A stylish, modern, contemporary hotel right in the heart of Aberdeen city centre? Now you’re talking. Sandman Signature is a renowned Canadian hotel brand, but the Aberdeen hotel is their third UK venture. The other hotels are in London (Gatwick) and Newcastle, but Aberdeen is their flagship location, and it shows. A stylish escape, with kids or not.
This is where the style journey begins. The entrance lobby is a statement. A colourful array of umbrellas, representing Aberdeen’s changeable weather, hang from the ceiling. Vivid yellow sofas, buffalo skin chairs, seagull lamps fly above the snack bar, and an art deco reception decorated with real bark complete the look. Before you actually check in, most guests stand and gawp.
I also liked Sandman’s partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery. A work of art is displayed on the wall of the lobby, and it’s changed every three months. What a great way to get Scottish art out to the public, locals and visitors alike.
Every room is smart and modern, incorporating Glencraft mattresses. Glencraft has a Royal Warrant, and its mattresses are made in Aberdeen by a not-for-profit institution that provides work and training to unemployed and disadvantaged people resident in Scotland.
Every room has a microwave, fridge, and tea/coffee making facilities, so guests can chill wine or food in the fridge or heat a ready meal/baby food or milk. This helps guests save money, is helpful for long term stays or for those travelling with family. And every guest has a robe in their room – a little bit of luxury. Black and white images of Aberdeen buildings and monuments introduce guests to the Granite City.
There are 218 rooms, ranging from Signature King Rooms to Executive King Suites with Sofa Bed and Kitchenette. The grandest rooms are two bedroom with a living area and kitchenette, so spot on for family living. But a more economical option is a one bedroom with a living area, featuring a sofa bed for wee ones.
The bathroom was uber modern, featuring an exposed brick wall and metro tiles surrounding the 3/4 length bath. The bath is a bit wee, but that’s my only criticism. The shower also features a rain shower. In terms of toiletries, shower gel, shampoo, soap and body lotion are provided.
Food & Drink
Expect more stylish surroundings as you dine. The Chop Bar & Grill is cleverly segmented into booths, orange bar stools and cosy tables, so it feels like several venues under one roof, each with their own slightly different vibe. Such a contemporary setting makes it a spot on location for meeting friends, girls’ nights, dates or business meetings. It can be what you want it to be. And there are lots of local touches – the phrase ‘Gie’s a Bosie’ lights up one wall, the toilets are labelled ‘Quines’ and ‘Loons’, so a touch of Scotland is embraced and emblazoned across the walls of this Canadian venture.
In terms of the cocktail list, you’ll be spoiled rotten. There’s also a Whisky Ambassador, the delightful and knowledgeable Cherry, who learnt her trade on the Isle of Jura. Events can be booked with Cherry, special events are held regularly including Girls Only evenings , and there’s a dark, comfortable bar for whisky tastings to proceed.
Regarding the food, I have one friend who, due to the stylish interiors, expected fine dining. Think more relaxed fare, generous portions, a mix of Scottish and Canadian cuisines, featuring Haggis Bon Bons, Canadian Clubhouse, Battered Haddock, and the signature Chop Burger. That’s the vibe.
The kid’s menu features pasta with asiago cream or tomato sauce, a Cheeseburger, Grilled Chicken Dinner, and all kids’ menu items include unlimited drinks and dessert.
But the main thing I noticed was mix of residents and non-residents eating and drinking here. The place was busy, which is always a good sign. And the setting and central location is such a draw.
Private dining is available for special occasions, birthdays, baby showers, hen parties etc. Streamlined meeting rooms can be hired. And a new ballroom is available for large functions, ‘bring a party to a party’ and the Sandman is geared up for wedding bookings. This hotel can be used and visited in so many different ways.
A fitness room and strong wifi are both free.
What a winner. Right in the centre of town, and right in the heart of Aberdeen’s shopping scene, this location works for most people. Being SO central, the hotel is near traffic but the double glazing is particularly good. Naturally, you can eat and drink at the Sandman, but the whole city is your oyster when it comes to discovering bars, restaurants and clubs.
For kids, and big kids, here’s a guide highlighting what you can get up to in the city centre.
On site parking is a bonus, and it costs £12 a night. If you can avoid taking the car then the railway station and bus station are about a fifteen minute walk away. The airport is a 15-20 minute drive away. So check in and chill out in luxuriously modern surroundings.
Our Story – For me Sandman Signature was a short walk away, so I’ll be returning for cocktails or the Christmas party! Aberdeen can be reached by car, on Scotrail trains, on the East Coast Line, by bus or by air to Aberdeen International Airport.