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  • New Sleeperz Hotel to open in Dundee

    Sleeperz Hotel Dundee architect's plan

    What a week!

    On Monday, we announced that Sleeperz is opening its fourth UK hotel in Dundee, as part of a £1b regeneration of the city’s waterfront on the banks of the River Tay.

    The city council in Dundee has committed to a 30-year plan to transform 8kms of waterfront and at the heart of it will be the first regional branch of the V&A Museum of art and design outside London.

    The museum is expected to become a major attraction and deliver tourists and culture vultures to a proud Scottish city that has already made a big cultural contribution to Britain.

    Dundee publishing house DC Thomson gave us the Beano and Dandy comic books while the RRS Discovery – the last three masted wooden ship ever built in Britain – carried Captain Scott on his Antarctic adventures. It now sits proudly on Dundee’s waterfront, where it was built, and from where it first set sail.

    Alongside the museum there has been lots of investment from leisure companies, with restaurants, hotels and bars looking to be part of the new Dundee.

    Right next to the new V&A Museum will be Dundee Railway Station and that’s where Sleeperz Hotels comes in.

    Dundee City Council has been looking for a hotel operator to work with on a £22m transformation of the railway station that will see a 120-bed hotel built in a glass concourse above the station and provide a landmark entrance to the city.

    Sleeperz Hotel Dundee architect's plan

    A “landmark entrance” to the city of Dundee – Sleeperz Hotels to operate 120 bed hotel above Dundee rail station

    Sleeperz is a natural fit. We’ve been building stylish and beautiful hotels near mainline rail stations ever since we opened our first hotel in Cardiff in 2008. You could say we are leading a modern revival of the classic British Railway Hotel.

    The architects have already drawn up plans and we are able to share them with you here on the Sleeperz blog.

    Aerial view Sleeperz Hotel Dundee

    Aerial view of the new £22m Dundee Railway Station and Sleeperz Hotel

    If you are visiting the city as a tourist you can see from the plans that staying at Sleeperz Hotel Dundee means you can walk to the V&A Museum and RSS Discovery in under two minutes.

    rear view Sleeperz Hotels Dundee

    Sweeping glass concourse – another beautiful building operated by Sleeperz Hotels

    Location is a major reason people love our hotels, we make things easy, on arrival – just off the train – and for sightseeing, because we know it’s important to be in the heart of cities where we open.

    Our partners at Dundee City Council have welcomed Sleeperz and our model of building “design-led” premium budget hotels with contemporary rooms, affordable prices and unrivalled locations.

    Mike Galloway, director of city development at Dundee City Council, said: “We are delighted to have attracted Sleeperz to our waterfront redevelopment in Dundee.  This new hotel will provide further high quality accommodation for the many hundreds of thousands of additional visitors to the V&A Museum and it will create a powerful new landmark entrance into our city.”

    Work is already getting started on the railway development and we are aiming to open by Autumn 2016.

    To keep up with developments around Sleeperz Dundee and news of other Sleeperz openings, just read our blog, like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

     

  • Sleeperz Newcastle – Derelict Warehouse to Shining Success

    Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle

    Two years ago this month, Sleeperz opened its second UK hotel in Newcastle – transforming a dilapidated warehouse into a modern, sleek glass fronted city centre hotel.

    The site once housed a parcel works, where mail was sorted before being sent via trains on the East Coast mainline, which runs behind the hotel and connects the capital cities of London and Edinburgh.

    The derelict site on which Sleeperz Newcastle is built

    Before Clash Architects and Metnor Construction went to work on Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle

    The area is a heritage conservation site and we worked closely with English Heritage and others to develop sensitively alongside places of special historic interest.

    Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle: Innovation and Excellence

    Today, the hotel is a triumph of innovation and excellence in architecture – a sweeping curved structure that straddles two original historic railway arches and fits the snaking shape of Newcastle’s Westgate Road, close to St Nicholas’s Church and the castle keep from which Newcastle takes its name.

    Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle

    Award winning architecture and unrivalled location have made Sleeperz Newcastle a success

    It’s a great time to talk about the hotel because Sleeperz Newcastle has become one of the company’s greatest success stories in the short time it’s been open to the public.

    The Royal Institute of British Architects judged the hotel to be one of the best new buildings in Northern England and granted it a Hadrian Award for ‘architectural excellence’ in 2012.

    Travel website Laterooms.com users voted it one of the best family friendly hotels in the UK for its Simply the Guest Awards.

