by Sean Hillen
Such is the convenient location of apart-hotel SACO Merlin House, it would be next to impossible to be closer to the heart of lively Saint Helier, capital of charming Jersey Island just off the northwest coast of France.
Offering spacious studio, one and two bedroom apartments, this well-furnished property caters both to leisure and corporate travelers. For those visitors to this pretty British island on a business trip, Jersey airport is only a 15-minute drive away and many major companies and financial institutions are also within easy reach, including Ogier, Standard Bank, KPMG, PWC and Jersey Telecom to name but a few.
As for leisure travelers, Merlin House stands close to Saint Helier’s Marina on Pier Road, offering enjoyable strolls along the waterside or excellent tax-free shopping opportunities, with many restaurants and bars nearby. Several interesting museums are within walking distance, including the Jersey Museum and Art Gallery, which is literally across the street, while beaches and coastal walks aplenty are within an easy drive. For family entertainment, especially on rainy days, the popular Waterside Centre and Jersey’s AquaSplash is five-minutes away.
SACO, the Serviced Apartment Company, takes full payment for the accommodation at time of booking and confirms arrival details. Upon check-in, guests show the credit card used at time of booking and a valid photo ID, such as a driving license or passport. A refundable security deposit to cover additional charges, including breakages, damages, extra cleaning and further accommodation charges incurred during a stay, may also be taken. Guests are advised whether this is payable at the same time. This will vary on the size of apartment booked.
Room facilities include shower, satellite/cable TV, washing machine, fridge and iron and board a plus tea and coffee maker. Free Wi-Fi is also provided, as well as a DVD player, portable radio and an alarm clock. Not all apartments have sea views, cheaper studio apartments are at the back of the building, so make sure to specifically request one well in advance.
We arrived mid-afternoon at the central bus station a few blocks away, not quite sure which way we should go. Within minutes, we stopped at a small convenience store where friendly and helpful staff guided us 200 yards up the street to Merlin House. That, plus a nice welcome package of coffee, tea, sugar, milk and cereal, made for a warm, positive arrival on the property and the island and this uplifting feeling continued throughout our five-day stay, which proved to be most enjoyable, entertaining and educational.
Finding a TV channel featuring the football final I wanted to see and relaxing on a comfortable sofa to watch it, cold beer in hand, was an added bonus. For those preferring a rented car over public transport, 24-hour parking facilities are located just up the hill on which the property stands. There is also some on-street parking.
Reflecting the owner’s sense of informality and hospitality, a colorful poster on the mirror of the elevator encourages guests to feel at home, with the words, ‘Please do put your feet on the bed.’
With so much to see and do across Jersey Island, comfort and a central, convenient location are major advantages. Merlin House provides both.