Do you ever feel like you need to totally, 100% over-indulge? Like, really just let loose and treat yourself? Sometimes it’s okay to live it up for a couple of days. And, sometimes, it’s exactly what we need.
When Apex Hotels invited me to stay in one of their new suites at the Temple Court hotel in London, you can imagine I was excited – after a rocky start with Kittie and the fact that she still wasn’t sleeping through at six months old, the thought of a full night’s sleep in a luxury pad with all the time in the world to take care only of myself was almost too much to handle. We set the date and I counted the hours until the day arrived…
(Side note: if you just want to know about and see photos of the suite without reading the entire story, scroll down to ‘The Grand Suite’.)
FINDING THE HOTEL
Fast forward a couple of months and Kris and I were reluctantly (kinda) waving our babies goodbye before jumping on the bus from Oxford to London. We arrived an hour later at Marble Arch and took the tube 15 minutes to Chancery Lane. A mere five minute walk round a corner or two and we were on Fleet Street, finding ourselves passing the London offices of Dundee’s very own DC Thomson. A little bit of home in the Big Smoke and, upon checking in to the hotel (a beautiful old Georgian building) we certainly felt at home quickly – via a separate entrance and up a few floors in a stunning old lift, our suite was very private, more like a little apartment just for us.
Before I get into the Apex Temple Court’s Grand Suite, firstly let me say that staying in a suite is a very different experience compared to staying in a hotel room, for a few reasons. Some people stay in suites wherever they go – that is certainly not how I travel, though I do love a nice hotel and a good room. The only suites I have stayed in have been gifted or media reviews, but – frankly – it’s hard not to love the suite life (I know, terrible play on words). The most noticeable difference is the vast amount of extra space – a suite offers more than the regular bedroom/bathroom combination, often housing four or five ‘rooms’ – and the second difference is the customer service, which is most definitely dialled up a few notches. Staying a suite offers a lot more comfort and convenience than your standard hotel room, and as the Apex Temple Court proved, nothing is too much trouble.
THE GRAND SUITE – THE DECOR
The Grand Suite was very comfortable. An entrance hall complete with floral display made way for a large bathroom (with his ‘n’ hers sinks) to the left, while the door to the right took us into the living/dining area.
The wow factor struck instantly upon sight of the teal sofa; its velvet finish and sleek, Mad Men-esque silhouette invites guests to sit straight away, perhaps with a London City gin from the free minibar. The dark dining and coffee tables complemented the wood panelling, but the atmosphere was lifted by the grey tones on the walls and curtains, and the herringbone wooden flooring (the sort that I wish for my own home) in a lighter hue.
A dividing wall separated the bedroom, which had more 1960s inspired furniture (dressing table and desk) fused with modern furnishings, such as the enormous bed, complete with plump pillows, scatter cushions and a cosy throw. A round mirror above the dark mantelpiece continued the feeling of old versus new, while the teal, lacquered fitted wardrobes kept the design aesthetic consistent with the aforementioned sofa.
THE GRAND SUITE – THE VIBE
I took my coffee and croissant and enjoyed them in the bath. That’s the vibe in the Grand Suite. Little touches like the Nespresso machine, the TV in every room (including the bathroom), and the free minibar create a sense of luxury, while the mantelpiece and cosy throws here and there make the suite feel homely.
Similarly, the stunning sofa, the plush but not overly fancy bed, the floor length curtains and the gold-rimmed glassware are all totally Insta-worthy and yet are the sort of pieces you’d have in your own home (or at the very least, pinned to your home décor Pinterest board).
This all contributes to being in beautiful, luxurious surroundings that feel warm and welcoming and, coupled with the personalised, concierge aspect of the service, the Grand Suite truly lives up to its namesake.
THE POWER OF THE SUITE
To test the power of being a guest in one of the new suites, I telephoned reception mid-morning to ask for some hot milk to go with my (second) Nespresso. Even though they had already provided a carton of oat milk (which I’ve been having in my coffees at home for the last month or so – nice touch, it seems they were paying attention to my social media), I still asked for the regular hot milk. (I thought it might be a step too far to ask them to come and get the oat milk, heat that, and bring it back, though it would have been interesting to see what they’d have said!)
Less than five minutes after the call to reception (the slightly diva-level request was met without a hint of hesitation or annoyance), the milk arrived at the door in a glass carafe, enough for two coffees or more. I felt that I could probably have sent it back and asked for two degrees cooler and they’d have obliged.
YOU DON’T NEED TO GET DRESSED FOR BREAKFAST
In fact, you don’t need to even leave your room. Breakfast is brought to you in the suite, after you choose from a menu and hang it on your door the night before. This is by far one of my favourite things about staying in the suite – I’m not a morning person by any means, which also means I’m not a fan of having to get up and make it down to breakfast before they close, and typically I always end up at the buffet right before it’s due to be refreshed. It is SO annoying when the fresh eggs come out after you’ve eaten.
One other thing – hotel breakfasts are so often a noisy affair, which – in my opinion – makes one of the best meals of the day much less enjoyable. I much, much prefer choosing what I fancy and having it in the peace and quiet of my room. How ‘diva’ does that sound? Soooo diva but also soooo nice so let’s just go with it… To not have to rush up out of bed, and rather to sit and enjoy your room without dashing around, to eat breakfast while all snuggly in a robe and slippers? Yes please. It’s just better, more relaxing, but also more efficient if you’re checking out and travelling onwards early.
YOU’RE SO WORTH IT
Something I’ve learned over the years, years of being young and carefree until fairy recently? To save a bit of money so that you can treat yourself when needs be. We all have those moments when we just need a pick-me-up, whether it’s a posh dinner, a designer accessory, or a minibreak. I definitely did not save enough to enjoy the treats while I could, but now that I have two babies I realise how important it is to have savings, as well as a little extra for when you feel like you need a wee present from you to you.
If and when that time comes, staying in a suite at the Apex Temple Court is pretty fancy. It might not be as plush as hotels that are famous for charging thousands for just one night in a suite, but it’s not trying to be – it’s offering the same experience at a snip of the price, in what I found to be a more realistic and more modern environment. You can live life like the superstar you are for 24 hours or more – you deserve it, you’re worth it, and let me assure you, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to over-indulge now and then.
Disclaimer: the stay in the Grand Suite at Apex Temple Court was gifted by the hotel/Apex PR team. The images in this post were taken as part of a paid partnership with Apex Hotels to promote their new suites at the Temple Court hotel. As part of the partnership I was contracted to write a guest blog post for the Apex Hotel’s website, provide social media coverage, and create a vlog to review the suite. This blog post on The Daydreamer was not part of the paid work, but I wanted to write about it to share with my regular readers.
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The Grand Suite is around £650 per night.
Images: Kris Miller.