First came a hotel for houseplants and now, in a bid to out-hipster the most hipster of hotels, East London has opened the first houseplant hotel for humans. Confused? Bear with us…
Aldgate’s Leman Locke hotel and apartments have teamed up with the experts in all things botany, Thejoyofplants.co.uk, to give guests the chance to sleep amongst a bounty of plants. Open to the public until 10th November, three of the hotel’s suites have been transformed into lush, indoor living jungles. From the walls to the coffee table, the headboard to the bathroom and even the windows, every inch of the space has been covered in some sort of plant or succulent – think Jumanji meets Pinterest on steroids.
The point? Well, Instagram opportunities for a start – the millennial pink sofa and copper lighting works perfectly against a backdrop of monstera. But, on a more serious note, the pop-up brings to light the fact that plants are actually good for us, helping us work better, calm our mood and even make us more passionate.
Don’t believe me? The experts at Joy of Plants put their money plants where their mouths are and backed the concept up with facts.
According to their recent research, a third (34%) of people spend less than 17 minutes outside per day during winter despite two fifths (39%) recognising that spending more time in nature would make them happier.
I put it to the test and bedded down in one of the suites for the night. I was given the ‘Productivity Suite’ designed by award-winning biophilic designer, architect and House Beautiful expert, Oliver Heath. The space has been designed with “nomadic workers and business travellers” in mind and is full of plants renowned for their efficiency inducing properties – that’s Boston ferns, peace lilies and snake plants for those not well-versed in botany. Even the mini bar has been transformed into a plant-based fuel station, swapping miniatures for CBD shots and peanuts for plant-based power snacks.
I’m not going to lie, I’d have probably preferred a botanical cocktail than actual botanicals, but had I booked into the suite to “work” the healthier options would probably offer more productivity.
The two other suites have been designed by Mr Plant Geek (his words, not mine) Michael Perry who’s a regular on This Morning and Nik Southern, London’s coolest florist and founder of Grace & Thorn.
The first of those is called the ‘Tranquil Suite’, which houses the world’s most air purifying plants (bromeliads, deliciosa and obliqua, if you’re wondering) for the ultimate clean sleep zone.
The second is the ‘Romance Suite’, designed for guests to get frisky amongst the ferns and boasts a wow factor botanical bed canopy. Guests are encouraged to relax with the first dedicated plant ASMR channel, an intoxicating visual and audible stimulus featuring some of the world’s most famous ‘plant porn’ stars. Niche. I didn’t stay in that suite so I can neither confirm nor deny whether houseplants are the new aphrodisiac.
So would I go rushing back or is London’s first houseplant hotel just another Insta-fuelled gimmick? Whilst I probably wouldn’t book in again – it’s also worth bearing in mind I live 20 minutes from the hotel itself, I did have fun. I felt rested and relaxed and definitely calm amongst the plants. My boyfriend and I ordered takeout, drank a bottle of red wine whilst watching The Hangover (we couldn’t get Netflix to work and it was the only options on terrestrial) amongst a near 100 plants. It was kind of ridiculous, a bit surreal, but that’s what made it fun. And it did inspire me to fill my own home with a few more fern friends, perhaps not for their calming qualities but certainly for my next Instagram shot.
The Joy of Plants Suites at Leman Locke are open until 10th November. Book now at www.lockeliving.com
Leman Locke, 15 Leman Street, Aldgate, E1 8EN
Feeling inspired? Read our article on how not to kill your houseplants here.