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Staying Cool – the background

Staying Cool is a serviced apartment and apartment hotel company with bases in Birmingham and Manchester.

Our sleek interiors feature the best of British design such as Timorous Beasties, naughtone and Tom Dixon. Guests stay with us from as little as one night to extended periods of weeks or months.

We have a strong company ethos

Staying Cool currently has 35 serviced apartments at the top of the iconic Rotunda building in Birmingham. We will open a new apartment hotel in Manchester in late 2020.

How did it all begin?

Our co-founders, Tracey Stephenson and Paul Taylor, have been friends for decades. Staying Cool was born because they often felt frustrated by what was on offer on their business trips. They decided that there had to be a better alternative to a boutique hotel (great design but small rooms and a hefty bill) and a serviced apartment (more space but often blandly and cheaply furnished). Staying Cool started out with business people, especially creatives, but they were soon joined by families and tourists who liked what they saw.

Who is behind Staying Cool?

We’re proudly independent and still owned by our co-founders:

Tracey Stephenson – co-founder

Tracey is our Joint Managing Director and has day-to-day responsibility for running the operational business. She began her career in marketing and tourism and managed a range of commercial units in universities and local authorities. Tracey later worked as a marketing and sponsorship consultant for clients including the Harlem Globetrotters. She then set up Staying Cool with Paul.

Paul Taylor – co-founder

Paul is our other Joint Managing Director who takes the lead on all things creative and design and manages the company’s development strategy. He was originally a media lawyer and board director of Granada TV/ITV. Paul then had a mid-life career change and re-discovered his creative roots and passion for design, returning to university to complete a degree in architecture at Manchester School of Architecture. He subsequently undertook a number of property redevelopments before launching Staying Cool.

Our advisory board

A loyal team of hospitality professionals and a multi-talented Advisory Board support Paul and Tracey. The board is chaired by Robin Sheppard of the Bespoke Hotels Group. Robin is joined by architect Glenn Howells, who transformed the Rotunda with Urban Splash; James Lohan, founder of Mr and Mrs Smith; and Sue Vanden, the co-founder of Hemisphere, who developed our brand.

Gavin Burns is the General Manager of Staying Cool at the Rotunda and will eventually move over to this role in Manchester. Gavin worked with Tracey for many years in Salford before he joined Staying Cool in 2006.

Some of our awards and ratings

Birmingham’s only five-star rating for our one and two-bedroom apartments at Rotunda. 
Prestigious Visit England Gold Award
Visit England ROSE award for outstanding customer service.
TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
Green Tourism Silver Award
Team of the Year at the ASAP Awards 2016 (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers)

Gavin Burns and Tracey Stephenson receiving the Visit England ROSE Award for Outstanding Customer Service

Please see our FAQ page for check in, parking information etc
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