    Every year the hotel has been trading it has earned a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, making it among the top 10% of hotels worldwide as reviewed by members of the travel review site.

    Standard double room Sleeperz Newcastle

    A double room with floor to ceiling windows in Sleeperz Newcastle

    Our guests also agree that our Newcastle hotel is one of the best places to take a city break in Newcastle or Gateshead, and the stats back up what we say.

    39,500 guests stayed with us in 2013 and enjoyed the culture, shopping, nightlife, history and heritage of Newcastle.

     

    Fun Facts about Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle:

    83 – the number of different nationalities have stayed in the hotel

    416 – The number of champagne corks popped by guests

    3652 – number of  free apples given out to guests

    29,481 – slices of bread toasted on the breakfast bar

    73,715 – number of pillow cases changed

    Reasons to visit Newcastle in 2014

    We hope that talking about our award winning hotel has inspired you to visit Newcastle for a short break, but, if you need more persuasion – here is our pick of top cultural events and festivals in 2014.

    Newcastle Restaurant Week – January 27th to February 2nd

    Try top class food in great restaurants with two courses from £10 at participating venues

    Chinese New Year – February 9 from 10am

    Not many people know that Newcastle has its own incredible Chinatown and Chinese community. Join the celebrations, from dragon processions to delicious dining on famous Stowell Street.

    AV Festival – International Festival of Art, Music and Film March 1-31

    Some of the best new and emerging artists gather to inspire audiences and interpret the theme of ‘Extraction’ and the raw materials which shape and create our world, from mining and global exploitation of workers to the battle for supremacy in the oil, gas and fossil fuel markets.

    Gateshead International Jazz Festival – April 4-6

    If you love Jazz, you’ll love the 10th anniversary of this popular festival celebrating an iconic musical genre at the inspirational acoustic music venue Sage Gateshead.

    EAT NewcastleGateshead  – 8-17 August

    A renowned festival celebrating adventures in food. Not your average food festival, previous years have seen diners eat in a suspended restaurant hanging from the Tyne Bridge, cakes sculpted in the form of the entire city of Newcastle and the chance to sample dishes from the length and breadth of the planet.

    BUPA Great North Run – September 7

    Quite simply, the world’s biggest half marathon and an incredible event for spectators and competitors alike.

    The Great North Run start line

    The biggest half marathon in the World – The Great North Run

    NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival – Throughout December

    A firm favourite and fixture in the city’s annual calendar of events, the festival includes the sensational ‘Enchanted Parks’ at Gateshead’s Saltwell Park and traditional Christmas Markets. Not to be missed!

    Newcastle Winter Festival

    Norse themed Winter Festival in Newcastle – credit www.visitnewcastlegateshead.com

    You can find out more about special offers at Sleeperz Newcastle or read other posts including our Geordie Glossary and 10 Things you must know about Newcastle at www.sleeperz.com

  • Five Festive Breaks with Sleeperz Hotels

    Newcastle Winter Festival

    From night skies ablaze with fireworks to the scent of roasted chestnuts and laughter filling theatre stalls, Christmas and New Year is a time to escape and leave everyday worries behind.

    If you are looking for ideas for Festive Escapes or a Christmas Holiday break, then read on for the best of the festive fun in Cardiff, Newcastle and Edinburgh – three cities where you can stay in style for less with Sleeperz Hotels.

    Five Festive Breaks

    1. Cracking Christmas Markets

    Food , drink and gift giving is such a special part of Christmas and there’s no better place to find ideas for presents – and fill your tum with the yummiest festive foods – than at a traditional Christmas Market.

    Made famous in Germany, Christmas Markets are growing in popularity in Britain.

    Christmas Market Cardiff

    Cardiff’s Christmas Market – image credit www.visitcardiff.com

    You can try tempting treats like Stollen Cake, Mulled Wine, roasted chestnuts, handmade chocolate and scrummy mince pies. Newcastle’s Christmas Market is part of its Winter Festival located around the iconic Grey’s Monument in the heart of the city.

    St John’s Church and the Hayes is the backdrop for Cardiff’s stunning Christmas Market which is a favourite of the finest crafters and artists in Wales. You can buy Welsh slate carvings, traditional leather goods, precious stone jewellery and carved Welsh lovespoons.

    In Edinburgh, there are three Christmas Markets running from November 22- January 5, including the long established German Christmas Market which sprawls over the Mound area from the National Gallery to Princes Street Gardens.

