Apex Hotels Blogs

New Director of Sales (MICE) Appointed

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Apex Hotels appoints new Director of Sales (MICE)

Debbie Green has been appointed as the new Director of Sales (MICE) for the Apex Hotels group.

Her role is to look after the meetings market across the UK for all 8 Apex Hotels focusing primarily on conference agents. Debbie brings a wealth of experience to the role with a track record of success in chain hotel and agency.

Apex Hotels appoints Deborah Green as Director of Sales (MICE)

Debbie’s career in the hospitality industry began in 1992 as an Accounts Clerk in the Stakis Moorside Hotel.

She worked through roles such as reception and conference before moving in to sales in 2006 as a Sales Executive for Q Hotels.

It was not long until Deborah was promoted internally to the role of Agency Field Sales Manager, where she remained for 5 years.

Her next step saw her move to the De Vere Hotel in Blackpool as their Event Sales Manager where she was assigned to procuring new business as well as organising client conferences and dinners/events at the hotel.

 Debbie said: “I am excited to be joining Apex Hotels and look forward to meeting all of the partners that work with the Apex Hotel group.”

For further press information please contact:
Jo Harbisher, Communications & CSR Director at Apex Hotels.

Note to Editors
Apex Hotels is one of the UK's leading operators of contemporary city centre hotels. The company currently operates three hotels in London, four in Edinburgh and one in Dundee.

Apex Chairman receives Honorary Doctorate

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Apex Hotels Chairman recognised by QMU

Norman Springford, Chairman of Apex Hotels, has been recognised for his significant services to the hospitality industry with an Honorary Doctorate from Queen Margaret University (QMU).

In celebration of a distinguished career spanning over 30 years, Norman collected his Honorary Doctorate from QMU Chancellor Sir Tom Farmer during the University’s graduation ceremony at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.

Professor Petra Wend, Principle and Vice-Chancellor QMU, said: “We have recognised Norman Springford’s unique influence on the hospitality industry with the highest honour the University can bestow.

“As a QMU honorary graduate, he deservedly joins a distinguished group of individuals who have made a major and relevant contribution to society through their work. We have long led the way in hospitality training and continue to build strength in the field through innovation, collaborations and inter-disciplinary working.”

Norman said: “As an Edinburgh business man it is a huge source of pride to receive such an honour from Queen Margaret University.

“I am delighted to be associated with QMU which is continuing to lead by example through nurturing young talent and cultivating the next generation of successful business people and hospitality professionals.”

An accountant by profession, Norman is one of Edinburgh’s most successful businessmen and a leading figure within the UK’s hospitality industry.

A former employee of HMRC who went on to start up his own accountancy firm, he held interests in the pub trade and a bingo hall during the 80s before finally purchasing the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh which he sold to Apollo in the mid-1990s.

His passion for hospitality saw him open his first hotel in 1996 and lay the foundations for his family-owned Apex Hotel group which consists of 8 luxury and stylish hotels in Edinburgh, London and Dundee.

In April 2012 Norman was awarded the HIT Scotland Lifetime Achievement Award by The Hospitality Industry Trust.

For further press information, please contact pr@apexhotels.co.uk

Simian the Orangutan

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Simian was created for Jungle City, a charitable event of major conservation impact. The event, launched in Edinburgh, celebrated the magnificence of Asia’s endangered wildlife, generating mass awareness of their plight and making everyone smile at the same time. Purchased by Apex Hotels at a charity auction to represent our commitment to building a sustainable future and minimising our impact on the environment, she is now proudly displayed at the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel in Edinburgh.

We spoke to the artist who designed her, Rebecca Sutherland, to find out more ...

Simian at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

How did you get involved in the Jungle City Project?
I originally became involved with Jungle City by painting a life-sized baby elephant for the Elephant Parade in London. My elephant, Harapan, was painted for S.O.S. (The Sumatran Orangutan Society) and was situated in Regent's Park, London. While he was on display he created quite a lot of attention from the general public, which then converted into a good price at auction.

What was the inspiration behind Simian?
When considering any design job, I first think about why I'm doing it. Jungle City aimed to bring the plight of the jungle to the city of Edinburgh for a few weeks at the end of the summer 2011, so my brief was to decorate my orangutan in a manner that celebrated this. My idea was to literally camouflage Simian in a jolly jungle pattern. When she was finished I was so pleased that she also got a lovely spot in West Princes Street Gardens with the spectacular back-drop of Edinburgh Castle. Colour and pattern are always present in my work, and although I make a very rough sketch to begin with I very much enjoy working out both as I go along.

