THE APARTMENTS: As I was attending a conference in Bournemouth earlier this year, I booked an apartment through TAS with esa in the newly renovated Exchange Buildings in a quiet side street. There was no on-site parking, so I used a car park less than five minutes’ walk away.
THE CHECK-IN: Guests are asked to confirm their arrival time at least two hours in advance. As arranged, once I was outside the door, I phoned Jo, who had arrived before me, and she showed me into the apartment, where she had thought to adjust the heating, which had been uncomfortably high. She explained how to use the TV and broadband, and apologised for the state of the bathroom ceiling, which was the worse for wear because the previous occupant had not used the extractor fan. This may explain why the bathroom looked altogether tired.
THE APARTMENT: This was a two-bed apartment, with generous open-plan sitting room and kitchen. The bed was comfortable but I could not open the windows, which was frustrating, and a small table directly behind the sitting room door meant the door kept bashing against it – Jo had commented on that. The front door of the apartment locked from the inside but unlocked automatically when the door handle was pushed down, which was a good safety measure, and lights in the corridor are movement sensitive.
THE DEPARTURE: A clear explanation about posting the keys into the post box outside the front door when I left meant departure was easy. In fact, communication surrounding my stay was altogether excellent, ensuring it was hassle free.
THE DETAILS: Exchange Buildings, Upper Hinton Road, Bournemouth BH1 2HH. Rates for a 2-bedroom apartment from £160 + VAT per night. See: www.esa-ltd.co.uk.
Reviewed by Catherine Chetwynd (2016)