    There is also a Children’s Christmas Market and a Scottish themed Market, selling the finest food, drinks and crafts from Scottish producers

    2.     Edinburgh’s Christmas

    Edinburgh is the city of festivals, with its Fringe, Military Tattoo and month long Edinburgh Festival among the most popular tourist attractions in the world.

    At Christmas, the Scottish capital transforms again into a winter wonderland and its award winning Christmas Festival brings joy and wonder to people of all ages. From Light Night, its illuminating Christmas opening ceremony to the Christmas Tree Maze in the East Gardens of Prince’s Street and Santa’s Grotto, ice rink and big wheel ride, there is endless fun to be had in Edinburgh.

    Light Night Edinburghs Christmas

    Light Night at Edinburgh’s Christmas – credit www.edinburghschristmas.com

    Our sister hotel Cityroomz Edinburgh is located just off Prince’s Street in Shandwick Place – and perfectly positioned for the festive fun, rides, shops, attractions and bars.

    3.     Family Fun in Santa’s Grotto

    Taking the family away or just young at heart? You can’t beat a visit to Santa Claus to ignite the true spirit of Christmas. Why not combine a trip to see St Nick with a day at a world class museum or tourist attraction. Santa will be at Beamish Museum, County Durham (near our Newcastle Hotel) right up to and including Christmas Eve and he’s also made home in Cardiff Castle, where the National Theatre of Wales is putting on a Christmas play called the ‘Silly Kings’ and in Edinburgh too, as part of its cracking Christmas festival

    Santa's Grotto in Newcastle

    Santa’s Grotto is always a great treat for families on a festive break – image credit NewcastleGateshead Initiative

    4.     Seasonal Sporting Action

    If you love the spills and thrills of live sports then there are few better places to watch sport than Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle this Christmas and New Year.

    There are two Premier League football teams in action – Cardiff are at home to Southampton on Boxing Day and Sunderland on December 28th, click here to buy tickets, and Newcastle at home to Stoke City on Boxing Day and Arsenal on December 29th.

    You’ll find top class rugby teams in all three cities and in Edinburgh, Hearts and Hibernian battle for local bragging rights in the Scottish Premier League. Basketball lovers will enjoy the multi-championship and cup winning Newcastle Eagles taking to the court.

    5.     Big Night out for New Year

    It’s the party season and there is no bigger night to look forward to than New Year’s Eve. Sleeperz Hotels are handily located in three of the most exciting cities in the UK when it comes to nightlife and big NYE celebrations.

    Hogmanay in Edinburgh is possibly the most famous NYE party in the UK outside London and this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than ever because it welcomes in a special Homecoming Year in 2014, when Scotland hosts The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and The Ryder Cup golf match at Gleneagles in September.

    This year, visitors to Edinburgh can enjoy 3 days of celebrations including a concert in the Prince’s Street Gardens, a torchlit procession, giant Ceilidh, candlelit concert, appearances by some of the biggest bands in the world and the customary monumental fireworks display. Cityroomz Edinburgh is right in the heart of the city and provides a brilliant cheap hotel stay, with convenience and comfort at low prices.

    Fireworks Edinburgh Hogmanay

    Edinburgh’s world famous Hogmanay Fireworks – credit Edinburgh’s Christmas

    Newcastle’s iconic Quayside is a great place to spend New Year watching its famous Midnight Fireworks display over the River Tyne and its magical Millennium and Tyne bridges. The fun really starts at 5pm with the NewcastleGateshead Winter Carnival processing through the Georgian streets of the city. This year’s Carnival has a Norse folklore theme and you’ll see giant serpents, illuminated Viking long ships and fearsome warriors.

    Newcastle Winter Festival

    Norse themed Winter Festival in Newcastle – credit www.visitnewcastlegateshead.com

    In Cardiff, you can see in 2014 on skates by taking a midnight spin around the ice rink in the Flybe Winter Wonderland. New Year’s Eve is called Callenig in Wales and there are celebrations running all day, including a family funfair and live DJ’s playing music outside the civic centre from 9.30pm. There’s even a free NYE bus service to get you back to your hotel safe and sound.

    Wherever you decide to spend Christmas and New Year, from everyone at Sleeperz Hotels, we’d like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    If you liked our suggestions for Festive Escapes and Christmas Breaks, why not share them on Facebook and Twitter or email this blogpost to your friends.

     

  • How Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff started a budget hotel revolution

    Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff set a new trend in UK hotels

    It’s a big bold claim to say that your hotel started a revolution among UK budget hotels, but, that’s exactly what we did five years ago today.