How long did the design take to complete?
It always takes me longer than I envisage to paint 3D objects. So I will estimate that from start to finish it took me roughly four weeks to complete Simian's decoration. I really try to satisfy my own eye first and sometimes this means repainting great areas to get it to work as a whole. Every one of these big pieces has been an adventure for me with colour and pattern - it's what I enjoy!

What are your thoughts on where she ended up?
I am over-the-moon that my artwork has found permanent residency in such a grand Edinburgh hotel. As an artist, it is so nice to see where these pieces end up and for Simian to be on public display still is absolutely wonderful. I hope she will stay there for a long time to come. Somehow Simian belongs in the beautiful city of Edinburgh!

What are you working on at the moment?
I currently have a broad range of clients who have commissioned me to do some amazingly exciting projects. At the moment I am working on some a fairy tale illustrations, which are part of a series of books that I have developed, and I’m pleased to say have been sold to an American publisher. I am also about to embark on my third smiler sheet for Royal Mail. My last one was done to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dragon (2012).

Re-born at CityPoint Spas

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Guests of Apex Hotels in London can now enjoy an exclusive 20% discount at CityPoint Spa – one of the city’s most luxurious health fitness and spa facilities. To see what was in store for our guests we sent along our Marketing Executive Danica to experience CityPoint’s famous ‘Signature Treatment’ ...

CityPoint Club's relaxing treatment room

As I stepped into the elevator that took me down to CityPoint Club, the hustle and bustle of the busy London streets above quickly faded away. Inside I met Roberto, my therapist for the afternoon, who led me to my treatment room where the music and ambiance induced a lovely sense of tranquillity. Roberto explained what the treatment entailed and the positive effects it had (plenty more than just relaxation). He then gave me the chance to select what oil I preferred to use, I thought this was a great personal touch.

My treatment started with a gentle full body exfoliation which was as invigorating as relaxing. This first stage of the treatment left my skin feeling unbelievably smooth - it was so soft I could rival a new born!

Then came stage two, the application of my personally selected oils. During my consultation with Roberto I had mentioned that I am a keen gym enthusiast.  It was like Roberto had been my personal trainer the night before – he knew exactly what muscle groups were aching the most. My massage also included the traditional Thai technique of aromatic poultices, giving this treatment the unique touch I was not expecting.

Between the heated drizzled oils, the aromatic poultices and Roberto’s remarkable massage technique, every strain and twinge floated away. Then to finish off the treatment Roberto gave me a pressure point massage that almost sent me to sleep as I was so peaceful.

This two hour treatment revitalised by body, released stress and left me with a feeling of complete well-being. I would recommend this treatment to anyone who wants to feel they have left all the strains of day-to-day life behind and are looking for two hours of complete paradise!

Pick up an Apex Privilege Card from reception when staying at any Apex Hotel in London and receive an exclusive 20% discount at the spa.

V&A Photography

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Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography (28 September 2012 - 6 January 2013)

The V&A at Dundee may not be due to open until 2015, but this exhibition will give visitors a tantalising glimpse of things to come.

Running from 28 September 2012 - 6 January 2013 and organized by the V&A in London, it's the second in a series of exhibitions being held at The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum.

The curators at the V&A have access to some astonishing art; in this case, they're dipping into the UK's National Collection of the Art of Photography. This exhibition features work from leading contemporary photographers including Rankin, Corinne Day and Tim Walker, while established masters of the field David Bailey, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn are also among those represented.

Ronald Traeger, Twiggy wears Twiggy Dresses Battersea Park, London. Unpublished Fashion Study for British Vogue, Young Idea, July 1967 © Estate of Ronald Traeger / Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Irving Penn coined the phrase which inspired the title of the exhibition, when he said that his role as fashion photographer at Vogue was about "selling dreams not clothes". This hints that there is more to fashion photography than simply documenting the latest designs.

The exhibition will explore 100 years of fashion photography in eight sections, from the early days of illustrated magazines to the narrative approaches used by photographers today. Along the way we will see how the field changed with the times, including the rise of Surrealism, the swinging sixties, the daring and provocative 1970s and the trend towards reportage in the 1990s.

