For me, the hardest part of picking dealchecker’s hotel of the month is that I love pretty much all hotels. You see, I’ve just never got over the excitement of someone else making my bed every day, folding the toilet paper into that neat triangle and replenishing my tea and coffee.
So what nabbed the acclaim for the Apex Waterloo Place, this month’s hotel? Well, the sleek decor, the smiley staff and superb value for money were certainly all factors in its favour – but what really, really, won me over were the free jelly beans in my room. Nom.
Ok, so I’m easily pleased, but even I recognise that jelly beans alone wouldn’t be much good when you need a place to rest your head in Edinburgh, so what follows is a complete testimony as to how the Apex Waterloo Place earned pride of place this month.
The first thing I look for in a hotel is location – and, well, the Apex Waterloo Place is onto a bit of a winner here. At just a few minutes’ walk from Waverley station, there’s no excuse for getting lost finding it. The hotel is set just off Princes Street, which is where you’ll find some of the best shopping in Edinburgh. If you’re familiar with Edinburgh you’ll know that means you’re well placed for the Royal Mile as well. This mile-long high street is packed with Edinburgh’s street performers, historic attractions and an abundance of shops selling shortbread and tartan – all also just a few minutes’ walk away.
From the outside the Apex Waterloo place looks grey and imposing – deceptively so, because once you step inside you’ll realise that behind the façade this hotel is thoroughly modern – it even texted me to let me know when I could check into my room.
The Apex Waterloo Place describes itself as a luxury boutique hotel, which I could agree with from the comfort of our room. Mine was a Superior, fitted out with chic bed covers and a massive flatscreen TV and DVD player (the hotel has a DVD rental list in case you fancy a cosy night in). In the bathroom I found a big tub worthy of a wallow in – along with a separate shower, and even more treats: cotton waffle bathrobes and Elemis bath goodies. I don’t know whether it was the Elemis Heavenly Sleep Spray or the just the comfy bed, but I certainly slept soundly.
There’s no forgetting your location over breakfast – cooked breakfast (£15) is thoroughly Scottish with haggis and black pudding. There’s a veggie version available too – veggie haggis only, obviously. If you’re after something lighter there’s a good spread of fruit and yoghurt included in the continental buffet (£11).
Breakfast is served in Eliot’s, which is the definition of a contemporary Scottish restaurant, melding the building’s traditional cornicing and grand windows with modern curved furnishings. When we dined there in the evening I rather enjoyed sitting on the tables underneath the oversized desk lamps – it certainly ensured the food was well lit. Dinner tasted as good as it looked, with choices like artichoke soup with brioche to start and sea bass with capers or sweet potato risotto (generous on the sweet potato) for mains. They offer a pre-theatre menu at £16.50, rather good value for three courses (or £12.50 for two courses).
Considering you’re in the heart of Edinburgh, the leisure suite felt almost tropical – that might have been on account of the warm air temperature in the pool room though. There’s a small gym, and a reasonable sized pool – not big enough for a ‘proper’ swim, but after a couple of laps I found I was a lot more interested in rejuvenating session in the steam room anyway. Well, I was on holiday, right?
Speaking of which, to indulge a little more on your holiday the hotel’s Yu Spa has two Elemis treatment rooms, one of which is a couples room, offering Elemis facials and their own Yu Spa signature treatments with hot stones and aromatherapy.
You can book directly with the APEX Waterloo Place via their website: www.apexhotels.co.uk/hotels/edinburgh-waterloo-place. Though obviously we would advocate checking prices on your dates with dealchecker first!
For more details on APEX Waterloo Place’s Yu Spa click here
All images courtesy of the hotel