    We opened the doors to Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff – Britain’s original budget lifestyle hotel – and it’s proved to be one of the most influential, trend setting innovations in the recent history of UK hotels.

    Boom in UK Budget Hotels

    To say that there’s been a boom in budget hotels since Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff opened is an understatement.

    The branded budget hotel sector has exploded and is now the fastest growing in the UK hotel industry.

    Here’s some facts from some extremely clever accountants to back this up:

    According to global accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC), another 200 hotels and 20,000 rooms will open in the UK in 2013 to 2014 – and more than half of these will be in the budget hotel sector – and the majority will be branded.

    In today’s hotel market, limited service offerings and technology friendly budget boutique hotels are giving consumers everything they need for far less than they’d pay in a traditional full service mid-market four star hotel.

    How did we do it?

    We’ve created a fun and funky infographic to show how we started the budget lifestyle revolution – and saw the future well before some of the biggest hotel brands in the country.

    We hope you enjoy it – and some lovely pictures of our team at Sleeperz Cardiff enjoying their 5th birthday celebrations!

    Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff - Britain's original budget lifestyle hotel

    Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff – Britain’s original budget lifestyle hotel

    Cardiff General Manager Laura Peeroo can bake a mean cup cake!

    Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff is five years old

    Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff general manager Laura Peeroo baked cupcakes to celebrate five years since the opening of the hotel

     

  • 10 of the best pubs in NewcastleGateshead

    Crown Posada Pub Newcastle

    If there’s one great British institution that has stood the test of time, it’s the Pub!

    Through the ages names may have changed from Inn to Tavern to Public House, but what has never changed is the popularity of a great place where people sit, talk and enjoy a drink.

    Just recently the creative imaginative folks over at NewcastleGateshead Initiative took to Twitter to ask their social friends what they thought were the 10 best pubs in Newcastle and Gateshead.

    Best Pubs in Newcastle – where do you start?

    Let’s be honest, it’s a tough ask and you are spoilt for choice.

    Making time for a drink is part of life in The Toon and the city is world famous for its nightlife and party scene.

    To get a Top-10 you’d have to visit the most celebrated watering holes of the city taking you through the Bigg Market, Quayside, Central Station area, Ouseburn, Byker, into Jesmond, the Haymarket and finally Gateshead itself.

    Tweeting the top tipple in the Toon

    While we won’t venture to tell you what the best pubs and bars in Newcastle are, we’ll let the good folks at NGI share their list compiled from tweets and facebook posts, all you have to do is click here to enjoy it!

    You’ll find some crackers, from traditional real ale pub like the Crown Posada to the alternative pub scene in Ouseburn with its Free Trade Inn and Cumberland Arms.

    Crown Posada Pub Newcastle

    Real Ale Heaven – Crown Posada Newcastle – courtesy NGI

    If you are visiting Newcastle anytime soon and take a trip around the bars and pubs, let us know what your favourite Top-10 are.

    One thing’s for sure if you stay at Sleeperz Newcastle you’ll never be far away from pretty much all the best bars and restaurants in the city.

     

  • 5 Top Tips for booking a hotel on a Budget

    Sleeperz Hotels in The Guardian

    Everybody wants value for money these days and quite a lot of people are living on a tight budget, whether that’s for the weekly supermarket shop, buying a new dishwasher or booking a hotel.

    In fact, booking a hotel has to be one of the hardest things to do on a budget.

    There are so many websites promising last minute hotel deals, vouchers for cheap holidays, buy two nights and get a third free, and many other forms of cheap hotel breaks and discounts on hotel stays.

    Here at Sleeperz Hotels, we are passionate about providing a contemporary urban living experience in a city centre environment at affordable rates – without sacrificing the style.

    We have hotels in Cardiff, Newcastle and Edinburgh and travel on a budget is something we know a lot about.

    Here are our tips for choosing the best hotel for your budget

    1. Hotels are easy to research
    If the deal looks too good to be true then turn to people who are the most likely to give you an independent and objective review of the hotel – the travel media – and hotel guests themselves.

    Use Google or another search engine to find out if the hotel has been reviewed by any quality media, by that we mean a national newspaper or prominent regional newspaper. Have they been included in any impressive round ups, write-ups or won any significant awards from publications.

    Our Edinburgh Hotel, Cityroomz Edinburgh, was included in the Top-20 UK Hotels under £100 by Sally Shalam, hotel reviewer for The Guardian – and Sally knows more than a thing or two about hotels.