Susanna Brown, Curator of Photographs at the V&A, said, "This exhibition brings together diverse works by more than twenty leading image-makers and will include some wonderful iconic images as well as rarely exhibited photographs from the V&A collection." 

With an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci drawings later this year also organized by the V&A and McManus, the prospect of the V&A at Dundee in 2015 seems more exciting and tangible than ever.

Find out more about the exhibition on The McManus website.

Storytelling Festival

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Scottish Storytelling Festival 2012 (19 – 28 October 2012)

To mark the 200th anniversary of the first Brothers Grimm story, this year’s Scottish Storytelling Festival is all about folktales of Europe, old and new. Exploring our fascination with fairytales across all different cultures, age groups and generations, the festival brings us live storytelling performances, exhibitions, discussions and fun family activities.

Highlights in Edinburgh will include ...

Tell-a-Story Day encourages people all over Scotland to set up their own storytelling events

Illustrating the Brothers Grimm (daily)

Brothers Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm were storytellers famous for popularising many classic tales including Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel. They first appeared in print 200 years ago, and to celebrate the National Library of Scotland is showcasing a collection of story book illustrations and other Brothers Grimm exhibits.

A Tale O Twa Touns (27 October 2012)

Mercat Tours are hosting a special walking tour of Edinburgh for the Storytelling Festival, starting at the Mercat Cross beside St. Giles Cathedral. This is your chance to hear the stories of Edinburgh’s past, and discover the surprising contrast between the city’s two characters ‘Auld Reekie’ and the ‘Athens of the North’.

Tell-a -Story Day (28 October 2012)

Tell-a-Story Day is a celebration of live storytelling, encouraging people all over Scotland to set up their own storytelling events - making, sharing and listening to stories with their local communities. With support from the Scottish Storytelling Centre, anyone can organise an event. Open events are taking place across the country, to find your nearest visit Tell-a-Story Day Events.

With all this and much more to see and do, the Scottish International Storytelling festival is not to be missed. Check out the full programme online.


Halloween in London

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Halloween (31 October 2012)

If you are looking for ideas for the October holidays then take heed - all things spooky will soon begin their ghostly pilgrimage to the fright fest that is Halloween.

With its haunted towers, gloomy dungeons and bloodthirsty history, there is plenty going on in London this year to scare you silly. This October will see events taking place all over the city, including spooky club nights, spine-chilling tours, creepy West End performances and, of course, we can’t forgot the bonkers fancy dress where the city celebrates the scariest night of the year with a very flamboyant approach.

Get into the spirit of Halloween this October in London

Halloween at the London Dungeons

Enjoy Halloween at the London Dungeons for the full scare experience. Be prepared to feel your blood run cold and for all hairs to stand on edge this Halloween as the London Dungeon delivers eerie screams of tortured souls and leaves you shivering whilst 'Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell' will take you on a nightmare underground journey. Luckily for our guests, Apex City of London it just round the corner so you can expect a good night’s sleep as long as you can get the eerie screams out of your head.

Jack the Ripper Tours

Enjoy a Jack the Ripper Tour this Halloween and make the most of our exclusive discount where all Apex guests will receive £1 off the ticket price. Walk the steps of London’s most famous serial killer and experience this frightening tour.

The Woman in Black

If it is a spooky West End theatre performance you are after to celebrate Halloween this year, then be sure to see The Woman in Black. With a story set around a haunted house and a spine-chilling curse, what more could you want? Caution, this play will leave you as white as a ghost.

No matter what you are looking for, there is no shortage of thrills and chills to entertain you this October. Enjoy Apex Halloween celebrations at our hotels and make sure you visit London this Halloween .... if you dare!

Dundee October 2012

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What's on in Dundee in October 2012?

Event of the month

100 Years of Fashion Photography

Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography (28 September 2012 - 6 January 2013)

The V&A at Dundee may not be due to open until 2015, but this exhibition will give visitors a tantalising glimpse of things to come. Exploring 100 years of fashion photography in eight sections, from the early days of illustrated magazines to the narrative approaches used by photographers today. Find out more in our V&A Photography Exhibition blog post.

