Tuesday July 7, 2015
We've been trying to come up with an alternative to the word 'boutique' to use when talking about Staying Cool at the Rotunda. Why? Well, since the '80s, the word has been connected in people's minds with hotels whilst Staying Cool is all about serviced apartments. Boutique also implies smallness somehow and that doesn't apply to our apartments either. However, we do feel that the word captures something of our approach and, frankly, 'apartiques' ('boutments'?!) don't seem likely to catch on.
Is the B word really that hard to live with? Some wonderful buildings have been brought back to life over the last three decades under the boutique hotel flag and the Rotunda lives up to that with its Grade-II listing. This unique, cylindrical skyscraper has been right at the heart of Birmingham for the past 50 years and is much loved. It was transformed from what had become an unloved office building (saved from demolition by an outraged general public) to apartments in 2008 by the brilliant Urban Splash. That's when Staying Cool came in and it was love at first sight.
Rotunda gave us an amazing opportunity to take the best of boutique hotels (individuality, cutting-edge design, great service) and combine it with what we love about apartments (space, privacy, flexibility).
Individuality is an important part of the boutique element of Staying Cool. Our apartments certainly look beautiful, but they also feel good to be in. We think that's because of the choices Paul Taylor - one of our co-founders - made when he was designing them. For instance, the pieces Paul chooses are largely British designed and made. In Staying Cool's apartments, you find furniture and lighting by designers of the calibre of naughtone, Lou Rota, Timorous Beasties, Tom Dixon and Paul Smith. We don't cut corners: our chic kitchens are by Poggenpohl and our Ultimate beds are made by a Scottish company using NASA technology. The result of this is that our apartments have soul and staying in one feels great.
Service is another boutique-y element of what we do. Staying Cool was set up by two friends (the aforementioned Paul and Tracey Stephenson, our MD). They both travelled a lot for business and for pleasure and, as a result, they learned what turns a good stay into a memorable one. Having happy guests who want to come back again and again is at the heart of what we do. We try to anticipate what could make guests enjoy their stay even more and then make that happen. Examples of this are great, free Wi-Fi on tap for your whole stay; special packs to keep kids amused; great teas and coffee (plus paper cups just in case you have to rush off to a meeting); seasonal treats such as Easter eggs; fluffy towelling robes…etcetera…etcetera.
If you are tempted by our boutique serviced apartments, here's what you can choose from in Birmingham:
Mini - studio apartments
Clubman - one-bedroom apartments
Maxi - two-bedroom apartments
Roadster - two-bedroom penthouses with wraparound balcony
We are consistently the number one hotel on TripAdvisor in Birmingham. If you'd like to book now then please go to stayingcool.com