The largest city in Scotland may not be best known for its prettiness, but the terraced houses that surround Kelvingrove Park are impressive and grandiose. 15 Glasgow, a five bed boutique bed and breakfast, is one of these buildings. A Victorian townhouse that is large even in comparison to some of the corkers nearby.
The proportions of 15 are spacious yet cosy, not vacuous and minimal: it’s a cavernous thickly carpeted, chandeliered palace. Original features such as the wooden banister with iron railings, corniced ceilings and stained glass window halfway up the staircase have been enhanced with contemporary flourishes – silver mirrors, a feather-filled sofa and monochrome pieces by Glaswegian artist Hannah Frank on the wall.
15 Glasgow was however not always as it is now. Purchased in 2009 as structural engineers' offices, it required a full refurbishment. The potential for 15 was obvious to first time interior designers Shane and Laura McKenzie and they were not daunted by the huge task ahead.
There was 1 WC in the whole building, storage heating and antiquated electrics.
The architect saw the project through to planning stage and once the plans and paperwork were in order the novice interior designers took over.
Mosaic tiles were refurbished, stain glass was removed, cleaned and replaced. Fireplaces were reinstated and cornicing was repaired. The quest for individual pieces began. The shopping list was huge: shimmering chandeliers, over-stuffed sofas, unique pieces from the architectural salvage yard. 6 luxury ensuites were created, with walkin monsoon showers, underfloor heating and free standing baths (a plumbing nightmare!). Superking sized beds and oversized headboards were hand made by a local Glasgow firm.
9 months later the transformation was complete.
However over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry had taught Laura that the product was important but the customer experience and service was more so.
Every guest is an individual with indivdual requirements, at 15 the staff get to know their guests. Why they are in Glasgow and what they want to experience during their stay. A Glaswegian since birth, Laura knows the city inside out especially the eating and drinking scene. Restaurant recommendations are sent out in advance and reservations made. Special occasion? A birthday cake or bottle of fizz will welcome the guest. Breakfast is locally sourced, organic produce brought to the guest room on butlers trays at the time best suited to them. "I remember taking scrambled eggs and salmon up to a former turner prize winner at 1pm because they had been up till the early hours setting up an exhibition"
15 Glasgow is an oasis of calm in a busy city and a home from home for our guests, nothing is too much trouble.
3 certificates of excellence from trip advisor and positioning at No 1 B and B in the city since 6 weeks after opening proves this point
I guess it can best be summed up by our favourite comment in the visitor's book
"if carlsberg did B and B's..........".
On the 12th June 2010, 15 Glasgow welcomed its first guests. In the very early days Andrew Fairlie Michelin starred chef at Gleneagles Hotel stayed and Laura and Shane were very encouraged by his comment in their guest book. "setting new standards, Glasgow needs you!"
In the last 2 years the efforts of Shane and Laura have been recognised by the following:-
The Guardian, Sally Shalem "Magnificent design..........."
Homes and Interiors Scotland "Bed and Beautiful"
Conde Naste "Autumns Harvest"
The Times, "The Cool Hotel Guide" rated 9.5/10 by Tom Chessyre
Scotsman Style Magazine
Scotland on Sunday "at home with"
Red Magazine "I created my own getaway escape"
The Times, inclusion in the "20 coolest places to stay in the UK"
The Michelin Guide, top 10 in Europe
Mr and Mrs Smith Boutique Hotel Guide
The Wallpaper City Guide to Glasgow and
Loius Vuitton Glasgow City Guide
"We are not interior designers, we just picked the things we liked" says Laura
We hope you like it too!