Discovery Film Festival (20 October - 4 November 2012) - This unique festival showcases films from all over the world made for children. With screenings, workshops and exhibitions, Discovery Film Festival 2012 is set to be just as exciting as last year's popular event. Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY - www.discoveryfilmfestival.org.uk

Spirit of the Dance (3 - 7 October 2012) - This sensational show brings with it an explosive fusion of Irish dance and Latino rhythms. Winning nine global awards, Spirit of the Dance leaves audiences spellbound as it tours the world. Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.tickets.dundeerep.co.uk/public/show

Arctic Bound Exhibition (2 October - early January 2013) - RRS Discovery hosts a fascinating photography exhibition displaying images taken in the arctic by Alexander Rodger and David Dickson in the 1890s. Featuring a poignant portrait of life among the whalers and the native people of some of the northernmost settlements on Earth. Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee, DD1 4XA - www.rrsdiscovery.com

Deacon Blue (4 October 2012) - 25 years since their debut album Raintown, this much loved Scottish band are back and touring Scotland in celebration, supported by Ally McErlaine's Red Sky July. Enjoy old favourites such as Dignity and Real Gone Kid and hear some new material. Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB - www.cairdhall.co.uk

Hardeep Singh Kohli (21 October 2012) - 'Indian Takeaway: A Very British Story' mixes comedy and cooking in this unique show, in which comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli attempts to cook a curry live on stage in the time it takes to get one delivered from the local takeaway. Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.hardeepsinghkohli.co.uk

Marina and the Diamonds (2 October 2012) - Fresh from her latest tour supporting music giants Coldplay, the Welsh singer-songwriter comes to Dundee to perform tracks from her latest album 'Electra Heart'. Fat Sams, 31 South Ward Road, Dundee, DD1 1PU - www.marinaandthediamonds.com/live

Edinburgh October 2012

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What's on in Edinburgh in October 2012?

Event of the month

Scottish Storytelling Festival 2012

Scottish Storytelling Festival 2012 (19 – 28 October 2012)

Celebrating 200 years of Brothers Grimm stories, this year’s Scottish Storytelling Festival focuses on old and new folktales of Europe. Exploring our fascination with fairytales across all different cultures, age groups and generations, the festival brings us live storytelling performances, exhibitions, discussions and fun family activities. Find out more in our Scottish Storytelling Festival blog post.

Holyrood's Halloween (29 - 30 October 2012) - A Halloween walk through Holyrood Park guided by a ghostly Ranger. Uncover Edinburgh's dark secrets with the help of characters from Holyrood's ghoulish past. The walk involves rough ground and steep inclines, so may not be suitable for children under 8. Booking essential. Holyrood Park, Edinburgh - www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

National Home and Design Show (6 - 7 October 2012) - Showcasing the latest home and garden design trends with special guests, live demonstrations, seminars and food and wine tastings. This show is a must for all DIY enthusiasts and those with a flair for interior design. Lowland Hall, Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB - www.nationalhomedesignshow.co.uk

Survival of the Fittest 2012 (21 October 2012) - The Survival of the Fittest course is a challenging obstacle race, which takes place in England, Scotland and Wales each year. Edinburgh's course starts in West Princes Street Gardens and goes up down and all around the city. West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh - www.mhsurvival.co.uk

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival (25-28 October 2012) - Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the film festival attracts film-makers, adventurers and a crowd of around 3,000 people. Films cover a diverse range of interests, including climbing, snow sports and mountain biking, as well as lectures by invited explorers and adventurers. Various venues, Edinburgh - www.edinburghmountainff.com

BUPA Great Edinburgh Run (7 October 2012) - This 10k road running race attracts runners from all over the country as well as top class Olympic athletes from around the world. The city centre route takes runners past many of Edinburgh's most famous sites, including Holyrood Palace, Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle. If 10 km sounds too much, there is also a 5km race as well as two short runs for children right down to 3 years old. Holyrood Park, Edinburgh - www.greatrun.org/Events

American Idiot (22-27 October 2012) - This smash-hit broadway musical comes to the UK with the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. With award winning music from Green Day’s multi-platinum selling album, this is a unique American musical of high critical acclaim. Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA - www.atgtickets.com/shows/american-idiot

EDINDOCS 2012 (19-21 October 2012) - This is Edinburgh's documentary film festival, aiming to bring quality, independent documentary film to the city. Nominated films will be screened at the Cameo Theatre, with prizes awarded to the best. Cameo Picturehouse, 38 Home Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ - www.edindocs.com

London October 2012

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What's on in London in October 2012?

