I visited the Apex City Quay hotel as a guest of ScotRail.
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Dundee is fast becoming one of the must-see places to visit in Scotland. In fact, the Wall Street Journal chose it as one of their coolest cities to visit in 2018, alongside destinations like Shanghai and Madagascar.
There’s plenty to see and do in Dundee, and I recently visited as part of my Spirit of Scotland trip with ScotRail. While I was there, I stayed in the Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa*, which is an ideal base for exploring the city.
The journey only takes around 20 minutes from Glasgow, which makes Dundee really easy to get to. I arrived in Dundee mid-morning, on the train from Glasgow Queen Street station. So I headed straight over to the hotel to drop off my case, which the friendly staff were happy to look after until check in time.
The Apex City Quay is just around the corner from the River Tay, and a short walk from HM Frigate Unicorn (see photo at the top of the page). The Discovery Centre, the new V&A museum (opening in 2018) and the city centre are only a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
A Room at the Apex City Quay
After spending a few hours looking around Dundee, I went back to the hotel to check in and take a look at my room. I was staying in an Executive Room, which has plenty of space and good facilities. This type of room costs around £83 per night. The hotel has a range of other rooms available, including family rooms and luxurious suites.
This hotel is quite different from the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, where I spent the previous night. The Apex City Quay is a sleek, modern looking hotel with a luxurious spa also on the premises. My Executive room had a very fresh and contemporary feel to it, with a king sized bed, crisp white linen and soft pillows.
There was plenty of storage space for my clothes, plus a hospitality tray with tea, coffee and hot chocolate. And there’s a small seating area in the room as well. The hotel provides guests with useful information about Dundee and the surrounding area, to help you enjoy your visit to the fullest. And the staff at the hotel were also very helpful, and able to give advice on places to see in Dundee.
The Apex City Quay would definitely be a good base if you are visiting Dundee on business. My room had a desk area with plenty of charging points, and the free WiFi in the room and public areas was decent. The facilities in the hotel are good, and it generally has a high quality feel about it.
The quality feel carries on into the bathroom, which was immaculately fitted out. It was spotlessly clean and in addition to the powerful shower, there was also a good sized bath. I took advantage of that to soak away some of the aches from a long day of sightseeing around Dundee!
The Apex City Quay Hotel provides a selection of complimentary Elemis toiletries in the room. And there’s even a little Apex duck in the bath, which you can take home with you!
Elemis products are also used in the Yu Spa, which offers a range of treatments.
There are various packages available, ranging from 2 hours of spa relaxation to the ‘Complete Yu’ package. This includes a facial, massage, wrap and Bento Box lunch. Access to the steam room, sauna, fitness studio and swimming pool is also free of charge to hotel guests. But unfortunately, my packed schedule meant that I was unable to take advantage of the spa on this visit.
Dining at the Metro Brasserie
After a long day of sightseeing, I was more than ready for dinner. I decided to eat in the hotel’s Metro Bar and Brasserie restaurant, which combines international flavours and traditional Scottish produce. The bar area serves a selection of bar food throughout the day, and the restaurant serves food from breakfast through to dinner. They also offer Afternoon Tea, which looked very tempting!
For my starter, I chose the raised chicken pie, served with salted radishes, a salad and a tangy apricot sauce. Unfortunately I found the pie to be a little underwhelming. The pastry was a little tough, and the filling was fridge cold, with little flavour in it. Which was disappointing, because the salad and sauce were both really fresh and tasty.
But the main course made up for it!
My main course was grilled local lamb, served with sweetbreads, aubergines, griddled asparagus and potatoes. Everything was packed full of flavour, and the sweetness of the aubergine went really well with the tender lamb. It was the first time that I’d ever tried sweetbreads, and I really enjoyed them.
I also ordered a portion of the hand cut chips with garlic to try out. These were incredibly good – really crispy on the outside, hot and fluffy on the inside.
I was too full for pudding after eating this, unfortunately. And I was definitely ready for a good night’s sleep in that soft and comfortable bed.
Breakfast at the Apex City Quay Hotel
The next morning, I woke up feeling well refreshed. The room and bed were so comfortable that I’d had a really excellent night’s sleep.
But I had an early start, as I was heading to the next stop of my trip. So I decided to skip breakfast and have an early lunch when I arrived in Abroath. That’s a shame, because the breakfast offering at the Apex City Quay sounded really tempting.
You can choose from a wide range of continental breakfast options, as well as cooked classics like Eggs Benedict or American pancakes. Scottish kippers and smoked salmon are on the menu, and of course there’s a ‘Great British Breakfast’. There are vegetarian options, and for the bigger appetite, you can combine both a continental buffet with one of the Cooked Classics. Drinks available include tea, coffee and fruit juice as well as Bloody Marys and Bucks Fizz!
The Apex City Quay Hotel: My Verdict
The Apex City Quay is a good base for your visit to Dundee. The hotel premises and facilities are all high quality, and the staff are very friendly and helpful. There are touches of luxury throughout, and it’s definitely a high quality, modern hotel that offers excellent value. I would highly recommend this hotel if you are visiting Dundee to see the many attractions or on a business trip.
Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa, 1 West Victoria Dock Road, Dundee, DD1 3JP
Telephone: 01382 202 404
Click here to check prices and availability*