Birmingham, United Kingdom (PRWEB) May 27, 2008
Staying Cool, the hip independent operator of four and five star serviced apartments in Manchester, Birmingham and Barcelona, has taken over the top two floors of Birmingham's much loved and most famous landmark, the iconic sixties cylindrical tower, the Rotunda, to create an exclusive apart hotel.
Here, fifteen new serviced apartments have just opened for business ready for guests in search of retail therapy, culture, sport or simply to enjoy the city's eclectic mix of bars and restaurants.
A mix of studios, one beds, two beds and a stunning penthouse radiate from the natural curve of the building. Each has a wall of floor to ceiling glass that opens fully, giving great views of Birmingham. Lucky penthouse guests get their own open air balcony on the top floor.
Design wise, the apartments combine contemporary cool with swinging sixties style. Lounges feature stylish sofas by fab Brit furniture team, Naught One, in grey felt with bespoke coloured stitching, as well as Pierre Cardin's colourful 1960s chairs. Lou Rota has produced Staying Cool versions of her Polymorph chair -- an environmentally friendly rework of the sixties Robin Day classic. Staying Cool has also commissioned a series of fashion photos inspired by the sixties that invoke the decade, to hang larger than life on the walls. Lighting is by Tom Dixon and Artemide.
As well as the kudos of staying in the Rotunda -- which has been given new life by award-winning developers Urban Splash and top architect, Glen Howells -- guests will enjoy the most up to date technology and gadgets, including free, secure wifi, Apple computers, iPod docks and Gaggia espresso makers. They can order a range of organic and locally sourced breakfasts, champagne and other drinks.
Staying Cool's downstairs reception and concierge service can help with theatre and cinema tickets and advise on the best places to go and things to do.
Staying Cool's serviced apartments at Rotunda cost from £125 to £375 per night. Further information and bookings can be found at stayingcool.com or by calling 0121 643 0815.
Notes to editors
The Rotunda first opened as an office block in 1965; it was the crowing glory of the trendy new Bull Ring shopping centre. Designed by architect Jim Roberts, the round tower captured the future-looking age of 1960s cool. During four decades of changing perceptions of post-war urban design, the future quickly became the past and public affection turned its back on much of the modern city. Not so the Rotunda, neglected but not forgotten, it has retained a place in Birmingham's heart and thanks to Urban Splash, has now been restored and revamped for the 21st century.
Staying Cool was set up by two friends, ex-GranadaTelevision board director-turned-designer, Paul Taylor and former Salford marketing and tourism boss, Tracey Stephenson in 2005. The concept was born out of Paul and Tracey's nomadic lifestyles and their frustrations with most hotels and serviced apartments.
A former tv lawyer, Paul is co-owner and the founding director of Staying Cool, responsible for creative and commercial development. From 1991 to 2000 he worked for Granada, the TV and media group originally as a lawyer and latterly as both board member and commercial director where he was responsible for strategic business development. Paul left Granada to pursue his passion for design and completed a degree in Architecture in 2003.
Tracey, co-owner and director of marketing and operations, is a marketing professional with 20 years' management experience in marketing, tourism and sponsorship. Before co-founding Staying Cool, she provided marketing and sponsorship consultancy for clients across the public and private sectors, including the Harlem Globetrotters, the Salford Triathlon World Cup and the Tour of Britain. From 1999 to 2003 she was head of marketing and tourism for Salford City Council. Tracey studied for a degree in Modern Languages at the then Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic, now Coventry University.
Staying Cool with Urban Splash:
Staying Cool bought its first ever apartment from Urban Splash - an empty shell at Box Works in Manchester which creative director, Paul, designed and fitted out. It became Manchester's first officially-rated five star apartment at Urban Splash's Box Works development in 2005. They have since added another two five star rated apartments in Urban Splash's Castlefield and four four star properties.
Urban Splash provides the buildings and the apartments' fixtures, while Staying Cool provides the interior design and all the extras you would equate with a boutique style hotel room (towels, robes, bathroom products, teas, coffees etc). Urban Splash design with Staying Cool style.
Following a successful Manchester partnership, Urban Splash approached Staying Cool to run a floor of serviced apartments at the Rotunda. The team snapped up the opportunity.
Serviced apartments are a relatively new concept in Britain but are well-established abroad. Urban Splash is following the path first laid out by the pioneering 20th Century icon, Le Corbusier. The architect designed one of the first post-war apartment blocks -- L'Unite d'Habitation in Marseilles -- pitching serviced apartments, shops and restaurants alongside private homes. Some 50 years on, the development remains one of the most sought after addresses in the city, as well as a popular destination for tourists and business people wanting somewhere to stay.