The former Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort in Cumbernauld, home of Scotland’s only Seve Ballesteros-designed golf course, is now part of a new DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Spa and Golf Resort, managed by RBH. It has undergone a £1.1m refurbishment of its lobby, lounge bar, 13 rooms and first floor events space, most of which happened over the summer. There are also four new luxury suites, two of which have balconies overlooking the golf course. The plan is to renovate the other 148 rooms over the course of the next two years.
The property joins 50 other hotels within the DoubleTree by Hilton portfolio in the UK, but the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Spa and Golf Resort stands out as the only one in Scotland with a golf course attached. The signature hole, the par-three 15th, was created by Ballesteros and known as the Waterfall hole and requires a tee-shot from an elevated tee to a green surrounded by a 60ft rock face.
As well as the refurbishment, which ICA architects and interior designers were concerned with, every bedroom was kitted out with a new luxury Hilton bed with new bedding and pillows, the latest 50” LG TV, and the inclusion of mini safes and refrigerators. Externally, there’s also new signage, landscaping and lighting. There was also £100k worth of work carried out at the pool area within the spa complex and the installation of an ‘air handling’ system, taking moist air out and bringing fresh air in.
GM Bill Burnett gave me the guided tour. He said, “Back in February we identified that the hotel’s interior identity had really nothing to speak of that tied it back to golf. We also wanted to reinstate a greater connection with the golf course, and one way we have achieved this is via the artwork on the first floor, plus the bedrooms also have golf-related textiles in the rooms. We had to rebrand the business during the summer and this was a massive undertaking and only part of this was the process of rebuilding the rooms.”
He continued, “A large part of this were the new systems that had to meet Hilton worldwide standards and all during our busiest months of the year and this involved a tremendous amount of planning, organisation and technical considerations. This all entailed a two-month build up to the two-month refurbishment.”
Let’s look at the public areas first of all to assess the design’s impact. The lobby as you first enter is a light and airy space, painted in white, with touches of lilac, and what stands out the most is how uncluttered this space is, apart from a few sofas and chairs in grey and yellow around the periphery that go really well with the largely grey slate grey, and a smattering of autumnal-coloured, sundry other tiles. There’s also a big static carpet in the middle of the space with an abstract pattern on it.
One of the most coveted areas within the lobby surely must be the sleek black gas fire in the exposed brick chimney breast at the far end of the space as you enter, next to which are two indigo leather wing-back chairs. On the wall opposite the reception desk are shelves in a similar indigo colour and containing various ornaments, like coffee table books, paperweights and vases.
The reception desk is fairy plain. The walls behind it are panelled in lilac, and along the front of the desk are padded lilac leather additions.
This area leads into the lounge, where the autumnal colour theme continues, thanks to dark reds, browns, rusts and yellows, in what is a fairly busy space with a sea of sofas and low tables. There’s also a fireplace in this area that’s the reverse of fireplace that serves the reception area. There’s also a very busy carpet and wooden glass-top coffee tables.
This in turn leads into the bar area with a wooden floor and bar set into one wall with a wooden frame, bar top and back bar shelves. This area has been painted in a mauve/aubergine colour, with comfortable low-slung chairs in faux cream leather and oatmeal-coloured fabric chairs.
Now on to the bedrooms. They are all decorated rather plainly, thanks to clean white walls and bedding. There is also a standard grey and white flecked carpet which provides an interesting contrast to the cleanness of the rest of the design. Other pops of colour in the rooms are provided by the big statement burnt orange faux-leather headboards, plus the curtains in the room are a mushroom colour. There are honey-coloured lampshades on the bedside lamps, a leather chair in each room, plus a cluster of abstract art hanging on the walls, the majority of which is crisp and fresh with clean lines.
All in all this refurbishment has been a triumph in that it’s given this hotel a real shot in the arm. It’s neutral without being bland, and I also have to say that the level of comfort is also very high, and that despite the pictures being very good, they really don’t always do refurbishemt justice.