Life on the road can serve up a grim and lonely picture: dreadful B&Bs, expensive city-centre hotels, chips for dinner in the car, breakfast at Little Chef… Time for a change then, and enter Daniel Bolger.
Inspired on a trip to Canada by the apart-hotel concept, where furnished apartments are rented using a hotel-style booking system, he thought about having a go in the UK. Armed with his idea, some enthusiasm, and a work history of hotel management, he found a consortium with some apartments, had a chat, and City Nites was born.
You may be thinking “So what?” at this point, but here’s the thing: Daniel not only owns a company that manages serviced apartments, he lives in one of those apartments 4 or 5 nights a week. And why, you might ask, does Daniel live in a serviced apartment 4 or 5 nights a week? Well, he does run a building in Birmingham, but he looks after two more in London. And he lives in Cardiff.
So speaking from experience, what’s his experience like? “I feel at home in the apartments; that’s what we’re going for. I’ve got some space, can kick back, watch what I want on TV, catch up on iPlayer. I can wander into town for food, or I can cook. One of our regulars comes with a week’s supply of lasagna portions to heat up in the kitchen, all prepared and packed by his wife.”
If you’re thinking hookers in the hall and seedy men in raincoats, think again. Owner- occupiers and long-term renters also live in the building, with concert-goers, tourists and visiting families adding to the mix of guests.
Why the Convention Quarter? “It’s close to the NIA & ICC, close to the city – and getting closer as the centre grows out towards us – and it feels residential. The right location is what it’s all about.”