Hotel Profile: Skene House Apartment Hotels, Aberdeen
Skene House Apartment Hotels are the most child friendly city locations I’ve stayed in. A big statement but it’s true. When I was given a tour I was told that back in the 70’s the owner saw families staying in traditional hotels, attempting to relocate to Aberdeen at the start of the oil boom. These families were all sleeping in one hotel room, with no cooking facilities, no play area and often not even a fridge. We all know how much fun that is! So Skene House Apartment Hotels made history by becoming the very first serviced apartments in the UK.
Today there are three hotels within the group, all in the heart of the Granite City. Tots2Travel stayed at the Whitehall branch and it was home from home.
CHECK IN – Skene House combines the best of self-catering with the benefits of a hotel. For example their reception is open 24 hours a day. When we checked in we were given a tour of the lounge (with its toy box and complimentary teas, coffees and hot chocolate) and the honesty bar (more of that fantastic bad boy to come). I’d normally say ‘we were then taken to our room’ but the reality is that we were taken to our own flat.
THE FLAT – Skene House Whitehall occupies traditional tenements of smart, Aberdonian granite apartments so you literally move into a flat. Our two bedroom apartment had a bathroom, a sitting room and a vast kitchen with a standard sized fridge, a separate freezer, a washing machine and a dishwasher – everything any guest could need to live normally. It was just like home, except tidier and cleaner. There was milk in the fridge, fairy liquid by the sink and washing tablets/conditioner as required for the washing machine and dishwasher. This level of detail is wonderful. How often do you arrive at self catering accommodation and have to go shopping for such nonsense? Mr Baby’s travel cot was waiting for him but we also got a high chair in the kitchen at no additional cost.
THE GARDEN – Skene House Whitehall has a relatively large back garden with lots of outdoor seating. The main attraction for our tots was the Wendy House which they discovered contained scooters and toys so we let them whizz about a bit before dinner.
THE LOCATION – All three branches of Skene House are wonderfully central. We took our buggy, walked into town in minutes, and had an informal Mexican meal at Muchacho on Rose Street. The Skene apartments would be great if you were planning a big night out as all the restaurants, bars and clubs in Aberdeen are on hand. We dutifully took our children home, but thanks to the amazing honesty bar our night had colour.
THE HONESTY BAR – Once we got the kids to bed we had an entire kitchen (with nibbles and prosecco in the fridge) and living room to ourselves, just like home. We could relax. Mr Husband headed downstairs to the honesty bar where you just help yourself to a drink and fill in a form to add it to your tab. You can relax in the lounge or return to your apartment as you wish. If you think that an honesty bar sounds a brilliant idea then the icing on the cake is that the first drink is on the house – what a lovely touch.
BREAKFAST – To wake up in self-catering accommodation means we could fix ourselves a coffee immediately and get the children chilled milk from the fridge. But then, once dressed, we went downstairs for a buffet breakfast with all the benefits of a hotel. We’d reserved a table and a high chair was waiting for Mr Baby.
To find such family friendly accommodation, a real home from home, with the many benefits of a hotel, right in the heart of a city is quite rare.
ADDITIONAL INFO – If your apartment doesn’t come with its own washing machine there’s a modern, clean laundry room guests can use. The free wifi is high speed so great for business or personal use or for rabid bloggers like myself. Free parking in the middle of a city is another perk. I’ll be posting additional information about the other branches in Rosemount and Holburn in due course.
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