The Beach Apartment, Chelsea
Reviewed by Zoey Caldwell
I would like to start this review by explaining a little bit about my circumstances, I have 2 boys and my partner works silly hours, 6/7 days a week. To have the opportunity to stay in an apartment in London for the whole family is invaluable, and was very looked forward to.
I started my journey when I received the e-mail from the landlord and I discovered the name and location of the apartment we were given. I went straight onto the Kippsy website and searched it out and was so excited about our trip. The apartment sounded superb in its description.
My partner is an avid Chelsea fan and the location we collected the keys from was a short walk from the Chelsea F.C stadium and a 10 minute walk to the apartment. Not a problem for a couple but we decided that as this was a family trip we would take the car.
Kippsy were fantastic help finding us the nearest location of a 24hr car park, we decided to unload the car and then take the car back there as it would have been a long walk with an 8 and nearly 3 year old and luggage.
I love period buildings I cannot tell you how many times walking through London I have looked at the beauty of the 4 storey buildings with black cast iron railings along the front, and dreamed of what it would be like to have lived in one. Now here I was about to stay in one, albeit having been transformed into apartments, the grandeur of the old black solid front door, the iron shoe scrapper. The details on the railings on the stairway, fantastic… in my opinion anyway, the detailed iron stairwell was ugly in the words of my toddler? No accounting for taste! The stairwell and entrance were clean and carpeted, nothing extravagant plain with a mirror and table just in the main door.
We were on the top floor, the apartment itself seemed very secure with 3 locks to undo before we could get in and look around.
The apartment itself was compact, a very modern white kitchen on the right with all you need for a short stay, fridge freezer, microwave, dishwasher, kettle, juicer and cutlery etc… The 2ndbedroom was on the left, a single bed with overhead shelving with a few books and built in wardrobe. The whole apartment was decorated in neutral colours with a splash of colour in union jack scatter cushions in the bedrooms.
Next to this room and opposite the kitchen was the bathroom, again neutral colour, bath, shower, toilet with a small mirror that doubles as a storage unit and a heated towel rail on the wall at the end of the bath. Bathmats, but no towels? Panic… luckily some towels were stacked neatly in the lounge. Clean but maybe a little older than hoped for. We always take our shoes off when we enter a home, we kept getting the floor grout sticking to our feet in the bathroom. A tad frustrating. The shower door was foldable and to be honest not the cleanest, the hinges looked old and tainted with an orangey hue.
Just along from this is the living space, it comprised of a sofa with storage underneath and a round glass dining table with 4 chairs shaped like a cheese segment from a trivial pursuit, to save space. The TV is a wall mounted plasma. The remote was missing the battery covering? Again there is a shelving unit with books and a huge torch in case of power cut I assume. A couple of paintings hung on the wall, one of which my children didn’t really like, a portrait of a male… freaked them out! On the opposite wall to that a nail but no picture.
After quickly unpacking we decided to try and walk to the Science Museum as the app on our smart phone said it was 6 minutes away, 20 minutes into our walk the app still said that we were 4 minutes away, unfortunately by then the Science Museum were having its last entrants. This did not put us off, we had a lot of fun walking with the boys. I should explain my eldest had injured his foot earlier in the week and now was struggling and tired so we took the decision rather than eat out (our original plan) we would stop at one of the big chain supermarkets and pick up a simple meal and cook ourselves. The children then could just change into PJ’s and have a relaxing evening. The location of the apartment is fantastic, there is an array of shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes, deli’s nearby. So we had a good choice of what we could make. We later discovered just down the road there is a small enclosed park with equipment for toddlers, it also has paving around manicured grass areas, ideal for the scooters we had taken with us.
Back at the apartment we got ready for our cosy evening in, switching on the oven for our nice and easy pizza meal. A strange smell started in the kitchen and I wondered what on earth, was the last thing to be cooked in it? I didn’t have to wait long to find out as when I opened the door to put our pizzas in, a roasting dish with half a roasted chicken had been left in there! One word Disgusting!
Once dinner had been eaten and snuggles had it was time for bed. Our plan had been to put our eldest in the single room, youngest in the double until they fell asleep then let them share. However we discovered a foldaway bed in the wardrobe of the single room and set that up. This bed is not sturdy by any stretch of the imagination. The slats quite easily popped out at any pressure, even trying to fold over the single sheet meant my knee went through. Easily fixed but frustrating! As it was bedtime, all blind were brought down and the curtains in the main room closed. The curtains were stained and coming away at one end of the rail. They did not close properly.
As the building is old they have period features one of which includes sash windows, lovely… well maybe if there wasn’t a pub across the road, noise of punters talking as well as traffic could easily be heard, however this said I have to be honest it didn’t hamper my sleep but a lighter sleeper may struggle.
All in all we all slept well, the shower was not the most powerful, but we were on the top floor of a period building. As part of the tenancy agreement if the bin was filled we had to take down to outside, which is fine, but the bin was half full when we arrived. This is amongst the negatives of staying in an apartment as opposed to a hotel, if we are on a break, the last thing we want to think about is rubbish.
If I am totally honest I do not think that the apartment was worth £175 a night, I would rather spend that on a hotel. I have to be realistic and I know that we are talking about a prime location in Chelsea. But there were too many little details in the apartment that made it the budget end in my opinion. There is a hole in the bedroom wall, where the TV cable would go, stained curtains, cheap toilet paper, untidy finishing’s. The lounge is very minimalistic with just blinds I think it would benefit from curtains as it looks unfinished. Curtains in the bedroom not hung properly, a paint splattered stepladder behind bedroom door. Ironing board with the cover and sponge lining draped over it. Little details that all contribute to between a basic stay and a luxury one… let’s not forget the chicken!
I would also say that the apartment is advertised as family friendly. It is the top floor, with no lift. There is not a lot of space for children to play. Sockets are all open and when we went in, all on! All books that are available are adult reads. We had a comfortable night but there is a long way to go to say that family friendly, no extra mile has been applied.
I think that the apartment is ideally suited to workers or couples on a night or weekend break. Someone that uses the apartment for its amazing location, that isn’t looking for the comforts of home away from home as much as a family, because to me that is why a family would choose an apartment rather than hotel.
Having said that we checked out at 11am as specified all of us having enjoyed our adventure in London, a welcome change from home for an evening.
For more information or to rent this or other apartments visit www.kippsy.com.