We stay at this revamped aparthotel in the centre of Leicester with our children
The Gresham Aparthotel.
What is it
This is an aparthotel (apartments with a hotel booking system), which opened at the end of 2021 following a £17 million refurbishment.
It’s in an iconic building which was once a department store, made up of several buildings designed in the 1800.
There are 121 apartments, a restaurant and bar, a gym and conference facilities.
Where is it
It’s in Leicester city centre, a five-minute walk from the cathedral.
Rooms range from a studio through to a two-bedroom apartment and a sky room with city views.
Our two-bedroom apartment
They all have a kitchenette, dining area and lounge area with television.
The one we stayed in was modern and clean with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was one of the apartments on the inside of the building so only had one window, but the lights are bright.
One of the bedrooms in our apartment
Is it child friendly?
It is not in the most salubrious of areas, but once inside, the children loved exploring the apartment. We entered through one of the bedrooms and gradually discovered more and more rooms, there was definitely plenty of space.
Another bonus was the smart tvs in both rooms which enabled them to catch up with YouTube and Disney+.
The other bedroom
Their bedroom was bright and spacious and it’s great having access to kitchen facilities, a fridge and dining table.
The lounge area was big enough for us all to sit down and enjoy a movie although the sofa could have been comfier.
It’s an open plan kitchen-diner and living space
There is a restaurant and bar on the ground floor called Black Iron Social which serves breakfast, brunch, bar snacks and dinner and seems really popular.
The bar and restaurant Black Iron Social
Plus there’s a Tesco Express around the corner if you want to eat in.
*The rooms are modern, fresh and clean. The size is great with lots of space to relax in.
*The modern facilities are a big bonus
*It’s a good central location in Leicester, you can walk to all the major attractions in the city centre.
*Make sure to ask for a room on the outside with windows, if you want them.
*It is on a pedestrianised street so if you have heavy luggage, get one person to drop the other off nearby before going to park your car.
Leicester has some great family attractions, including the National Space Centre and the Richard III Centre, read our full guide to places to go in the city here.
Address: The Gresham Aparthotel, 36 Market Street, Leicester, LE1 6DP.
Parking: The hotel does not have its own car park. There are car parks within a short walking distance, we used Newarke Street car park, which is about a 2/3 minute walk.
Does Staycity in York offer the best of both worlds for families, with an apartment and a hotel in one?
Aparthotels are a growing type of accommodation, especially in major cities.
The idea is to offer the facilities you would expect from a hotel, with the space and freedom of an apartment.
Staycity is one of the largest operators with aparthotels across Britain, Ireland and France.
We tested their York aparthotel to see if it was a good option for families and better for children.
Where is it?
Staycity Aparthotel York It is at the southern end of York city centre, just outside the city walls, next to the Barbican centre.
What is it?
Staycity describe their aparthotels as a perfect blend of home and hotel, in city centre locations. This one was built in 2016.
Is it family friendly?
Yes, when we stayed here, we found it excellent, our apartment was roomy with everything we needed and was much more relaxing than a cramped hotel room.
Our lounge/diner/kitchen area
There are 197 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments. Ours was a two-bedroomed apartment with two modern bathrooms and a lounge/kitchen/diner with cooker, microwave dishwasher and all kitchen equipment.
The main bedroom had an en-suite, tv and double bed. The second bedroom had twin beds.
Food and drink
There is a relaxed café in reception where we ate a simple buffet breakfast for £7.95 per adult. Children’s breakfast is free (up to two children free per paying adult).
The reception/cafe area at Staycity Aparthotel York
There is a Co-op store next door if you want to cook for yourself. Staycity is also near to several restaurants. We ate in a nice Italian called Totos.
The aparthotel is just outside the city walls, a five-minute walk from the city centre and near to lots of attractions including York Castle Museum.
*Our children could have their own room.
*The modern bathrooms.
*Towels are provided.
*The fully-equipped kitchen.
The dining area in our apartment
*As many guests eat in their apartments, breakfast was a relaxed affair despite there being only a few tables.
*Guests get discounted car parking at a multi-storey car park behind the hotel for £11 per day. We left our car here for the duration of our stay and walked everywhere.
*There is a gym and a laundry, although we didn’t use them and 24-hour reception.
Staycity Aparthotel York, Paragon Street, York, YO10 4AH.