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Reality Check ➔ APARTMENT ROOMZZZ, LEEDS


THE APARTMENT: Roomzzz Aparthotels offers three properties in Leeds – I stayed at the Maxima 2 Suite at the Headingley site. The location is close to Headingley Stadium (home of Yorkshire cricket), the university and five minutes drive from Leeds city centre. THE CHECK-IN: Check-in for this property is at the nearby Leeds City West Aparthotel where the reception is open 24 hours a day and a Grab & Go breakfast is served from 6.30- 10.30am. Staff were friendly and efficient at issuing key cards and car park codes. A small 'larder' shop here offered some essential provisions for sale. THE FACILITIES: The main living area was spacious and comfortable with a well- equipped kitchen area and comfortable sofa, as well as dining table for four and desk workstation. There were two bedrooms – one with ensuite bathroom – plus a separate bathroom. There was a very convenient, on-site gated underground car park. THE ACCOMMODATION: The decor throughout was stylish and contemporary with laminate flooring and modern furnishings. The two double bedrooms weren't huge but were comfortable enough – the beds had memory mattresses. The living area was bright and airy.


THE BUSINESS: A desk within the living space provided a useful work space and the booking included complimentary wifi access. This seemed a little slow during our visit but local and national telephone calls were also complimentary – something of a bonus. THE VERDICT: Great. After a long journey and late arrival, the apartment was a perfect home from home. We were quickly able to whip up a meal in the kitchen and then relax in the living area, watching the flatscreen TV, before


➔ HOTEL ROYAL GARDEN HOTEL, LONDON


THE HOTEL: The five-star Royal Garden Hotel is located on London's Kensington High Street, on the western fringe of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The hotel has under- gone a £45million refurbishment across public areas and all 394 guestrooms. THE CHECK-IN: The light, airy and serene lobby area was a pleasant contrast to busy Kensington High Street outside, and there was no queue at the reception desk so I was quickly settling into my room for the night. THE ROOM: There are six room categories – mine was a Garden room, with a spectacular view across leafy Kensington Gardens to the central London skyline beyond. The room included large mirrors that made the most of the light, plus a small sofa, coffee table, desk, wardrobe, wall-mounted flatscreen TV, iPod docking station, laptop safe, tea and coffee- making facilities and a minibar packed with miniatures (£7 each). The bathroom had a bath, separate walk-in shower and White Company toileteries. Wired and wireless internet is charged for. THE BUSINESS: There are ten meeting and event spaces, all newly refurbished, with the Palace Suite's AV facilities given a significant upgrade. The pillarless room can host events for up to 550 people, while the Kensington


dropping into the comfy beds. The location was very convenient and easy to find. THE DETAILS: Roomzzz Aparthotels, Headingley, 361 Burley Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2SL. Rates start from £89 per night although advance purchase deals and discounts are available to customers that join the 'Royalty Club'. Tel: 0844 499 4888; email: reservations@roomzzz.co.uk; or see www.roomzzz.co.uk for more information. JULIE BAXTER


and York suites each has capacity for 120. A business centre by the lobby includes computers, fax machine, printing facilities and secretarial services. THE FACILITIES: The hotel has a gym, studio, sauna, steam room and spa treatment rooms, plus leaflets with jogging routes for adjacent Hyde Park. Car parking is available beneath the hotel (£5 per hour / £30 for 24hrs). THE RESTAURANT : Min Jiang, located on the tenth floor, is earning a reputation as one of the capital's finest Chinese restaurants – and almost certainly has the best views. Its signature dish is the superb Beijing duck and the staff were more than happy to help with


selecting dishes from the menu. Breakfast is served in the Park Terrace restaurant, which also offers afternoon tea and evening dining. Bertie's Bar is open from 5pm to 2am. THE VERDICT: A well considered, modern room design with all the facilities you'd expect of a five-star hotel – and some fine views too. Food and service in Min Jiang were exemplary. My stay was marred only by a rogue fire alarm giving off a short blast at 5am! THE DETAILS: 2-24 Kensington High Street, London, W8 4PT. Lead-in room rates from £245 including VAT and breakfast. Tel: 020 7937 8000. See: www.royalgardenhotel.co.uk. ANDY HOSKINS


88 I FIND MORE REALITY CHECKS AT WWW.THEBUSINESSTRAVELMAG.COM


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