    Read articles like this to see what the experts say about a hotel. Here’s a link to Sally’s article featuring Cityroomz Edinburgh.

    Sleeperz Hotels in The Guardian

    Cityroomz Edinburgh was featured in The Guardian’s Top-20 UK Hotels under £100

    2. Turn to TripAdvisor for hotel reviews
    TripAdvisor is the world’s biggest and most popular website for the public to review hotels, restaurants, holidays and accommodation of any sort. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s good and with an open mind you can rely on the ratings and reviews to give you a great indication of what to expect in a hotel.

    Any good hotel will enable you to find reviews about it on TripAdvisor by hosting a widget or link to the site on its own webpages. Sleeperz has the TripAdvisor logo and a link to reviews on our homepage, www.sleeperz.com

    TripAdvisor website

    You have to be subjective and account for the fact that everyone has different tastes, but look out for things like TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence – which means a hotel is in the top 10% of all hotels reviewed on the site for favourable and positive guest reviews.

    Both Sleeperz Cardiff and Sleeperz Newcastle have TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence.

    3. Look for several awards from recognised industry brands

    If a hotel has won a series of awards from several different bodies, media or industry panels then you can be fairly sure you can expect a high quality stay. Sleeperz Newcastle has won awards from RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), www.laterooms.com, www.tripadvisor.co.uk and welcomed over 34,000 guests in its first 12 months.

    If a hotel is constantly advertising cut price rates – you have to ask why – it’s probably never full, and for good reason, and that’s why it’s trying to attract customers on a cheap high volume basis. It’s not likely they’ll ever stay again though.

    4. Stable prices are a good sign

    Instead look for properties that have fairly stable rates and good reviews – but which still represent great value for money. If the price is holding up well then the hotel is in demand and that’s a good sign.

    5.Take advantage of seasonality & added value offers

    UK cities demand varies dramatically over the summer months, many cities show a reduction in business travel which frees up rooms for leisure travellers.  This gives hoteliers the opportunity to offer added value features such as free breakfast (which can save you pretty penny) meaning you can splash out on a posh dinner instead.  Check out our free breakfast offer on www.sleeperz.com

    So, to find the best hotel for your budget, use the internet to do your research, weigh up the reviews from media and the public and look for stable pricing and value for money.

    Good luck and happy hotel hunting!!

  • Thrifty Travel Guide: How to travel in style on a budget

    How to travel in style on a budget

    At Sleeperz Hotels we are all about helping people travel and stay in style for less.

    A weekend away with friends or a romantic city break with your other half doesn’t have to cost the earth.

    Nor does it mean you have to give up the little luxuries or treats that make you happy.

    We’ve compiled a handy Thrifty Traveller’s guide to help you make your money go further without sacrificing the big ‘S’ – style.

    How to travel in style on a budget

    Save the pennies and the pounds add up

    Cool UK city breaks for less

    Our hotels in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle are all design-led premium budget hotels with contemporary stylish rooms smack bang in these happening city centres.

    Our rooms start from £49 a night and come with lots of great extras you don’t expect in a cheap hotel – flat screen tv’s, free and fast wi-fi, tea and coffee making facilities, wet rooms in Newcastle and laptop safes.

    Cityroomz Edinburgh bedroom

    The newest budget hotel in Edinburgh – Cityroomz Edinburgh

    Here are our top tips for traveling in style on a budget

    Hurray for Happy Hour
    These days nearly all but the most exclusive or expensive of restaurants run Happy Hour promotions during the week, offering discounts on selected dishes from their menus between say 5pm and 7pm. Why pay £10 for a pizza at 7.30pm when you can enjoy it for £4.50 only an hour earlier.

    Viva la Vouchers
    The rise of online voucher deals provides lots of opportunity to search for deals on eating out, entry to visitor attractions and even spa treatments. Try joining the likes of Groupon, Living Social and Wowcher before you travel and see if you can get savings of more than 50% on dinner at a restaurant or tickets to a comedy club.

    Think ahead for top tickets
    The best way to find cheap travel to cities like Cardiff, Newcastle and Edinburgh is by looking for advance ticket purchase deals on trains.

    Tickets are almost always cheapest when they are first released, and if you book up months in advance you are bound to make great savings, sometimes as much as 50%.

    Train companies also run special offers, and so it’s worth checking on websites like www.eastcoast.co.uk or Transpennine Trains from time to time.

    You can make your trip stylish by taking a posh picnic on the train with champagne or wine and fine food to help you enjoy the journey.

