Last Updated on September 14, 2019 by Fiona Maclean
Staying on the Dock of the Bay
New restaurant concepts turn up on a regular basis but innovation in the traditionally more conservative hotel sector is harder to find. The idea of the ‘hometel’ as introduced by room2, a new hospitality brand, is to bring together the ‘best bits of hotels’ with the ‘comfort and flexibility of your home’.
It has been described as ‘a space between an Airbnb and a hotel’ and we have been invited to review their first full opening, a 71 room site in Southampton that opened in June 2018. With a central location, it’s easy to find and is immediately welcoming. With room2 they give you an amazing 24 hour window for occupancy with check-in and check-out at 2 pm; with features such as The Living Room cafe and bar for working and socialising, a meeting space, a studio gym and laundry, a ‘choose your mattress’ menu, mobile key access, a pet friendly policy, secure car parking, split level mezzanine bedrooms which are great for families and a pantry style shop, clearly lots of thought has gone into the customer experience. On arrival, after parking, we were able to go straight to our room using the Flexipass app to gain access. Southampton is a very ‘green’ city and the Hometel is right next to Queen’s park with the docks sitting in front of that. It was lovely to stroll down to the water and see the boats. The room, which was more of a suite, was decked out in trendy pastel shades and was kitted out with everything you might need for a long or a short stay. With a fridge, microwave, iron, kettle, toaster, cafetière, dishwasher, hob, digital radio, sofa and a 49” TV with Chromecast, it really was a home away from home. The bed was very comfortable with good quality feather pillows and a big warm duvet and the bathroom had a powerful shower and was stocked with Malin and Goetz toiletries. We ordered food in for dinner and with lots of plates, cutlery, glasses and cookware you are all set whether you want a delivery or to cook your own food. After a great night’s sleep, it was time for breakfast. There was a well thought out selection of teas, coffee and juices, pastries and breads, cereals, yoghurt, fruit and grains, and a choice of boiled or scrambled eggs with all the elements of a ‘full English’. The Living Room also operates as a bar offering a wide range of cocktails but with a specialist gin menu offering the ‘best gin in town’!I was impressed with the room2 Hometel Southampton. It provides a stylish, contemporary and practical option at a reasonable price point with a lot of flexibility that will meet the needs of most travellers. It’s even pet-friendly! The room2 people also have the Hammersmith Townhouse, a scaled-back version of a full Hometel, and with a Chiswick Hometel opening in 2020 visitors to West Londoner will have no excuses for not trying out a new concept. Check out the room2 Hometels at https://www.room2.com/.
1 Queen’s Terrace,
Phone: 023 8057 2222
Disclosure: We were guests of Hometel Southampton, but all content is editorially given.