Event of the month

Halloween is coming!

Halloween in London (31 October 2012)

This October will see events taking place all over the city, including spooky club nights, spine-chilling tours, creepy West End performances and of course we can’t forgot the bonkers fancy dress. Look out for the city celebrating the scariest night of the year with a very flamboyant approach! Find out more in our Halloween in London blog post.

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist (until 27 October 2012) - This is one exhibition you do not want to miss, as it is the largest ever display of Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings of the human body. Discover how the greatest artist of the Renaissance revolutionised the understanding of human anatomy with his incredible accuracy. Today, these amazing drawings are among the Royal Collection’s greatest treasures. The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA - www.royalcollection.org.uk

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil (12 – 19 October 2012) - Created by the people that performed and worked with Michael Jackson, this show is a thrilling fusion of musical genius and acrobatic magic. Performing over 30 of Michael’s songs, this tour is a tribute to the legendary artist and is a fantastic way to celebrate the King of Pop’s iconic costumes, dance moves and music. The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX - www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/michael-jackson-tour

The Queen: Art & Image (until 21 October 2012) - This October is the last chance to experience this landmark exhibition, celebrating some of the most resonant images of Elizabeth II during her 60 year reign. From formal painted portraits, to press images, to commissioned photography, this exhibition demonstrates the evolving representation of one of the the most portrayed people of all time. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE - www.npg.org.uk

Cabaret (3 - 6 October 2012) - This show features jaw-dropping choreography, astounding costumes and some of the most iconic songs in musical theatre. Watch as Will Young and Michelle Ryan make their musical theatre debuts in the reworked production of Cabaret, choreographed by world renowned Javier De Frutos. Savoy Theatre, Strand, London, WC2R 0ET - ww.atgtickets.com/shows/cabaret/savoy-theatre

Oktoberfest in London (26 September – 27 October 2012) - Bavarian Beerhouse bring the world’s largest beer festival Oktoberfest to London for the first time. Now in its ninth year, this Oktoberfest festival serves thousands of beer-loving customers. Enjoy the variety of freshly tapped ice cold beers served in enormous Stein glasses, served by waitresses dressed in the traditional Lederhosen dresses. Zum Wohl! Bavarian Beerhouse Old Street, EC1V 2QH & Bavarian Beerhouse Tower Hill, EC3N 2AU - www.bavarian-beerhouse.co.uk

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (until 14 October 2012) - The design team behind the award winning Beijing National Stadium have united again in London for the twelfth Serpentine Gallery Pavilion - the world’s most ambitious and first architectural programme of its kind. This year’s Pavilion will take visitors beneath the Serpentine’s lawn to explore the hidden history of its previous Pavilions. Kensington Gardens, London, W2 2UH - www.serpentinegallery.org

Michael McIntyre (2 – 6 October 2012) - Due to high demand, Michael McIntyre is back with his third and biggest UK arena tour to date – tickets have been so popular, an extra two dates have been added to his London leg! Enjoy one of the biggest names in comedy and experience Michael’s witty take on everyday life, guaranteed to leave you in fits of giggles. The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX - www.theo2.co.uk/event/michael-mcintyre

Julius Caesar (Selected dates 1 – 31 October 2012) - The performance of ‘Julius Caesar’ is arguably one of the grandest, most extravagant opera pieces of Handel’s career, written at the end of his Royal Academy years. Julius Caesar returns to English opera for the first time since the legendary 1979 stage performance. With a cast set to pack a punch, this performance is a must see. London Coliseum, 33-35 St. Martin's Lane, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4ES - www.eno.org

The Baby Show (26 – 28 October 2012) - Calling all parents-to-be and new parents – The Baby Show will feature over 250 brands, product demonstrations, expert advice and exclusive show offers. This exhibition is the ideal place to test, try and buy from a huge range of baby and maternity products; many of which are yet to make it to the high street. Earl's Court, London, SW5 9TA - www.thebabyshow.co.uk

The Yoga Show (26 – 28 October 2012) - Feeling stressed, uptight and in need of some much needed ‘you’ time? Then make sure you check out The Yoga Show where visitors can take part in free yoga and pilates classes, one-to-one equipment lessons, children’s yoga, demonstrations and lectures. Walk away feeling tranquil and relaxed. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX - www.omyogashow.com