    Let the deal come to you
    Sometimes you don’t even have to look for a good deal, you can let them come to you. If you sign up for Sleeperz Hotels mailing list you’ll receive a handful of emails a year with great offers, like the Summer City Breaks for £55 in Cardiff and Newcastle, which we are currently running.

    Best things in life are free
    It’s a well worn phrase but it’s true. Every major city throws big events and festivals that are often free to enter, a good example is Cardiff Festival which is full of free events like Cardiff Multi-cultural Mela and its International Food and Drink Festival in Cardiff Bay, not far from Sleeperz Hotels Cardiff.

    Street performers at Edinburgh Festival

    There are always free events to attend in major cities

    There are so many free things to do in Newcastle we created a guide to the free and family friendly attractions in the city, check it out here.

    Get wise with local transport
    Taking a taxi can be pricey but using public transport can be cheap and easy, especially in compact cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh and Newcastle where Sleeperz operates budget hotels. In Newcastle you can zip around on the Tyne and Wear Metro and be in stylish places like coastal Tynemouth or Jesmond within minutes, and Edinburgh is soon to finish a new tram system that will be a cool way of getting about.

    Loyalty equals £££££
    There are bags of ways to save money by being loyal to a certain brand or bank. For example, Tesco credit card holders earn Clubcard points which they can then spend in store or on partner products, including rail tickets and short breaks. If you buy everything in advance and pay the card off every month your loyalty will earn you extra money and treats just for being savvy.

    Enjoy your travelling, be stylish, be thrifty!!

  • Top-5 Things to do in Edinburgh

    Street performers at Edinburgh Festival

    Edinburgh is always voted in the UK’s Top-10 cities to visit by readers of influential media like The Guardian newspaper or by travel review websites like TripAdvisor.

    To help you enjoy your stay at Cityroomz Edinburgh, our hotel manager Dani Downs – born and bred in the “burgh” – has picked out her Top-5 things to do in Edinburgh.

    1.      Feel the festival vibe

    August is “festival” time in Edinburgh. A cultural explosion takes over the city and is known simply as ‘the Festival.’ It’s not one festival though, it’s made up of lots of different events and festivals.

    Edinburgh has festivals for film, books, jazz, politics, and the world famous Edinburgh Fringe, which went solo in 1998 and starts one week earlier is a completely different kettle of fish, packed with comedy, performance arts and street theatre.

    Edinburgh Festival is a great time to visit the Scottish Capital

    The Festival is made up of lots of smaller events and festivals in Edinburgh

    You can plan your schedule using the Edinburgh Festivals website, look out for the June release of the festival brochure or get a copy of The List

    2. Take cover at 1pm

    There’s one attraction you won’t be able to miss when wandering around Edinburgh’s streets, especially Prince’s Street – close to Cityroomz Edinburgh – and that’s Edinburgh Castle.

    This imposing fortress sits on a hilltop high above the city at the end of the Royal Mile. Over the centuries it’s been home to Scottish royalty, the site of an Iron Age Fort and in the late 1600’s was turned into a military base, garrison and gaol.

    At 1pm daily (except Sundays) a field gun fires a burst of shellfire, so be careful you’re not sipping a hot coffee on Prince’s Street when it goes off.

    Edinburgh Castle tourist attraction

    Listen for the guns at 1pm and admire Scotland’s most famous tourist attraction

    Take a pew at the memorial bench commemorating the late Tam the Gun, who fired the piece for 27 years.

    It’s now Scotland’s leading tourist attraction and a major part of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

    You can walk to Edinburgh Castle in less than 15 mins from Shandwick Place and Cityroomz Edinburgh, but be warned it’s all uphill.

    3. Discover Edinburgh’s dark side

    If you like to be scared, you’ll love the ghoulish and ghastly walking tours that take visitors around the supposedly haunted sites of Edinburgh’s old town.

    The streets, and adjoining alleys called ‘wynds’ and ‘closes,’ are windy, cobbled, windswept and hilly and walking them after dark is not for the faint hearted.

    It’s best to go with one of the many tour companies that specialise in ghost walks, like City of the Dead Tours or Auld Reekie Tours.

    ghost walks in Edinburgh

    Explore the dark side of Edinburgh on a guided ghost walk or underground tour

    There are some tours which take you underground like the one which takes you beneath the Royal Mile to see Mary King’s Close, a warren of 17th century streets which were closed off due to a plague outbreak.

