Congratulations Grassmarket Apex Hotel, 25 years on.
My wife, Anna and I stayed at this hotel 27th-28th May 1996 room 111.
How did we get there. 2 weeks prior my boss gave me the time off and so we contacted a travel agent and booked a plane from Napier NZ to Auckland, to Hong Kong, to London to Edinburgh. At such short notice our travel agent tried to book us into an hotel in Princess St @ 127 pounds/night. Then told us the next day that hotel was full and the next she could get us was slightly more expensive at over 200 pounds/night.
We phoned the Scottish Tourism board who said if we didn’t mind we could stay in the Apex Grassmarket Hotel for (using memory here) 38 pounds/night although the hotel was still being built.
At Apex hotel. Our room faced the castle, we were so happy. After 36hrs in airports and on planes a view of the castle was the ultimate place to be. Naturally I went straight to sleep only to be woken up by Anna to hear the bagpiper playing on the castle ramparts. I don’t think Anna had slept at all on the aeroplane, so she was doing an impression of the energizer bunny!
Two more firsts, the first was the window opened from the top inwards and we had never seen a trouser press before. Our diary entry recorded our bus trip from the airport to Princess Street….
Into the city itself on a double-decker bus (another first) 3.50 pounds for 15 miles! The bus driver was a Jackie Stewart protege creating three lanes when there were only two, but he certainly woke us up :)
Our Apex stay was divine, excellent service, beautiful room, fantastic view, and the breakfast was just what we needed to charge our batteries. Staying at the Apex reduced or jet-lag to hours rather than ‘days’ we were expecting.
We had been booked to take another trip to the UK and were packed to leave when a certain mountain in Iceland stopped all travel. However, we did manage to stay at the Grassmarket once more since then. We liked the great service and breakfasts had, if anything, improved. I nice touch was the 3rd level floor sign, sliced kiwifruit, made us feel right at home.
I don’t know if you celebrate 25yr anniversary when the hotel’s first clod was dug, when the first guest was welcomed or when the hotel was ‘finished’ but celebrate it you should because as one gets older, we like to check the milestones in our lives are still there and be able to say, “we stayed there in 1996, one of the early guests.”.
Again, congratulations, Kia kaha (stay strong)
Antony Michael and Ann Lyndon White (passports, New Zealand)
Known as Tony and Anna
If the sentiment didn’t shock you, we’re sure the long-gone prices of 1996 did!