Let it be said that we are not one of these families who can bundle in the same bed in the same hotel room like you see so many do and come out happy the other side.
You know the ones, they all fall into a slumber legs wrapped around one another thinking how wonderful life is as the sun goes down just outside the window. They wake up right next to the loves of their entire lives, feeling breath on their face with the synchronised rise and fall of chests, aching with happiness.
Don’t get me wrong I adore my family more than anything in the world and I would actually love nothing more than being exactly like that.
Yet time and experience (some quite excruciating and some beyond exhausting) has taught me that that just isn’t us. It isn’t our children. I’ve made peace with that. You soon learn as a parent that there are some dreams that really are just pipe dreams and you cannot be every version of parent you thought you might be before bringing these tiny little humans into the world whom selfishly have entire personalities and seemingly agendas of their own. Personal space loving and all!
Therefore; when looking at accommodation for trips it’s apartments, private rentals, lodges and air bnbs which are the way to go, for us at least. We have had much more sleep success and happy times to boot. Waking up after a good nights sleep to the sound of the children chatting in the other room together before joining them with a cup of coffee in hand can rival any midnight sleepy hugs for me. After all, isn’t happiness key? Whatever that may look like.
Whilst price point and locations are of course considerations (particularly in cities where, let’s face it, we are not spending all that much time in the room anyway, especially for a 1 night stay) space is up there jostling for that top spot. With ApartHotels you get just that, space for everyone with the feel of a hotel. Result!
We, as a family of four, have stayed in Staycity apartments (or ApartHotels as they call them, essentially serviced apartments, the best of both worlds) twice now. Once in York after a chance find where both location and budget aligned and most recently in Liverpool Waterfront where, after our previous experience, I actually sought them out. No sooner had we booked (with just 1 days notice) and we were there dropping our bags in at the 24 hour reception before exploring the city. Which I wrote about here.
After a long, and somewhat rainy, day the friendly faces at the desk were a welcome sight directing us to our third floor home for the night. Which is exactly what it felt like for the girls whom within 30 seconds of the click of the lock had allocated each other a ‘side’ of the double bed and unpacked the belongings that I always explain are not strictly necessary yet somehow still manage to make way into their very own suitcase!
I mean what 4 & 8 year old doesn’t need three books, a notepad and seventeen choices of bobbles for a night in a new city?
You would think they were two grown women just bedding in to a weekend away, a glimpse into the future maybe. Gosh I hope so. I fear I will have my work cut out for me in their teenage years for sure. Though it really makes my heart melt.
With the compact minimalist sleek apartment style, lead definitely by space saving and function, there is no fuss in the distinctive black and yellow decor and soon we all cosied up on the sofa to see what the widescreen TV had to offer and make some dinner.
We had contemplated a restaurant trip but sometimes with children only a quick walk to the local supermarket for some pasta will do. It enables them to eat at their leisure (which means excruciatingly slowly for Roma) and relax with each other whilst we chat in the relative peace and quiet. Of course having a child with an allergy influences this choice but the upside is saving money for more memory making adventures than merely filling tummies. If you have the option of an equipped kitchen then why not use it?
The same cannot be said for the onsite gym! Though of course if that’s your bag it is there.
With the home away from home feeling you definitely don’t feel like you’re on top of one another whilst still having the convenience of the hotel facilities. With some toiletries, towels, a small tea and coffee pack and items such as a full size ironing board and hair dryer, you really can afford to pack light.
The girls shared the double bed in the bedroom whilst Eddy and I each took a sofa bed in the lounge. Although the sofa beds are a little to be desired comfort wise (and they are single so don’t expect cosying up with your partner if you are like us and give up the double bedroom to your children) for 1 night it would suffice and of course allows us to share some conversation over a glass of wine after the girls have showered and gone to bed. Say goodbye to hiding in the bathroom with a mug of wine whilst waiting for them to go to sleep (just us!?)
We also take breakfast from home so a leisurely morning is had by all helped by the big light windows starting the day right before saying goodbye to all the thought provoking phrases framed around the apartment, one of the things I love about the decor, and packing up to check out. They do offer a breakfast in the hotel for £7.95 per person which looks lovely though.
The staff we have always found to be very friendly and experienced with a wealth of local knowledge and there were even little colouring packs for the children which was a nice touch. That with free wifi (for Eddy’s incessant sports news, nothing to do with my instagram usage obviously) and a night time quiet policy, it really is a great choice for families looking for an affordable convenient stay.
Our 1 bedroom apartment cost £80 for the night (midweek in summer holidays) with an overnight car park charge of £15 just a few minutes away. In addition Staycity have a choice of studio from £56 and two bedroom apartment from £120. They have aparthotels in cities across the UK and Europe even. So we still have alot more exploring to do.
If you like space, simple design, some of the best locations and a great price. Staycity is definitely for you.