Faced with a two-hour commute home from the capital at the end of an eight-hour working day, the vacancies signs lighting the front of hotels and bed and breakfasts are undoubtedly inviting to any weary traveller.
However, even the most welcoming of establishments doesn’t offer the allure of home comforts. A mini-bar or tea and coffee facilities with a dry chocolate bourbon, consumed while sat on a lumpy bed can’t compete with opening a full fridge, preparing some supper and kicking back on the sofa.
Serviced apartments are nothing new, but Deep Blue Apartments have launched a ‘Flying Butler Service’ at their London and Greater London locations.
Designed to transform travellers into VIPs, guests get chauffer transfers from any London airport or train station, grocery deliveries, additional housekeeping and a dry cleaning service.
The VIP treatment is offered to all guests staying at Deep Blue Apartments in London’s Blackfriars, Marylebone, Ealing, Richmond as well as properties it owns in Basingstoke, Reading, Windsor and Wokingham.
I was invited to spend two nights at the Blackfriars to see how the apartments stood up against a hotel and inviting my girlfriend, we posed as business partners.
Armed with only an address and an access code, the process seemed worryingly easy with no booking form and no key collection.
Opting to split the journey between car and Tube, I parked at Cockfosters station and changing at Kings Cross and Monument, I arrived at Blackfriars, - a two- minute walk from the apartment.
The outside door code worked, the elevator worked and the apartment code worked, no check-ins, no hassle. Walking through the door the amount of space was a luxury, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a fully fitted kitchen and an open-plan living and dining area.
Groceries comprised of all the elements needed for a cooked breakfast , fruit, cereal, fruit juice and tea and coffee facilities but not with a lime scaled kettle in the corner of a bedroom, a full pack of Rich Tea and a cafetiere.
A complimentary bottle of red wine persuaded us to ditch dinner plans, visit the Tesco Express and make use of the kitchen. We soon realised that despite having Sky television and a sofa each we weren’t making the most of our trip to the capital. Inspired by the view of St Paul’s Cathedral and the River Thames from the roof terrace we took a walk and the central location meant things were happening even on a Sunday night. The location was perfect for a business trip to London but still only 20 minutes walk from Leicester Square and the heart of theatre land. Although our two days in London were filled with eight hours of shopping and sight-seeing rather than work, being close to such attractions would undoubtedly make it easier to deal with down time and being away from home on business.
The Deep Blue Apartments seemed like a second home, even opening up the idea of bringing the family to you, to enjoy the city while you work.