Tag Archives: Peter Taylor



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Peter Taylor wins Lifetime Excellence Award…

Peter Taylor, Chairman of The Town House Collection, has received the Catering in Scotland (CIS) Lifetime Excellence Award, making May a very rewarding month for the Scottish hotel group.

After graduating from Strathclyde University’s Scottish Hotel School, Peter worked with some of the world’s largest hotel groups before opening his first property in 1984, the Lundin Links Hotel in Fife. It was only five years later that he created Scotland’s first boutique hotel and from which The Town House Collection was born. Since that time, Peter has been the driving force behind some of the hospitality industry’s most exciting and successful town house hotels.

In 2006 the company made its first foray outside of Edinburgh with the acquisition of the former Royal Scottish Automobile Club in Blythswood Square in Glasgow. The iconic building is now Glasgow’s only AA Five Star hotel and boasts 100 bedrooms and a world class luxury spa.

Peter Taylor’s vision has always been that The Town House Collection would be one of the best companies to work for; that his team be the best to work with; and that his hotels be the best in Scotland for guests to stay in. He is dedicated to the continued development and management of luxury hotels and the business’ mission is to provide a genuine, personal and memorable experience to customers, suppliers and team members. This results in a culture that both demands and achieves excellence.

Of his award, he said: ‘The hotel industry is not all about bricks and mortar but very much about people – the team – and I am fortunate enough to have a great one! It is a great privilege for me to receive this CIS Lifetime Excellence Award however it is also a true reflection of the efforts of a strong and committed team over a great many years.’

Within the industry Peter Taylor is recognised as a great ambassador for the tourism and business sectors in Scotland. He is a past chairman of British Hospitality Association UK and British Hospitality Association Scotland. In 2005 he was the OBE for Services to Tourism.

Other award highlights for The Town House Collection this month include The Bonham receiving the Boutique Hotel of the Year award at the Scottish Hotel Awards and Blythswood Square winning the Regional Finals of the Thistle Awards. The hotel has won in two categories – Best Hotel and Best Café, Bar or Restaurant for The Salon. Often referred to as the ‘tourism oscars’ the awards are organised by Visitscotland and are designed to discover and celebrate excellence and innovation by the Scottish tourism industry for visitors. The hotel now goes forward to the national final in November.

Blythswood Square


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The former Royal Scottish Automobile Club, one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings has been transformed into a luxurious five star hotel. Blythswood Square opens its doors to the public today, Tuesday 10th November.

The £25 million redevelopment of the landmark property has been carried out by Scotland’s stylish luxury boutique hotel group,The Town House Collection. Peter Taylor, Chairman of the group, said: ‘Our aim was to capture the glamour of a bygone era whilst showcasing the latest in designer styling as befits this vibrant and sociable city. We are absolutely delighted with the outcome.

“It has been our privilege to have the opportunity to restore this landmark Glasgow property into a contemporary hotel, retaining the unique features and personality for which it became famous.

‘Like all projects of this nature the plan tends to change and evolve once it gets started. We are opening around 12 months later than originally planned with the first of a three phase opening which will run into the New Year.

‘Since first taking ownership of the building we have enjoyed the support of many individuals and organisations in Glasgow including Scott Taylor and his team at the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Cllr Steve Purcell and his colleagues on the Planning Committee in addition to retail outlets and other hoteliers’

‘It’s a magnificent building and we look forward to welcoming our first guests.”

Blythswood Square overlooks one of Glasgow’s only remaining green spaces. The hotel will boast 100 bedrooms including six spacious suites and an enticing top floor penthouse complete with rooftop hot tub. It will also house Glasgow’s first luxury spa offering indigenous Scottish treatments, a restaurant, bars, a private screening room and event facilities.

Blythswood Square is, without doubt, one of Scotland’s most environmentally-friendly hotels through the incorporation of renewable energy technologies to achieve reduced carbon emissions.

Scottish-based Chard Construction has been working closely with the design team – Ron Galloway Associates. Philip Thomson Associates and Dunwoody Associates – to deliver this landmark project.

The hotel interior, created by Jim Hamilton of Glasgow-based Graven Images, retains its fine architectural features whilst sporting contemporary bespoke furniture by modus, flooring and textiles. This includes the use of Harris Tweed which will be used across chairs, curtains and light fittings. This is the first time this textile has been used for interiors since the QE2 was commissioned.

Formerly the Royal Scottish Automobile Club’s ballroom, the hotel’s main 120-cover restaurant and cocktail bar is impressive with its high ceilings and grand dimensions. However, the atmosphere will be fun and relaxed, a place to enjoy delicious seasonally chosen and locally sourced food and inventive cocktails with friends under the attention of award winning Executive Head Chef, Dan Hall.

The Spa at Blythswood Square will open early in 2010 and will champion the latest in cutting edge design offering a number of unique facilities and treatments specially created for the spa.

