Boclair House Hotel
Presenting opulence and stunning beauty, Boclair House Hotel is a stylish boutique hotel that specialises in weddings. Transformed from what was recently office accommodation for East Dunbartonshire Council, the listed building boasts so much history, inside magnificent grounds.
Interior design and architectural company, Space ID, were responsible for the design elements that took place at Boclair House Hotel. Having been in operation since 2008, three partners that previously worked together took it upon themselves to start up Space ID. The company operates within the hospitality industry, typically carrying out projects on hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Mike Simmons, Director of Space ID, told Premier Hospitality:
“By the time the planning permission had gone through it was late 2014, and we started on site in January 2015. The hotel opened at the end of March this year with a VIP preview night.
“The hotel has been totally refurbished – everything was stripped out back to its former shell, back to brick and stone. The hotel is a Grade B listed building that was built in 1890 as a private mansion, and it is a beautiful red sandstone building with a castellated tower with impressive loggia entrance walkways to the main doors.
“The existing internal space let it down so we had to basically re-mould into a hotel – we had to build a contrasting glass box extension onto the side to create the function room, and combine the space of about 40 existing offices to create the restaurant and bar, the toilets in the reception area and 12 luxury bedrooms including grand en-suite facilities.
“Our client was keen to restore the traditional design concept but combining it with the aspects of a modern hotel to take it up to the 21st Century.”
“It was the client’s intention to reinstate the building back to its former grandeur but also shape it as a boutique hotel which specialises in weddings. 70 weddings were booked whilst the refurbishment was taking place – with the first wedding booked for the very end of April.”
In addition to accommodating weddings, Boclair can also provide a great location for meetings and events, offering spacious rooms and suitable facilities. The function room can be divided into two separate areas – ideal for diverse events and celebrations.
Architecturally, the building is described as Tudor gothic; whereas internally, a whole range of intriguing styles have been adopted. It seems that Space ID took their blank canvas and combined a number of finishes to result in something stylishly eclectic.
As guests walk through the main doors, the style of the reception area, staircase and corridors is very reminiscent of Art Deco. Moving up to the guestrooms which are all different, they represent a style between Art Deco, art nouveau and French opulence.
The function room is a fusion of styles from the lifespan of the building, with exquisite crystal glass chandeliers imported from Italy, hand-tufted rugs from Wilton Carpets and a modern-looking bar. Fascinatingly the chandeliers are colour changing LED so they can be altered to reflect or create the mood desired – to suit day or night time functions – whether with warm, calming hues, or more vibrant colours.
Bold and rich in claret coloured palettes, the lounge bar is very art nouveau, and named ‘Annabel’s’.
Boclair is set within an affluent area of Glasgow, so the client wanted to make the hotel ideal for weddings, but also a standalone restaurant and bar for the locals. The restaurant remains very plush, with a relaxed atmosphere.
Delicious food features on the menu at Boclair’s restaurant, including starters such as beetroot and creamed goats cheese tart, king prawn and avocado cocktail and Chef’s freshly prepared soup of the day. Mouth-watering mains include honey glazed duck breast, chargrilled aubergine and courgette terrine and Ayrshire pork fillet wrapped in pancetta, served with Scottish langoustine ravioli.
“Manorview’s successful reputation is key in this hotel development, as they already have a great repertoire of hotels that accommodate weddings and functions.
“We have carried out full refurbishments on six hotels for Manorview, so we have a long standing working relationship with them, meaning that they know how we work and we know what they want.
“In every case, we had to do something that they hadn’t seen before, and at Boclair the guest rooms – although there are only 12 – are individual and distinct in design and themes, all offering a very boutique style.
“The idea was that when a wedding took place, the couple may want to book out the entire hotel for the night and friends and family would be wanting to admire one another’s rooms, so we decided to make every guestroom individual. The rooms are bespoke, so every tap, tile and piece of fabric is different in each room.”
Perfect for wedding photography, Boclair House Hotel provides a stunning backdrop. Space ID installed a Victorian band stand, with an impressive matching stone sweeping staircase leading up to the hotel, offering a picturesque spot that would make any outdoor wedding service or tea party have that extra special touch.
“The grounds encompass nearly two acres of land, and when the local authority occupied the building previously they had a great reputation for how nice the grounds were which meant the pressure was on to surpass this.
“We carried out quite a lot of landscaping and external works and had to alter a lot of the parking to fit with the scheme but loved the way the building stands with a huge lawn in front of it. We also added new beech hedging around the hotel land, providing reassurance if there are children running around.
“In 2012 the building went up for sale, subsequently it was purchased – as was the land behind to build houses on. The planning department of the local authority decided that the 123 year old Boclair House would ideally be suited for a boutique hotel so Boclair House Hotel was born and at the same time, Westpoint Homes built nine luxury houses at the rear of the hotel.
“I would say that our biggest challenge was probably ensuring that the whole place gelled together in terms of the varied designs with the bedrooms, different styles within the function room and lounge and other public areas, whilst also retaining the operational integrity of a venue of this nature,” said Mike.
“The feedback has been fantastic since the hotel opened! It’s clear how well the hotel is doing by the high number of wedding bookings that the hotel already has in the short time it has been open.”
“Everyone who has worked on the project has been proud to do so, because it is such a prestigious development. From a design point of view, to see the finished product is immensely rewarding.”
Henderson Warnock are a firm of mechanical electrical consultants, founded in 1993 by Neil Henderson and Harry Warnock.
Both Neil and Harry saw that there was a gap in the market for a forward thinking, pro-active M&E consultant ,who could deliver high quality bespoke designs and provide a personal professional service which clients were not receiving from the large national practices.
Talking about the company and its involvements with Boclair House Hotel, Director Neil Henderson revealed to Premier Hospitality that:
“Over the past 23 years we have developed the company to become one of the top M&E practices in Scotland. Although based in Glasgow, we carry out projects throughout the UK for a wide range of blue chip clients.
“Our client base is wide and varied encompassing both the private and public sector. Project types include a number of sectors e.g. leisure, industrial, residential, educational, commercial, retail and health.
“We are particularly strong in the design of M&E services for hotels and as you know have recently completed the design for the Boclair House Hotel, Bearsden.
“We are delighted to be involved in the refurbishment of Boclair House, transforming it into a modern, world class 12-bedroom boutique hotel and top class wedding venue.”
Other hotels that Henderson Warnock has recently been involved with include Parklands Hotel, Newton Mearns; Holiday Inn Hotel at Glasgow; Colessio Hotel, Stirling and Indigo Hotel, Glasgow City Centre.
“We wish Manorview every success in the future with Boclair House Hotel and the other hotels in their extensive portfolio.”