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Film Crews Count on Radisson Hotels for Hospitality Needs in Scotland

Known for high-quality services and accommodations, the hotel group is the premier partner for productions shooting in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Courtesy of Radisson Hotels
Courtesy of Radisson Hotels

Audience viewing habits show that people are increasingly looking for “armchair travel,” and filming abroad is part of delivering that escapism. An uptick in period dramas and features with bucolic or otherwise pastoral settings has made the versatile countryside of Scotland — dotted with castles and medieval architecture — a boon for productions, offering the look and feel of London without the hassle. That, along with recently boosted tax breaks, turned this part of the U.K. into a prime location for major projects over the last few years.

“Edinburgh is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, with a diverse range of architecture, which makes it very versatile for filming,” says Lewis Wardrop, an Edinburgh-based producer for the production company White Stag Films, who has a background in location management. “From the iconic Edinburgh Castle to some of the finest examples of Georgian, Victorian and even medieval architecture anywhere in the U.K., Edinburgh has so much to offer for filming. With quaint, picturesque streets, grand public buildings and striking modern architecture, Edinburgh can be used for just about any period in history, which makes it very attractive to productions.”

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre Courtesy of Radisson Hotels

The beautiful architecture and landscapes aren’t the only aspects behind successfully hosting the huge influx of cast and crew that a film or TV show can bring; the infrastructure to support projects of this size is another necessity. Located in the heart of the city, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh is a go-to choice for many, as it is right on the famous Royal Mile that runs through the historic Old Town, and near sought-after filming locations, including St Giles’ Cathedral.

The premier venue also features contemporary amenities like 24-hour room service — an essential for crews working all hours of the day and night — excellent dining facilities, an indoor heated pool along with a spa and gym and three floors of newly remodeled office space that can be used by productions.

The hotel is well-equipped to handle almost any scenario, according to Richard Mayne, cluster general manager for Radisson Hotels in Edinburgh, who is confident that the hospitality company knows what it takes to meet the sometimes-unusual needs of film crews working on location. Mayne was responsible for accommodating crews during the filming of “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2016, and since then, he’s become more than familiar with the ingenuity needed for hosting this specific category of guest.

“There’s a lot of flexibility required,” Mayne explains. “They might be filming during the night, so are we able to do breakfast at 2 a.m.? Are we able to swap our times about, maybe keeping the bar open or opening the bar at 5 a.m. instead of closing it? We have to make sure there’s blackout curtains in the bedrooms, especially if they’re sleeping during the day and they’ve done a night shift. There’s a level of professionalism we need to have to be able to react to the needs that they have — even something like ‘Can you wash five T-shirts in an hour?’ We have to be pretty agile to react to some of the questions we’re asked.”

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

As important as the basics are, like reserving large blocks of rooms together and granting suite upgrades for talent and crew members, flexibility is what keeps crews feeling comfortable and supported during their stay. For this reason, Radisson’s program Center Stage includes special features geared toward the needs of entertainment crews, and trains staff to meet those needs.

“We need to make sure everybody is aware of the importance of this type of business to us and to make sure we deal with it in a way that’s appropriate. Pre-planning is important, but a lot of changes come in very last minute, and we need to be able to react to that, too,” Mayne says.

Such was the case in September 2022, when the Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre unexpectedly hosted a crew covering the funeral of the U.K.’s longest-serving monarch. Access Bookings — a film, TV and media accommodation booking company that was tasked with finding lodging for the many industry professionals who suddenly needed to be in Edinburgh for the funeral — cited the hotel as a key partner in pulling it off.

“During the funeral, which was one of the most-watched events in British television history, the team at Radisson Blu in Edinburgh went the extra mile to accommodate our very late request for hosting our broadcasting clients who were in Edinburgh for this historic event,” says Lilybea Taylor, the supplier relations manager for Access Bookings. “The flexibility and assistance provided by the hotel was a huge help to us in what was a very important time in history. They were able to arrange early breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a large number of guests from various clients of ours which helped with the pressure of providing sustenance for the different crews and enabled them to focus on the coverage.”

Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow

Edinburgh isn’t the only Scottish locale that has become a hub for productions. Glasgow, which boasts plenty of ancient architecture, along with a more modern feel, has recently hosted projects like “Batgirl,” which was filmed entirely in the city, as well as the Soviet-themed movie “Tetris.” With a centrally located Radisson Blu and a Radisson RED next to the largest entertainment venue in Scotland, location scouts and crews view Glasgow as a convenient and favorable city.

Moreover, these properties help showcase the breadth and depth of the Radisson portfolio. The Radisson RED is a modern building that’s home to the Red Sky Bar, which was recently picked as one of the top 50 best rooftop bars in the world in 2022. The Radisson Blu, on the other hand, is known for its striking sculptural copper wall that runs down Argyle Street and offers its own beautifully designed dining and bar facilities on the ground floor.

“When crews are here for six, seven or eight weeks, for instance, we make sure we’re not just serving the same menus over and over,” says Graham Chalmers, the curator and general manager of Radisson RED Glasgow. “This is essentially their house for the next six weeks, rather than they’re just here for the night. Anyone who works in hotels and hospitality knows that you’ll be asked for all sorts of weird and wonderful things. If there’s a way to do it, then we just do it, because Radisson is all about making memorable moments.”

Radisson RED Glasgow

Find out more about Center Stage and Radisson Hotels’ bespoke solutions for the entertainment industry at radissonhotels.com/entertainment.