Hollywood greatest stars walked through its doors on the corner of Hope Street and Gordon Street, including Gene Kelly, Sammy Davis Junior, JFK, Vivien Leigh and Frank Sinatra. Since then it has continued to occupy a place at the heart of many Glaswegians who chose to celebrate weddings, Christmas and birthdays there; home to the city’s awards ceremonies and charity events, it’s greatly revered at Glasgow’s most loved hotel.
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