Show of hands: who's struggled to get into their Airbnb/villa/serviced apartment (delete as appropriate) because the key instructions were about as easy to solve as a Rubik's Cube? If I had a pound for every time I've been locked outside my self-catering crash pad in the early hours because I couldn't comprehend the (unclear) self-check-in instructions, I'd be joining Drizzy on Air Drake.
As a long-term fan of bedding down in "anything but hotels" when exploring cities - new or otherwise - I've longed for someone (or somewhere) that actually makes the whole process hassle-free. Enter Native.
What can you expect? Hotel-worthy interiors in liveable, centrally located properties in a slew of UK neighbourhoods - we're talking bang-on-trend accommodation for the year of the staycation. Extending freedom and flexibility, no two Native apartments are the same: exposed-brick converted warehouses in Manchester, 1920s ocean liner styling in Glasgow and panoramic city views in London await.
On our visit, we opted to upgrade our Zone 6 residence to a bougie break in a Mayfair mews house. Swanky, we know. Living up to the area's opulent reputation, the one-bedroom apartment beautifully balanced our need for work and play. The WiFi was rapid, bathtub deep and decor sleek. Better yet, it was within strolling distance of all our favourite central-London haunts.
Appealing to everyone from workstation-savvy millennials and multi-generational families to those seeking a city getaway on home turf, Native has combined the convenience of a hotel with the flexibility and freedom of a go-it-alone self-catering stay. And, for those rebellious souls who struggle to follow instructions (me), collecting your keys is a breeze, thanks to the discreet concierge who is on hand 24/7.
Seriously high-end - think Soho House meets Tom Dixon (now that's a collaboration we'd snap up). Expect beds large enough to sleep Goldilocks and all three bears paired with neutral linens and pops of colour courtesy of a Farrow & Ball moss green on the walls. En-suite bathrooms are decked out in white-and-grey-flecked marble and have twin sinks.
A state-of-the-art kitchen, Netflix-ready flatscreen TV, wide range of English countryside-scented Bramley products, "fancy-a-swim?" bathtub, coffee, tea, washing machine/dryer, iron and Dyson air humidifier - a Zone 1 must-have.
Where should we go for a food shop?
Our newfound place of worship, Mercato Mayfair. Housed in a restored church with stained-glass windows seemingly lifted straight from the Vatican, the two-storey food emporium stocks the likes of small-batch cheeses, organic vino and ribbons of fresh pasta - aka our holy grail - all ready for us to pick up, take back to the smart kitchen at our (temporary) new home and whip up into something even Nigella would be proud of.
What about if we want to eat out?
You're spoilt for choice. We dined at modern Indian restaurant Bibi, where the raw Orkney scallops swimming in Kaji lemonade are heavenly, as is the Highland beef pepper fry; Plants by De, for a planet-friendly, wholesome bowl of vegan goodness; and Ergon Deli, for morning macchiatos and a rotating menu of home-cooked delights - the spinach and feta pie gives Greek ya ya's a run for their money and the salads would get Kim K's nod of approval. Afterwards, waltz to The Connaught Patisserie and order an eminently Instagrammable puff of Wes Anderson pink or slice of lemon pie - worthy of a spot in the Tate.
Who should we bring?
Our snug one-bed apartment was ideal for a romantic city staycation but if you're planning to party with pals, then we'd plump for the two-bedroom penthouse. There's a balcony that runs the length of the property, freestanding tubs and a kitchen so cool you won't mind ending up in it for an afterparty.
Any essentials we should pack?
Does a bottle of 1990 Dom Perignon count as essential? We think so. Aside from obligatory bubbles, Native has thought of everything. From the full Bramley set in the bathroom and washing machine/dryer, to the pots, pans (and corkscrew) needed to cook up a five-star spread, the attention to detail is outstanding.
Things you should know…
That your heart will sink and bank balance laugh hysterically when you check out the price of properties on Lees Place on Rightmove. We were smitten by the quiet side street, just a hop, skip and a jump from Selfridges.
Thankfully, however, Native's wallet-friendly prices mean you can linger a little longer. We suggest booking for an extended weekend or hefty workation to fully experience life as a W1 local.
Within a short walk you can find....
The boutiques of Bond Street are a mere stroll away, as are the bright lights of the West End, with Hyde Park just around the corner. As far as location goes, Native Mayfair is hard to beat.
Oh, and there's also a newsagent on the corner where you can buy a EuroMillions lottery ticket. That W1 life suits you.