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Our first hotel stay with a baby | Sandman Signature, Aberdeen


hen we got home from our first road trip with Max last month, the first thing I did was start thinking about the next one.

In fact, to be totally honest, I started thinking about it on the way home from Kent – that’s how keen I was. One of the things we learned from that first trip, you see, was that, while travelling with a baby is approximately 18,987 times more difficult/stressful than travelling on your own, it’s also a whole lot easier than being stuck at home with a baby. Or, it is for me, anyway.

Right now, Max is at a stage (Which I’m led to believe will last for, ooh, about 18 years, probably?) where he requires constant entertainment. In some ways, that can be relatively easy, because absolutely everything is fascinating to him, but then again, if it’s a rainy day, and you’re stuck at home, you can very quickly find yourself running out of options – hence all of those garden centres and coffee shops I keep on visiting.

When you’re travelling, by contrast, there’s constant entertainment on tap – for you, as well as for the baby – so when the people at the Sandman Signature, in Aberdeen, got in touch, and asked if we’d like to review the hotel, my only question was, “How soon can we come? Like, does tomorrow work for you guys?”

And so it was that, this time last week, I once again found myself busting out my beloved packing cubes, in preparation for two nights in the Granite City.

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen - hotel review and photos

Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: a reviewThe Sandman Signature is located right in the centre of Aberdeen, and it’s brand, spanking new – as in, so new you can still smell the newness of it. It opened just a couple of weeks ago, and I think there’s something quite special about being amongst the first guests to stay in a hotel: as I said to Terry, I’d really like to go back in 20 years time, say (Well, I mean, I’d like to go back long before that, too, but you get what I mean…), just so we can see how it changes in that time, and bore Max rigid by going, “Ah, we were amongst the first to stay here, when you were just a baby! I changed your nappy in that room right there!” But, of course, Max will be TWENTY by then, and I’ll be very surprised if he wants to stay in a hotel with his mum and dad at that age, so I think I’ll just abandon that particular train of thought, if that’s OK with you. Look! Baby in a hotel bed!

baby in a hotel bed

He had his own bed too, obviously, in the shape of a travel cot provided by the hotel, which was a big help to us: although we were only away from home for two nights this time, we still managed to bring along a huge amount of STUFF, so at least that was one thing we didn’t have to think about…

travel cot in hotel room at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

suite at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

corner suite at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

The room itself was beautiful: we had a corner suite, with amazing, high ceilings, a rainfall shower in the bathroom, and views out over the city:

views from our hotel room at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen, Scotland

I loved the little Scottish touches, like the cushions on the sofa, and the tartan blanket on the bed, but I particularly loved the photography of the local area on the walls, and the nod to the building’s history, in the form of the photos of it at different stages in its life. The hotel used to be part of the city’s Robert Gordon University, and it’s nice to see that reflected in the room decor. It was the communal areas that really blew me away, though: I mean, SERIOUSLY, people:

our stay at The Sandman Signature hotel, Aberdeen

the lobby at The Sandman Signature hotel, Aberdeen

umbrellas on the ceiling at the Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen, Scotland

Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

cow in the lift at The Sandman Signature hotel, Aberdeen, Scotland

cow-print seats at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

umbrellas at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

colour-coded room signs at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

yellow sofas at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

The hotel is filled with quirky little details, from the umbrellas on the ceiling  of the lobby, to the “cow” in the lift, and the room numbers which light up to let the hotel staff know if the room needs cleaning or not. (Red = ‘Do Not Disturb’, green = ‘CLEAN ME’, white = “It’s all good, nothing to see here.”)  As I said over on the ‘gram, this is basically a hotel built for Instagram: I mean, there was even a handy white “Instagram wall” for us to pose against:

Max and Me

Max and terry

(Yes, Max and I were dressed the same. Terry apparently missed the memo about the stripe top and white sneakers, though. I mean, HONESTLY.)

It might be a great hotel for Instagrammers, though, but the Sandman Signature also proved to be a pretty sweet spot for babies, and the hotel lobby was basically one of the best places Max has ever been IN HIS LIFE. He just could not get over all of the colours, and would stare open mouthed at the umbrellas on the ceiling every time we had to walk under them: so yeah – any hotel with an Instagram wall is guaranteed my undying loyalty anyway, but if that hotel can ALSO keep my 8 month old entertained for a few minutes, then I’m probably going to just want to move in, really. I wonder who I need to speak to about that?

