Most of us have stayed in an aparthotel at one point or other in our lives. Whether for business or for pleasure you can usually find your home amenities but the comfort and warmth is lacking that most of us crave when staying away from home. This month Southampton sees the launch of the world’s first hometel in in the form of Room2. This new concept combines the luxury of a hotel with the flexibility and comfort of an Air B’n’b creating a new hybrid into the aparthotel market. Their purpose is to offer people a place to live not just a place to stay with room 2 work, room 2 play, room 2 lay and room 2 dance. The rooms are designed to allow you to keep your daily routine while working or playing away from home.
Founded by two brothers Robert and Stuart, they’ve created a unique and carefully designed concept going against all the norms of a usual hotel. With the idea initially conceived in 2014, they went on to launch their pilot site in Hammersmith in 2016 designed by architectural and interior design firm Project Orange. Southampton sees the first fully fledged hotel featuring 71 rooms spread over four floors. Situated in a converted office building in Queen’s Terrace with views over Queen’s Park and the harbour, this is the perfect location for a home away from home.
Every square inch of space has been used so the rooms are fully functional yet unique and design focused. The rooms are 30% bigger than most hotel rooms, with family rooms including a mezzanine level with a second double bed and a separate area for the children to sleep in. When you book a stay at Room2 unlike most hotels who only offer you 21 hours stay, in Room2 you get your room for a full 24 hours! Check in at 2pm and check out the next day at 2pm allowing you to spend your morning having a lay in, catching up on emails or just settling down for a movie before the journey home. Gone are the days of chucking everything into a case and making a mad dash for the door at 11.01!
There are three ways to check in upon arrival at the hotel – at the reception desk, on the online tablets in the lobby or on your phone! Yes you read that right, you simply check in online, wait to receive an email with your code, download onto your phone and voila – you can access your room using your phone as a key. Perfect for the more forgetful guests like myself who tend to lose hotel keys like theres no tomorrow and end up with a hefty fine on the check out bill. The hotel also offer long-term lockers so you can leave your belongings over the weekend in a safe and secure environment and pick them up again on Monday when you return.
Room2 have thrown out the rule book offering a living experience to suit your lifestyle. A big focus is on allowing the guests to stick to their usual routine so each room is fitted with a full kitchen including microwave, dishwasher, hob and fridge/ freezer allowing you to prepare your own food if you desire. You can have a food shop delivered directly to the hotel or if you`re feeling a little lazy you can order a takeaway to be eaten in your room or downstairs in the living room area. They also offer a light continental buffet breakfast featuring fresh fruit and pastries, hot drinks, juices and a waffle station to start your day with style.
The living room is the heart of the home and in Room2 they have recreated this concept with a fresh and unique design. A communal space where guests can work or socialise with a cafe, a pantry style shop and a bar where you can grab a tipple after a long day. The pantry offers all the essentials for an overnight stay as well as ingredients and food which guests can take up to their room. I especially liked that they offered full bottles of wine as opposed to the over priced tiny bottles you tend to find in a mini bar. They pride themselves on offering locally sourced food and drink with Coffee Mongers supplying their coffee and Mary Rose gin supplying the perfect tipple. They even offer gluten free and dairy free options so they really do cater to all.
The rooms range from a luxury two person room apartment to a master suite with elevated loft level with two king size beds. If your travelling with small children you can request a cot to be made up in your room or you can bring your own if you would prefer. They also allow you to bring your pet with you if you`re travelling with the whole family – simply advise them when you book the room and they will set up everything for your arrival. On top of all this the hotel also offer a multi-functional studio gym, a laundry room offering washing, drying and ironing facilities and two informal meeting spaces.
They really have thought of everything and the hometel boasts a beautiful contemporary, trendy design. Room2 are part of the community offering flexibility and a new way of staying away from home. The whole hotel has a relaxing, modern ambience and the staff are all very welcoming and super helpful. The hotel is the perfect location for a weekend getaway with the girls and I for one cannot wait to go back!