Exploring Aberdeen with Citi Hotel

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Last weekend we took Liam for his first trip away to explore Aberdeen and stay at the Citi Hotel Aberdeen. Affectionately known as the Granite City due to the vast amounts of locally quarried grey stone used in many of the cities buildings. It actually sparkles a little in the light which makes it very pretty in the sunshine. 

I've visited Aberdeen twice before but never actually wandered around the city centre. Michelle and I stayed in the beautiful Ardoe House Hotel and Kevin and I went to Enjoy Music Festival in Hazelhead Park in August last year (we stayed in the nearby Village Hotel).

We were looking forward to exploring the city itself so packed up the car and set off. It takes around 3/4 hours to get from our house to Aberdeen but the drive is pleasant taking in some of Scotland's lovely countryside. We had to stop on the way to give Liam a break from being in the car seat for too long but he slept most of the way. 

Collage Street car park right next to Union Square shopping centre was very handy and right next to our hotel. It costs £6 for 24 hours provided you park on levels 9-11 which is pretty good for city centre parking. 

Citi Hotel and Hostel kindly put us up for the evening in a double room and provided a travel cot for Liam (although we brought his own clip in part so he was a little higher up).
I can't fault the hotel location, its very central, right next to the train station, car park and shopping centres, bars and restaurants in the heart of the city itself. It's a great base for those wanting to get out and about and see what Aberdeen has to offer. 
Citi Hotel and Hostel offers both private hotel rooms (double, single, twin or family) with en suite bathrooms and hostel style rooms where you can book the entire room or just one bed for the evening. This would be great for bigger groups visiting the city. 

We arrived around 3pm for check-in and popped out to the nearby co-op for some drinks and snacks while we got ready to go for dinner at Molly's Bistro in the Aberdeen Douglas Hotel just around the corner. Citi Hotel doesn't have a restaurant or offer breakfast but there is a little shop at reception selling juice and snacks. 

Our room was clean but basic with a double bed, large TV with freeview, desk, full length mirror and iron as well as tea/coffee making facilities and free wifi throughout the hotel. The large bathroom had a full size bath and shower. The room was quite big and Liam's travel cot fit comfortably next to the bed. 
My only complaints about the room and bathroom was that it didn't quite seem finished. For a brand new hotel that opened late 2018 I would have expected the paint job and fixtures/fittings to be perfect but some of the paintwork could use touching up and the bathroom flooring wasn't fitted correctly around the edges. The shower also was a little temperamental but once it got going was powerful enough. 

There is a nightclub next door to the hotel, we were at the topmost floor and could still hear noises from people leaving at closing time, not a huge problem for us and to be expected from a hotel in a busy city centre. Reception provide free earplugs if you need them too. Overall we both had a great sleep as the bed was very comfortable.

Once we were comfortable in the hotel we had a quick walk round the corner to Molly's Bistro in the nearby Aberdeen Douglas Hotel for dinner. The restaurant was lovely and catered well for vegetarians like me as well as meat eaters. As Aberdeen is famous for its locally sourced seafood Kevin went for the mussels for his starter and I had a spinach and feta tart. For mains we had mushroom stroganoff and Irish lamb stew then to finish Kevin went for the recommended sticky toffee pudding while I struggled to finish the delicious banana cheesecake. The food prices were very reasonable and Molly's would be great for larger groups or family meals. Liam slept all through dinner which was lovely as we managed to both eat at the same time which is a rarity for us these days with a small child.

After dinner we went back to the hotel and watched some Saturday night tv and chilled out, it was nice to just sit and relax and Liam enjoyed playing with his beloved Lamaze Freddie the Firefly toy in his cot. 

The following morning Kevjn popped round the corner and got us a McDonald's breakfast which we ate in the room before checking out at 11am. 
It was a cold but sunny Sunday so we dropped the bags off at the car, wrapped up warm and had a walk around Aberdeen. 

We visited the Kirk of St. Nicholas and had a wander round the old cemetery, the historic building dates back to at least 1170 and is the final resting place of many famous Aberdonians. 

We also had a look around the Trinity Centre which has shops such as Superdrug and Primark and also Union Square which is a huge centre with shops on the ground floor and restaurants and cinema on the upper floor. We weren't hungry enough for a proper meal so  ourselves a Subway and headed back to the car for the drive back home. 
On the way out of Aberdeen there is a huge park with massive slides which we really wanted to have a look in but it was getting a little chilly for Liam so we'll add that to the itinerary for next time, we can't wait to go back!

For the price and location I would definitely recommend Citi Hotel Aberdeen. Kevin and I are already planning a trip back to the city on our own and very likely will book the hotel again as it's a fantastic base to get your head down after a long day and night exploring Aberdeen. 

Pros: Great, central location close to all amenities and large, clean comfortable room.
Cons: Slightly noisy after nightclub closing, decor a little unfinished, very small lift (potentially due to building restrictions)

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