We ate in the city on our first day, but, on our second night, we made it back in time to have dinner in the hotel’s stunning restaurant:

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen


The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

The restaurant at The Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen

Gie's a bosie

(We had to ask, but apparently a ‘bosie’ is a cuddle: aawww!)

I totally neglected to photograph the buffet-style breakfast, which we had on both mornings of our stay, but, luckily for you guys, I did remember to take photos at dinner, which means you get some of my patented, blurry food photography to enjoy. What can I say, except, ‘You’re welcome?’

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: dinner in the hotel restaurant

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: dinner in the hotel restaurant

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: dinner in the hotel restaurant

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: dinner in the hotel restaurant

The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen: dinner in the hotel restaurant

The menu at The Sandman Signature, Aberdeen

I think this was probably my favourite hotel menu to date: there were so many options that sounded amazing, but I finally settled on the chicken club sandwich, while Terry had a smoked rib-eye that he hasn’t stopped raving about since. Special mention here to the amazing sliders and super-cheesy nachos we had to start – honestly, if that had been the entire meal, I’d have gone home happy, that’s how good they were. Oh, and a special mention, too, to the staff who were working during our stay: we were really impressed with all of the hotel staff, who couldn’t do enough for us, but the restaurant staff were particularly good, and kept stopping by our table to interact with Max, who thoroughly enjoyed the attention. He also made a new friend, when a little girl at the table opposite us took a serious shine to him: she was Chinese, and didn’t speak any English, but she finally plucked up the courage to come over and stroke Max’s hair, before very seriously presenting him with a little Minnie Mouse handbag she was carrying, which she very carefully laid on the floor in front of him. It was just the cutest thing ever, seriously.

So, I had intended to include some photos/info about the local area, and all of the things we got up to in Aberdeenshire here, but, well, me being me, I’ve spent so much time rambling on about the hotel that I’ve run out of time, so that’ll have to be another post, for another day. In the meantime, huge thanks to the Sandman Signature for hosting us in exchange for this post: and we’ll hope to see you again very soon!

Our Stay at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Aberdeen: review and photos


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  • Colene
    September 4, 2018

    Ok – I did NOT know that bosie was just a North-East word! I was sure it was a Scottish word! It’s my all-time favourite!

    • Amber
      September 4, 2018

      I actually texted my parents to see if they knew what it meant, but they hadn’t heard it either! I will be endeavouring to introduce it to the central belt now, though 😉

  • Karlie
    September 4, 2018

    Sandman Signature just opened across from my office in Frisco, TX. We are going to go to the restaurant today for lunch because your pictures looked so good.

    • Amber
      September 4, 2018

      Ooh, get the nachos if they have them – so good!

  • Hazel Ann
    September 4, 2018

    How did I not know that bosie wasn’t a well known word!?

  • Louise
    September 4, 2018

    This was where I went to university for the first two years of my degree, I’m so glad they’ve made good use of the building as it’s so lovely. It’s really strange as I can see where the library used to be (I remember walking up those stairs in the lobby to go to the study rooms). Thank you for satisfying my curiosity about what it looks like now!

    • Amber
      September 4, 2018

      Ah, that’s so interesting! You have to go and see it for real now!

  • Myra
    September 4, 2018

    I hadn’t heard the word Bosie before either. I like it almost as much as the Welsh cariad .

  • Sarah Rooftops
    September 6, 2018

    It looks amazing! Steve did his degree in that building and I used to work there so I was really interested to see what they had done with the place.

  • Sharon
    September 6, 2018

    I will never forget the first time I said “bosie” when I moved from Aberdeen to Edinburgh all my friends looked at me like I had two heads! The hotel looks stunning I’m desperate to try Chop might even try and book a night away after seeing how fab the hotel is.

  • Anna
    September 7, 2018

    It looks so good! My Dad is from just outside Aberdeen and I’ve always had a hankering to visit. I should put it on my list….

  • Lusa
    September 7, 2018

    Just a literary comment here, “Bosie” was actually the nickname Oscar Wilde gave his “allegedly” lover, Lord Alfred Douglas. Neither of them were Scotish though… How curious it is a real word still used these days.

Max at 8 Months
Our first hotel stay with a baby | Sandman Signature, Aberdeen