Guests can indulge in bespoke natural treatments using Scotch Thistle extract, Scottish seaweed and a selection of treatments from the luxurious Anne Semonin and ila brands.

The spa will be home to Glasgow’s only Seaweed Bath chamber filled with healing organic seaweed sourced from the Hebrides. The marble Heat Suite will offer a range of hot and cold experiences including a large hydrotherapy pool. The 11m relaxation pool will lead to the decadent Dark Pool where guests can float under a crystal chandelier.

This outstanding spa will also house a Rasul, relaxation rooms, 9 spacious treatment rooms including a double suite, all offering the highest level of comfort and warmth.

Additional highlights within Blythswood Square include the stunning marble bathrooms from Italy by IQ Quadro of Livorno, a 35 metre Salon featuring two original fire places, columns and cornicing with stunning views over Blythswood Square and a private Screening Room, the first in a Scottish hotel, which will be furnished in over 40 different designs of Harris Tweed.

There is also the RSAC’s original ‘Rally Bar‘ named after the Monte Carlo Rally which started from Blythswood Square in 1955. Over the years many high profile racing drivers frequented the bar and it grew a wide reaching and auspicious reputation. The Rally Bar is being restored to its former glory and is available to guests booking the hotel’s event suites.

Scott Taylor, Chief Executive – Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We are delighted to welcome home one of Scotland most celebrated and modest entrepreneurs, who has helped shape the hotel industry beyond recognition.

“Peter Taylor’s decision to invest in Scotland’s largest and most vibrant city speaks volumes about where Glasgow is heading, and its competitive position on the global stage.

Blythswood Square is unique and will become a landmark trophy hotel for Glasgow, and one of the city’s newest style icons.”

Blythswood Square is owned by The Town House Collection



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In one of the greenest spots in the heart of Glasgow stands the magnificent new five star, 100 room, low carbon and energy efficient Blythswood Square.

This is the latest project of Peter Taylor OBE, one of Scotland’s leading hoteliers, who has overseen the successful restoration of this iconic building transforming it into one of the most environmentally friendly hotels in the UK. The latest in renewable energy technology and conservation has been used to create a hotel that successfully blends old with new to create a unique, memorable experience with a strong social and environmental responsibility.

Having built his own eco home with his wife in Edinburgh, Peter Taylor, chairman of the Edinburgh boutique hotel group The Town House Collection, wanted this unique project to incorporate all the latest in green building innovation. His pioneering approach has successfully retained the architectural features of Blythswood Square whilst implementing advanced green technology that reduces the carbon emissions of the hotel by over 43% compared to a similar building of this size and age.

Peter Taylor comments

“Our vision for Blythswood Square was to retain the essence of this landmark historical building and safeguard architectural features whilst bringing it into the 21st century using the most sustainable methods possible. We felt a responsibility to ensure that this wonderful hotel met the environmental standards for our low carbon future so we closely managed and reduced the carbon emissions and chose to work with suppliers who also had the same commitment to protecting the environment, approaching these kind of large scale projects with a clear sustainability strategy not only benefits the environment but it also creates better business performance.”

John Stocks, manager of the Carbon Trust in Scotland, commented:

“Blythswood Square is an excellent example of what can be achieved by specifying low carbon. The redevelopment of the building has successfully incorporated low carbon design principles, whilst being able to retain the grandeur of the original building. It will not only bring financial savings through the low carbon design solutions implemented, it will also deliver a more pleasurable environment for guests who will undoubtedly benefit.”

Behind the historical façade is a renewable energy supply, rain water harvesting and environmental appliances that reduce the hotel’s energy consumption, running costs and its impact on the environment. The technology embedded in Blythswood Square includes:

Renewable Energy

  • The heating systems are a mix of a Combined Heating and Power boiler (CHP), a Geothermal grid (solar panels), reverse cycle heat pumps, highly efficient chiller and solar panels to augment the supply of domestic hot water.
  • The energy generated is transported around the hotel on an energy loop that interconnects all the different energy sources (apart from the solar energy) resulting in very little energy being wasted.
  • Bore holes have been dug into the ground underneath the hotel with ground source heat pumps to provide the bulk of the hot and cold water

Energy Efficiency

  • All of the sliding sash windows have been replaced with highly efficient micro double glazing which is 300% better than the original sash windows at eliminating draughts.
  • Energy efficient lighting has been employed
  • The roof has been designed with a ventilation heat recovery system
  • External walls have been built 9 stones walls thick
  • Internal walls have also been built using stone for extra insulation.


  • A water conservation system is in place to harvest rain water
  • Water appliances chosen for the hotel aren’t wasteful

Blythswood Square Hotel opened on November 10th 2009, with rates starting from £140 for a room based on two people sharing, including full Scottish breakfast.