    4. Yomp up a Volcano

    Believe it or not, Edinburgh has an extinct volcano in the city and you reach it by yomping up to Arthur’s Seat, the tallest of Edinburgh’s seven hills.

    If you are planning on eating a lot of Haggis, lorne sausage, bridies (Scottish pasties), stovies and drinking Irn-Bru, then this will be a good calorie burning workout for you.

    Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh

    A walk well worth the exertion – Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

    While you’re there, visit Our Dynamic Earth, which has all the information on how this unusual rock formation was formed, as well as a scientific exhibition on the history of planet earth.

    5. Wile away the hours with a Whisky

    You can’t visit Scotland and not try the national drink. Edinburgh is awash with Whisky and it’s a great idea to take a liquid tour to familiarise yourself with the amber nectar and help you sort out your blends from your malts.

    The Scotch Whisky Experience at 354 Castlehill is a good place to start and will take you through a replica distillery and show you how whisky changed from a tiny cottage industry into a global export success story.

    The Scotch Whisky Experience Edinburgh

    The Golden Elixir – Whisky – Scotland’s national drink

    There are some superb places to buy premium Scotch Whisky, including Royal Mile Whiskies, Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop, Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, or Whiski Bar and Restaurant, also on the Royal Mile.

    This little gem of a place was awarded Whisky Bar of the Year 2011/12 at the Dram Awards.

    It has over 300 whiskies and live Scottish music seven nights a week.

     

  • Sleeperz offers Edinburgh hotel breaks on a budget

    Cityroomz Edinburgh bedroom

    Finding an affordable hotel right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre is about to get a whole lot easier.

    About eight months ago the Sleeperz team heard about a city centre hotel in Edinburgh that was closing its doors.

    Amazingly, the hotel was just off Prince’s Street – in Shandwick Place – right in the city centre and about 10 minutes walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station and the Haymarket station

    Makeover for Edinburgh budget hotel
    It was too good an opportunity to pass over and so we took over the building, a former Travelodge, and set about giving it a Sleeperz Hotels makeover.

    It won’t be called Sleeperz Hotel Edinburgh. Why?

    Well, we aren’t creating a striking and beautiful building from scratch – which is a Sleeperz hallmark – we are transforming an existing hotel into stylish, comfortable and convenient budget accommodation.

    A new kind of budget hotel
    We had another idea – why not launch a brand-new rooms-based sister brand?

    We had a think about all of the great value hotels (some might even say cheap hotels) and budget brands and came up with Cityroomz, a new form of comfortable and conveniently located accommodation at great value prices.

    There are 72 rooms in the building we’ve bought and we have already gone to work turning it into something special.

    In fact, we’ve completed our master room already and here’s what you can expect when you stay at CityRoomz Edinburgh.

    Cityroomz Edinburgh bedrooms

    Convenience, comfort, great value prices and excellent facilities at the new Cityroomz Edinburgh

    Bespoke beds and pillows for hotel guests
    What you can’t see in the photo is that we ordered the mattresses to be custom made for CityRoomz and we have invested in the finest microfiber pillows.

    Plus, how many other budget hotels have a safe in the room big enough for a laptop, free wi-fi and tea and coffee making facilities?

    Tea and coffee making facilities at Cityroomz Edinburgh

    Free tea and coffee in all Cityroomz Edinburgh

    There’s a whole host of free TV channels to watch on a flat screen and like Sleeperz Hotels, CityRoomz will be bright, cheerful and welcoming.

    Best city break in the UK

    Edinburgh has always been thought of as one of the best city breaks in the UK and Sleeperz is so excited to be opening up a hotel right in the Scottish capital.

    It’s a place of history and culture, famous for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Military Tattoo, and watched over by the impressive Edinburgh Castle.

    Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh Castle – one of Scotland’s must-see tourist attractions

    One of the best times of year to visit Edinburgh is New Year or Hogmanay, as the locals call it, when Prince’s Street is packed with crowds watching one of the biggest fireworks displays anywhere in the world.

    We are set to open our new hotel in early May 2013 and you can find out more at www.cityroomz.com

    Cityroomz Hotel Edinburgh will operate 72 rooms and offer a fresh continental breakfast (£4.95) with rates starting at £49 per night, including free and fast wi-fi. 

  • Top-Five tourist attractions in Cardiff

    Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay

    Cardiff is the capital of Wales and while its history is one of castles, coal and conflict, today’s city is a modern cosmopolitan place visited by lovers of sports, arts, entertainment and shopping.

    There are so many things to see and do in Cardiff during a city break or short hotel stay.

