Introducing Urban Quarters
Thursday 11th October 2018
For Spirit of North Hop Dundee we are delighted to be working alongside some awesome local businesses, one of these businesses is Urban Quarters Dundee who we came across via Instagram when we were first looking at Dundee as a festival location. The unique/quirky features pulled us in and on meeting with owner Lynne back in August we fell in love with the apartments and new they'd be perfect as a base for our crew the weekend of the festival!
As well as using the apartments as our crew HQ we wanted to take a little bit of Urban Quarters to the festival so are delighted to have 'Urban Lounge' as a pop-up concept at the festival giving folk a wee serene corner to relax, take in the festival atmosphere and enjoying their festival goodies from.
But enough from us, here's Lynne tell you all about their UQ story...
Firstly I’d like to introduce you to Urban Quarters Dundee which are owned and operated by me, Lynne and my husband Guy Henderson. We are 4 luxury serviced apartments situated in the heart of Dundee’s Cultural Quarter and, according to Google maps, a mere 10 minute walk to the V&A Museum of Design and Dundee train station.
So this is our story…
Back in 2013, an old town house style building for sale on South Tay Street caught our eye. It had been used as an office for the 30+ preceding years and the company who occupied it had gradually downsized from filling the 4 floor/16 room building to just one large room on the ground floor. They had been trying to sell it for some time. We looked at it and immediately knew what we wanted to do with it.
Serviced Apartments - A relatively new concept for Dundee, and although a couple already existed, with the impending arrival of the V&A, we felt that there was room for more. Inspired by new quirky hotels chains that maximised space and comfort at an affordable rate, we set out to do just that with Urban Quarters. Our aim was for our apartments to be comparable to a luxury hotel suite for less than the nightly rate of just one room. Adding in, a fully equipped kitchen/ dining area and all the extra little touches you miss when away from home.
I grew up around hotels, my family owned and operated many over the years. As a child, holidays weren't so much about sight seeing but hotel hopping. My father loved to explore hotels in other countries, especially America, where back in the early 70’s the customer service would blow his mind. He would march straight in, with several of us in tow, to some of the swankiest hotels acting like he owned the place. Embarrassing as it was at the time, I now look back and admire his audacity - all in the name of market research of course.
While I was crashing hotels en family, Guy’s holidays were spent, traveling round France in a VW camper van (way before they were cool), drinking watered down red wine (because that’s what the French people in the next tent gave their kids) and learning all about the local history and culture. Guy’s first ever flight was a business trip, at the age of 22, to Sol, Korea. From then on he has travelled long-haul, on business around 5 or 6 times a year. Now do the maths and realise that that is a lot of hotel nights. He regularly stays in these swanky hotels (and many less so), and over the years has developed an astute understanding of what it takes to make a weary homesick traveller feel comfortable.
So, with the property purchase secured and our vision firmly in place we set about the task making this a reality. The journey, navigating the hoops and hurdles of local bureaucracy, was long and arduous, but with the unfailing support and professionalism of our architect, Mark Walker, and builder, Graham Tennant, we made it and Urban Quarters Dundee opened for business on 17th March 2016 (my father’s birthday).
And here’s what we offer…
At Urban Quarters we have 4 luxury two-bedroomed apartments, one on each level. Each named after a historical Dundonian, these two bedroomed apartments can also be booked as one bedroom thus offering greater flexibility and value for money.
Our bedrooms, which are super sumptuous with Hypnos beds and crisp white Egyptian cotton bedding, also have Roberts dab radios by the bedside and a bedtime book of short stories to help you drift off.
Our shower rooms are simply lush with Hans Grohe rainfall showers, fluffy white towels and, with our compliments, a little indulgence with Scottish Fine Soap luxury toiletries. And of course, hairdryers!
We are particularly proud of our top quality kitchens which are all fully equipped with oven and hob, microwave, washer/dryer, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, toaster, Nespresso coffee maker, and retro popcorn maker. A welcome pack awaits our guests with a starter supply of coffee, tea, fresh milk, sugar, salt, pepper, pop corn and local favourites - Tunnocks Teacakes.
Last but not least, our living areas will make you want to kick off your shoes and switch on the large flatscreen smart TV. These, plus the LG sounders, can be hooked up to your own media accounts to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify etc. or if you prefer the old style, we have retro record decks and a supply of old vinyls to entertain you. Furnished with designer sofas and chairs and dressed with fabulous interior pieces (which can also be purchased) by Lovely Things, our living rooms offer the perfect space to chill, or if you have to catch up on some last minute work, free and fast wifi is available throughout.
For our corporate guests we offer additional services including our ‘Left Luggage+’ service which means, that guests staying with us on a weekly basis but going home at the weekend can leave not only luggage, but the contents of the fridge/freezer. When they return on Monday, everything will be as they left it and they don't need to restock for the week ahead.
As I mentioned, Urban Quarters is located in the heart of Dundee’s Cultural Quarter, at 26 South Tay Street. A location that could not be more perfect for any visitor to the city. We have the REP Theatre and Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre (DCA) on our door step. Dundee and Abertay Universities are a 5 and 10 minute walk away, as is Dundee Dental Hospital, DJCAD and the Wellcome Trust. We are also a short 10 minute walk away from Dundee Train Station and the jewel in the crown, the V&A Dundee Museum.
But perhaps what is even more important is our neighbourhood, the Westport, which with all its quirky and cool cafes, bars and independent stores such as Spexpistols, it has a vibe like no other in the city. It’s a friendly place where visitors are welcomed in and made to feel at home. As a testament to this, our URBAN VIP card, which all our guests receive on check-in, offers some amazing discounts in many of these neighbouring businesses.
We offer you all this at nightly rates starting from £70 per room per night, depending on length of stay and which apartment you choose. Guests can stay for as little as 2 nights, which is our minimum, or for as long as you wish - you just won’t want to leave!
Our collaboration with North Hop...
Urban Quarters (aka North Hop crew HQ) are seriously chuffed to be working with Michelle and the NH crew for Dundee's first ever Spirit of North Hop festival. The line up is looking awesome!