Dundee Celebrates the 100th Hotel Indigo

| August 29, 2019

It’s fitting that design led boutique brand Hotel Indigo chose to open a hotel in Dundee. This is after all the city that UNESCO proclaimed their first ever official City of Design. It is a Scottish hub built upon a classic design past and a sparkling design present and future. Boasting a hotbed of creative new industries, museums and further education it was an apposite choice for the first V&A design museum to open outside London last year.

Robin at the V&A Dundee

Robin at the V&A Dundee

Hotel Indigo at the Heart of Dundee’s Impressive Rebirth

Dundee was historically built on the ‘3 Js’ of jam, jute and journalism. I’d add in a serious ‘d’ to that mix – design. Dundee historically was always at the forefront of not just production, import and export, but also design, though not as much was made of the concept in those days. Dundee faced a few lean decades in the 20th century, but the city is very much on the way up with a massive urban regeneration programme totally transforming its centre and the impressive riverside waterfront. The Hotel Indigo Dundee is not just at the heart of this rebirth, but also in many ways is symbolic of it.

Hotel Indigo Dundee

Hotel Indigo Dundee

Design Ripples Through Hotel Indigo Dundee

Both design and specifically Dundee design ripples through the Hotel Indigo. Stay and you can look out for red trims that evoke Levi’s jeans, which were once manufactured in Dundee. In the lobby are games consoles and software that chime with Dundee’s role over the last few decades as a centre for computer games. It’s real fun staying here and looking out for all the wee touches and the staff are glad to help you out as they love them too.

The design is not just confined to the massive public areas of this former jute mill, which closed back in 1978. It was brilliantly reborn in 2018 and design weaves its way through all of its bedrooms. We are talking cheat codes from Grand Theft Auto (a game created in Dundee) and bespoke cushions and curtains that are conjured up by a local Dundee designer. The overall design comes courtesy of mercurial Glasgow firm Graven so everything is as Scottish and ultra local as possible. Even much of the art on the walls comes from Lauren le Porter, an artistic luminary who studied her craft in Dundee.

Fabulous art, Hotel Indigo Dundee

Fabulous art, Hotel Indigo Dundee

Hilary Grant Lambswool Throw

The highlight for me in the rooms is something that you can take home. Indeed I’m now going to order one for myself. I’m talking about the elegant throws on the beds that are the work of Orkney based creatives Hilary Grant. Grant herself was inspired to create the striking wave design both by the city’s famous jute production and the waves she found on the silvery River Tay near the hotel. They are 100% lambswool and look and feel glorious. The three colours of ink, coral and haar (a Scottish sea mist) blue reflect the colours of the city and river. They were designed in Orkney and produced in Scotland’s traditional home of textiles, the Borders.

The Dundee link is massive as Hilary actually studied right here in Dundee at The Duncan Jordanstone College and Art and Design. She set up here design studio in Dundee before moving north to Orkney and setting up shop.

Shop the Neighbourhood with Hotel Indigo

The Hilary Grant tie in has been recognised by Hotel Indigo as part of their ‘Shop the Neighbourhood’ programme. This innovative idea to celebrate the opening of their 100th hotel has seen the launch of a ‘shoppable hotel room’ whose key delights you can buy for yourself. As well as items from Hotel Indigo accommodations in LA, Venice, New York and Bangkok there is Grant’s glorious Dundee inspired throw. Such exalted company is a tribute both to Dundee and the inscrutable design characteristics of the Hotel Indigo Dundee.

Hilary Grant textiles, Hotel Indigo Dundee

Hilary Grant textiles, Hotel Indigo Dundee

100th Hotel Indigo

Another great Dundee tie in with the opening of the 100th Hotel Indigo is the creation of the ‘100 mins in Dundee’ ideas. They, of course, include the landmark V&A Dundee, which opened last year after 11 years of planning, as the first design museum in the UK outside London. They also tip you off that the city is great fun for kayaking on its river. You can ease along staring back towards the Hotel Indigo Dundee admiring the colours that inspired Hilary Grant’s throw. It will also evoke the work of the late artist, Sylvia Wishart, who inspired Grant with her moody seascapes.

Robin at the Daisy Tasker Bistro

Robin at the Daisy Tasker Bistro

Fabulous Food and Ambience in the Daisy Tasker Bistro

Great design even makes its way into the hotel’s restaurant, the Daisy Tasker bistro. They’ve turned this old industrial space into a post industrial wonder by exposing its sturdy structure. Swirl in floor to ceiling windows and it’s a dramatic, welcoming space. The menu draws on local produce and I was deeply impressed with their starter – crisp pork belly laced with plump fresh langoustine. The main course fillet steak didn’t disappoint with a proper peppercorn sauce. It was perfectly cooked too in what instantly became one of my favourite places to dine in Dundee.

Reluctantly leaving Hotel Indigo Dundee I headed for that spanking new V&A Dundee design museum, which spectacularly now tempts on the waterfront of this dynamic, rapidly changing city. Swirl it into the City of Design buzz and Dundee’s newfound design confidence and there could not be a better place for the Hotel Indigo, now my favourite place to stay in Dundee. You can own a piece of it literally with Grant’s throw. But I recommend you come and stay too to soak up all that glorious design.


*This post comes in association with Hotel Indigo Dundee


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Category: Central Scotland, Central Scotland, Central Scotland, Features

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