What? Calling itself an aparthotel – Room 2 is a part of an increasingly popular hybrid of hostels and hotels giving people more independence. As their website says ‘We like to create neighbourhoods where nomadic freelancers meet non-stop backpackers. Where connections are made and where the rules of a typical hotel are broken.’ Think of it somewhere between a hostel, an Airbnb (you get your own kitchen and living space) but you still have room service and the comforts of a hotel such as biscuits and sweets.
New? Yes, it launched last year.
Where? 102 Hammersmith Grove, Hammersmith, W6 7HB www.room2.com
First Impressions: Housed in a town house in Hammersmith, the 16 rooms are spread out across six storeys. When you arrive, there is a no reception (which does make me wonder how long it takes to get someone to help if you did need something in the night), you’ll be given an access number and then a separate key code to your room. The corridors are surprisingly dark, painted in deep greys, but there is a bright community board just inside the door. Here are messages of praise from other guests, suggestions of where to go and lots of Polaroid snaps of the area. It’s appealing to the Instagrammers, the Pinteresters and those who like more independent brands and cute packaging – the vending machine resembles Wholefoods. Outside is a sweet garden where they grow their own herbs – each room has recipe cards which make use of the herbs on offer so you can pick your own and use them to cook with.
The Look: The rooms are split into Little, Regular and Large and range from 14 square metres to 25 square metres, all come with a kitchenette area and their own bathroom but whereas the Large rooms have films, dishwashers and king size beds, the Little rooms don’t. We were lucky enough to be staying in one of the Large rooms, which had one of the comfiest beds I’ve slept on, as standard they all have orthopaedic mattresses and black out curtains – another little detail which makes all the difference when it comes to sleeping.
The room was bright and cheerful, a cactus sat in a geometric pot on the little table, rather than a wardrobe there was a copper rail, and wooden crates provided more storage. A smart TV was fixed to the wall and the kitchen was well stocked with utensils so you could cook -messages painted on the inside of the cupboards like ‘Hey Good Looking, What You Got Cooking’ gave it a playful mood.
The bathroom was simple, bordering on utilitarian with white tiles and black shelves – the only decoration being ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ emblazoned on one wall and a large mirror on another, but it had all you needed: a shower with good water pressure, plenty of hot water and big, fluffy towels.
On the downside, the television didn’t work properly meaning we couldn’t watch anything on catch up and the loo seat was rather wobbly and no one wants to be caught out in the middle of the night.
Go With: Room 2 fills the gap between a standard hostel and a hotel. It gives you the freedom of a hostel and the comfort of a hotel, making it ideal for when you can’t/don’t want to fork out the cost of a European mini break for a single night in London but don’t really fancy sharing a room with other travellers.
Final Word: Expect to see more aparthotels as the architectural firm and design studio, Project Orange (Hoxton Hotel, Myhotels and Rezidor) plan to open further sites this year and next to create 150 rooms in total.