    To make it easier for our hotel guests to enjoy their time in Cardiff, we’ve come up with our top five tourist attractions in the city.

    1.Cool Castles
    Cardiff has a greater concentration of castles than any other city in the world.

    The Romans were the first occupiers to build a fort on the site of modern day Cardiff Castle, marking the start of 2000 years of history – spanning the Norman Conquest through to Victorian Britain – at one of Wales’ most inspiring historical monuments.

    Cardiff Castle

    Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ most important historical monuments

    It’s just a five minute walk from Sleeperz Cardiff to the Castle. It opens at 9am and closes at 6pm in high season (Mar – Oct) and 5pm in the low season (Nov-Feb). Adult tickets are £11 and children aged 5-16 visit for £8.50.

    Other excellent Cardiff Castles include St Fagan’s, home of the Welsh National History Museum and Castell Coch – known as the Red Castle – a modern bi-product of a Victorian imagination and funded by a wealthy aristocrat. Caerphilly Castle is a short drive out of the city but is Britain’s second largest castle and an impressive monument to medieval architecture.

    2. Sensational Sports

    Cardiff is one of the best places in the UK to watch and take part in sports. You can see world class international rugby at Millennium Stadium, see the Bluebirds of Cardiff City F.C and watch Cardiff Blues Rugby team in the domestic league.

    Cardiff Arms Park Rugby ground

    Cardiff is a great place to watch world class sport – like here at Cardiff Arms Park

    If you love adrenaline and water you’ll want to visit the world class water sports facilities at Cardiff Bay, where you will find Cardiff International White Water and its incredible rapids – great for canoeing and white water rafting.

    3. Stylish Shopping
    Cardiff is the 6th best city in the UK for shopping and some of the best shops in Cardiff are less than 800m from Sleeperz Hotel, including Spiller’s Records – the world’s oldest record shop.

    Spiller's Records Cardiff

    The oldest record shop in the World – Spiller’s Cardiff

    Nearby are the Edwardian and Victorian Arcades, Cardiff Indoor Market and the ultra-modern St David’s Shopping Centre which carries the latest and best high street brands.

    shop in Cardiff's Victorian and Edwardian Arcades

    The Victorian and Edwardian arcades in Cardiff are great places to wander and pass the time!

    4. Top TV Locations

    Cardiff is a major media city and lots of BBC dramas are filmed in the city, including Torchwood, Doctor Who and Casualty.

    Location for BBC TV show Torchwood

    One of the quirkier locations for shooting Torchwood in Cardiff Bay

    You can visit many of the film set locations in the city, either as part of a Dr Who Cardiff Bus Tour or on the 2-hour walking tour which take you to sites including the National History Museum, Llandaff and Penarth.

    Don’t miss the BBC’s own tourist attraction The Dr. Who Experience featuring countless props, costumes and sets from the cult programme.

    If Sc-Fi is not your thing, you can also go on the Gavin and Stacey coach Tour on Barry Island, packed with locations from the sit-com written by James Corden (a.k.a Smithy).

    5. Beautiful and Tall Buildings

    The world’s first ever £1m deal was struck at the Cardiff Coal Exchange in 1907 and the building still stands today as an iconic music and entertainment venue.

    In Cardiff Bay, the birthplace of Welsh songstress Dame Shirley Bassey you will find the stunning Wales Millennium Centre – Wales’ number one tourist attraction. It is a contemporary arts centre and concert hall and a truly iconic piece of architecture.

    Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay

    Welsh arts and culture has an iconic home in Cardiff

    Back stage guided tours run daily for £5.50 and there are a host of great restaurants, bars, cafes and stage shows to choose from. Just a short walk from the WMC you will find the Norwegian Church – where world famous children’s books author Roald Dahl was baptised. Today it serves as a modern day arts centre.

    Norwegian Church Cardiff

    Roald Dahl was baptised in the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay

    Cardiff has the greatest number of tall buildings of any city in the UK. Currently its three tallest buildings are Millennium Stadium (400 feet), Stadium House (300 feet) and the Capital Tower (262 feet).

    So, there you have it – a fascinating mixture of culture, history, innovation and natural beauty coming together in one proud Welsh city. It couldn’t be easier to visit Cardiff’s top-five tourist attractions when staying at Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff.

    We are a short stroll from the rail station, next door to Millennium Stadium and right in the heart of the city centre.

    Book today and don’t forget to like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sleeperzhotels and follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/SleeperzHotels