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Shock closure of new Glasgow hotel

If you’ve entered 2024 with good reason to hope for a better year, spare a thought for the 130 staff who lost their jobs days before Christmas when Glasgow’s 240-room Virgin Hotel in Clyde Street suddenly closed just four months after opening.

If there’s any silver lining to all this, it’s in the way hospitality businesses in the city, across Scotland and beyond, have rallied to offer support. A swiftly organised Jobs Fair, publicity and a welter of recommendations has spread the word far and wide that some very good people are looking for new roles. The closure was covered by BBC Scotland News, who spoke to staff including a shocked executive housekeeper Zornitsa Garifalidi-Koleva, who led a team of 28. She told the BBC that on the day of the sudden announcement she’d held her regular meeting with staff to allocate duties but at 10.30am they were all called to a mass meeting to be told the hotel was closing immediately.

By December 28 a Jobs Fair had been organised at The Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow at Finnieston Quay, with employers representing numerous hospitality outlets, retail stores, recruitment experts and even Police Scotland. The event was swiftly put together by a team led by Kelly Conway, Virgin Hotels Glasgow general manager, and Ross McFarlane, the goods and receiving manager there.

So what caused the abrupt closure which saw shocked staff escorted from the building? It appears that the building’s owner Lloyds Developments Limited was put into administration at the start of December. Virgin Hotels had a management contract with them and the directors of V Hotel Glasgow Ltd were advised to place it into liquidation. The Virgin Group says it tried to avoid this, even offering to purchase the hotel to keep it open. Meanwhile, the lack of notice has led the Unite Hospitality union to announce that it plans legal action to obtain up to three months wages for the terminated staff.

Here at Housekeeping Today, we hope all the housekeeping team and other hotel former employees find new roles as soon as possible. They worked so hard to make a success of the new venture and some had moved from secure jobs with other employers just last summer.

Zornita’s Glasgow team in happier times
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