Monday, October 26, 2015

Serviced City Apartments for a Short Break

Many UK cities, and some in mainland Europe, now offer the choice of cheap, clean and secure self-catering apartments for short breaks. I have just arrived home from a long weekend in Edinburgh, which I visited with my sister and my eldest son for a Degree ceremony. We stayed in a serviced city apartment, which cost £328 for three nights. Here are my views on the accommodation:-

In our apartment a sliding partition, not apparent on this picture, separated the beds from the living area.

Positives -

  • Very clean, modern. Everything that most people could want in a kitchen -  the list extends from an oven and hob, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, and washing machine down to the minutae of a pizza cutting wheel.
  • Hairdryer, soap and towels are provided
  • Secure entry to the building
  • Reasonably priced accommodation, not too far from the city centre
  • Lockers available in the lobby to store luggage 
  • TV
  • Free wi-fi
Negatives -
  • Very cramped accommodation. The sleeping area with twin beds was separated from the open-plan living area, which had a fold out sofa bed, by a sliding door across the width of the room. The two beds were only a few inches apart. The one that I slept in was pushed up close to the window so I was able to get in and out on one side only. Plus there was only a few inches between the foot of the bed and the partitition. I had to edge my way in and out.of the bed and the room.
  • Difficult layout to live with if more than two occupy the apartment and some get up early and others sleep in a bit longer. I am a very early riser and had to keep one of the dining chairs in the hallway of the apartment for somewhere to sit until the others got out of bed. That was bad enough but on top of that the hallway was, unaccountably, very, very hot - so much so that one morning I was forced to sit around wearing the minimum amount of clothing. i.e. underwear! Not a pretty sight at my age but luckily nobody else was up and about at six a.m.
  •  Walking distance to the city centre is a little too great for anyone who is unfit or elderly (me!)
  • Beds uncomfortable. Ended up with backache. 
  • The situation of these four-storey apartment blocks is less than picturesque.
Conclusion -

We spent three nights in the apartment and whilst it was ok I wouldn't have wanted to be there any longer than that. We didn't use the cooking facilities, as we ate our main meal in restaurants each day. The twin-bedded apartment with a sofa bed for up to two more people may be a cost-effective solution for young people who are on a restricted budget and don't mind putting up with a certain amount of discomfort and lack of privacy. Better than a youth hostel - or a caravan. Those of us who are slightly more advanced in years and prefer a higher level of comfort are probably better served by a good hotel.

NOTE: Apartments with a slightly different layout e.g. a totally separate bedroom with a double bed, are available


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