DJ, presenter, journalist and author, Stuart Maconie, may now be London-based but he hails from England's Northwest and has just written a series of short stories and podcasts about his native region. Stuart stayed with us while researching the manchester segment a few months back. Now you can download written mini guides and podcasts telling you all about stuart's favourite haunts. Both are packed with interesting places off the beaten track as well as little gems about the main tourist attractions - all told in stuart's imitable style. Well worth a look. www.stuartsstories.com
We launched the first of our Staying Cool by the Seacollection this month with a stunning waterside penthouse in Devon. Formerly part of a nineteenth century naval yard, now Grade I listed, this huge 2,500 square ft apartment oozes character and grandeur and screams wow factor. Thick granite walls, tall ceilings, original timber beams and steel columns, chunky floorboards - the works... everything you would expect from an Urban Splash development. Obviously, we've added the Staying Cool touch with great interior styling and comfort to match. But don't take our word for it. go see for yourself... sleeps 4-6 (in style) and is available from the 24th August. Perfect for a last minute break.
Today we found out we are offiically a Green Tourism Business - we pretty much knew that already but it's nice to have the official nod every now and then. What on earth does that mean you're probably wondering... welllll, it means we procure our food locally (or from Fairtrade sources if that's not possible) and try to adhere to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle. We were given a bronze rating - so still more to do, but going through the assessment has given us lots of ideas. Watch this space!
Today we became corporate members of the Twentieth Century Society (TCS) - the organisation that safeguards British heritage, architecture and design from 1914 onwards. It was the TCS that saved Birmingham's Rotunda from demolition so it is perfectly fitting that we should be members. Without their intervention, we would not have a most amazing floor of serviced apartments on the 19th floor of Rotunda today. It is also probably Birmingham's best address. Find out more about the TCS.
Nice piece about our Manchester personal shopping weekend on The Guardian's website today. We liked this line about us as it sums up what's great about a SC leisure break, "On Sunday morning, the apartment really comes into its own as an alternative to a hotel break, as we lounge and natter over a relaxing breakfast from the well-stocked kitchen," Liane Katz. Our Rotunda apartments didn't go unloved yesterday either - another good review in the Birmingham Post about their journalist's stay in the Penthouse. Super!
Today we launched our new mini Apart-Hotel on the top two floors of that 60s icon Rotunda in Birmingham... We also had our first real guests in for the night. The feedback so far has been great. Like us, everyone loves the location (two mins from New Street, Selfridges 200m away, Zara downstairs..), the views (especially at night), the windows that open and of course the unique, stylish interiors. And last, but not least, just the very fact that they're staying at Rotunda.
Last night we found out we had won the award for best serviced apartments in Manchester at the Tourism Awards. The city has the second highest number of serviced apartments in Britain and it was the first time a category for serviced accommodation had been included, so we were doubly delighted to have won. We're all nursing hangovers and looking a little bit the worse for wear this morning...
"Stylish marketing and the apartments' excellent mystery shop score (100% for style and content) ensured Staying Cool was the winner in this category," said Marketing Manchester, the awards' organisers.
We now automatically get put through to the England's Northwest tourism awards (and then to the national ones if we are successful). These are the UK's official tourism awards ie you don't have to sponsor one to win one!
18th December 2007We've never been really happy with using other people's toiletries. They're usually full of all sorts of harmful additives both to you and the environment - and we've tried a fair few in our time. We've therefore commissioned our own range of specially selected and hand blanded bathroom products. They haven't been tested on animals and they don't contain any SLSs or parabens and are totally GM free... we LOVE them and they'll love you (and the planet). They come in a bio-degradable bottle too. We're trying out different combinations over the next few months so let us know what you think...
We've never been really happy with using other people's toiletries. They're usually full of all sorts of harmful additives both to you and the environment - and we've tried a fair few in our time. We've therefore commissioned our own range of specially selected and hand blanded bathroom products. They haven't been tested on animals and they don't contain any SLSs or parabens and are totally GM free... we LOVE them and they'll love you (and the planet). They come in a bio-degradable bottle too. We're trying out different combinations over the next few months so let us know what you think...
Staying Cool has joined forces with Love Saves the Day - Manchester's favourite independent deli. We've put together a range of locally procured (or Fairtrade), organic/free range breakfast and munchies menus to whet your appetite.
As a Staying Cool guest you also get a complimentary hot drink (cappuccino, machiato, builder's tea...) when you visit either of their fab delis/cafes on Deansgate or in the Northern Quarter. Further info will be in your apartment when you check-in or see our Cool Extras page above to peruse the menu.
"There are no bellhops nor a gym...instead you get a Mac Mini, free Wi-Fi, an espresso machine and a juicer (oranges included)." The New York Times
"Why go? For an ultra-stylish taste of Birmingham..." Red online
""..the Rotunda is superbly located bang in the city centre with New Street and the famous Christmas market less than 20ft from our door – perfect for dropping off those heavy shopping bags."" North Devon Journal