When I visit London I tend to gravitate towards Euston, it’s easy and I know it like the back of my hand for meetings. However as a pre-Christmas treat hubby and I fancied a weekend in London to soak in the sights and indulge in some gift shopping. Instead of sticking to what we know, we opted for the 4* Luxury Apex London Central Hotel along Fleet Street. By staying here we hoped for this London trip we’d be close to some great sights and get a new experience…
We decided on this particular London visit to actually drive! Normally I will only get the train but believe it or not it’s actually quite reasonable paying for 24 hour parking – gives you the option of when you want to go rather than being restricted. We parked over towards Bloomsbury which we knew was a walk but we’ve used that car park before and it’s very safe. The hotel doesn’t have any parking, but like I say if you do want to drive check some of the car parks nearby and you can often save loads by pre booking before you arrive.
// The Hotel // Location
Along the long stretch of Fleet Street, (with the musical number from the Demon Barber of Fleet Street stuck in my head) we discovered the 184 bedrooms at Apex London Temple Court. It was set back slightly off the main street which I must admit was a pleasant surprise! It was so busy on the road I did wonder how this would be a peaceful stopover.
Places like the Museum of London, The London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe, plus many more are located in such a convenient walking distance. I have ridden the tube so much that if I can, I try to take advantage of the street maps and walk to destinations. One time I vow to use the Borris Bikes because that looks like it could be great fun!
Like every other Apex Hotel their attention to detail is spot on. They pride themselves on style and the Apex Temple Court was no exception to that. You access the hotel down some steps into its entrance court yard (there is wheelchair access too), to be greeted by a huge statue of an elephant with statement bold orange lights cast upon it. I was sort of expecting something after discovering a cow at the Apex City of London hotel last time! None the less it look awesome.
When you walk in the lighting and interior was the first thing I noticed. It’s classic meets modern with great emphasis on clever lighting and well used spaces. A small lobby area with plenty of seating with the bar and restaurant leading off from either side of it.
FREE Internet! FREE Wifi! Hurrah a hotel in London that doesn’t charge. For me personally that is a huge bonus as I actually managed to tweet and instagram some of my snaps whilst staying there. There is a bar/lounge area, a restaurant and a decent sized (well equipped) gym. They also have meeting facilities available on-site. Generally the place has exactly what you want for a London stay.
// The Bedrooms
I was staying in one of the suites that overlooked the courtyard area at the back of the hotel. It was firstly really quiet but also very well designed. Like most London hotels they struggle with space for rooms, even though this room had a lounge area and a bedroom area they were still small but well designed and compactly laid out. The interior was spot on being simple, stylish and modern with added touches such as fresh fruit, a soft towel robe, LED TV, Bose Soundsystem and iPod docking station, Nespresso coffee machine and of course Elemis Spa toiletries.
Was the bed as good as it looked? Yep. Both husband and I had a delightfully sound sleep. It was really quiet as well considering how busy London is just on the doorstep, like a bit of peace amongst the craziness!
There was plenty of space in the room and I loved the fact you had the option of a beautiful big bath or a decent power shower. I always enjoy having a long, hot bubble bath before bed when I stay away. Luckily I had an Apex Hotel rubber duck to join me! In case you don’t know Apex hotels always leave a rubber duck for you to take home with you. This one was a very festive green and red one!
For specific room stays you would gain access to the Club Lounge. This was a very chilled out card access only area where you indulge in some down time, play some chess, have a glass of wine, nibble on some cake or just enjoy a flick through the magazines on display. This as far as I was aware was open as and when you wanted it, we popped in after breakfast to check it out then went back in before our meal then after our cocktails! So we saw a wave of different options and there was a lot! If you hadn’t guessed it already this was one of my favourite places in the hotel!
Ah breakfast! My most favourite meal of the day. Initially as I walked through the open planned restaurant I could only see a small selection available such as fresh breads, cereals, fruit, smoothies which all of course looked delicious, but I couldn’t see any cooked as today I quite fancied either eggs or fresh porridge. Little did I know I had a nice menu to chose other hot breakfast options from. Cooked to perfection! As many of you may know my husband is an ex-head chef and he said his full English was amazing. I had a nice big bowl of porridge with blueberries and honey for energy of a day full of sightseeing… plus of course fresh coffee.
For me personally I actually loved the location, it was a different spot to where I’d normally go and to be quite honest somewhere I would now 100% look at staying nearby again. The second thing that was a huge thumbs up was how exciting it was to discover such a beautiful hotel hidden off the street, down some steps with a giant elephant ready to greet you! The fact I couldn’t hear a peek from the outside was amazing, which if like me you’ve gone to London and been woken up by the noise outside – that is just bliss!
The staff were very polite, attentive but actually let you get on with your stay, something I’ve never quite found a good balance with previous hotel stays. I tend to get one extreme or the other, that overly attentive where you really want to carry your own bag but they insist, or the polar opposite kind that are not bothered about you staying there in the slightest. This was a good balance. Happy, smiley, friendly and did their job, which I couldn’t have faulted.
// Is this the right London hotel for you?
I am a huge fan of Apex Hotels anyway because since my days doing events management, I have stayed with them quite a bit for various conferences. Even though I know they always offer great service it was refreshing for me to see if from the clients perspective. However, is this the right hotel for you when coming to London? For a little calm amongst the madness of London I can’t fault it. I loved the fact everything oozed relaxation, the interior design is on the mark, food was fantastic (would like to go back and try their evening menu) and my husband and I thought there was a good balance of decent facilities if you didn’t want to sightsee or you were on business. Room prices vary with any London based hotel but you’d be looking to pay anything from £130 to £280, however like when you’re booking trains if you do it in plenty of time you’ll often snap up a great deal.
Overall we loved it. I’ll 100% be back this year to stay a little longer and take in more of London.
If my review doesn’t sway you make sure you check out TripAdvisor reviews – they speak very highly of the venue too.