Lamington Group launches “hometel” concept with Southampton property

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 22 March 2018


UK: Lamington Group has launched room2, a new brand of “hometel” properties, with the first to open in Southampton this spring.

The company describes a hometel as a space between home and a hotel. It says: "'Aparthotel' simply describes an accommodation and service type based on the words 'apartment' (a type of building) and hotel (a set of services). But Hometels are different. A home isn't a building, it's a feeling. It's a set of rules you and your family create and live by. And it's different for everyone. Hometels are flexible living environments that don't force you to conform to a set of rules. It's somewhere you can treat as your own. Somewhere with all the best bits of home, but with the services and security a hotel gives you."

Founder and managing director Robert Godwin said: "Speaking to our guests in both room2 Hammersmith and our existing apartments we heard that they want more than what a traditional hotel, aparthotel or an Airbnb can offer. They want something that combines the best of all three, with flexible living, all the comforts of home and personable, attentive service. We've responded by creating the room2 'hometel' concept and we believe it's a real game-changer. Our ambition is to be the brand that creates and leads the hometel category in the UK and we're perfectly positioned to do that. We're young, independent and dynamic, which means we can move fast to fill this void in the market."

"In our research we heard from business people saying they lost their healthy routines every time they stayed in a hotel because they couldn't cook their own meals. At the same time parents were telling us that standard hotels make it difficult for their families to socialise together and keep the children's bedtime routines. room2 is our solution to all of those problems. It bridges the gap between an Airbnb and a hotel. You have your living room and kitchen space but you also have the peace of mind of hotel-level security and cleanliness. For families, our Southampton property even has rooms with split level mezzanine floors so the kids have somewhere to play and sleep within the safety of the room itself," he added.

room2's first hometel property is in an unused office building in Southampton and has been designed by Project Orange, a Shoreditch-based architectural firm specialising in unique concepts.

The ground floor features a spacious, flexible space for guests to work, socialise or relax day and night. The area - which room2 is calling The Living Room - also features a coffee bar where guests or visitors can grab drinks and snacks before heading out to explore the city. There's also a bar selling a range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails as well as a gym and workout studio. and a pantry style shop.

Godwin said: "This space is one of the key elements that makes our hometel different from the current aparthotels on the market. Many of them lack comfort and personality. They're too impersonal and structured, making guests feel like a number. Our ground floor space has been created to reflect our approach; flexible and unique through well-considered design. We want our guests to create the experiences they want - we won't prescribe what they do."

Guest accommodation occupies the remaining four floors of the building, with 71 rooms in total. A selection of rooms feature mezzanine top levels for flexible stays accommodating families, children and sharers.

All rooms come with superfast WiFi, USB chargers, hairdryers and toiletries.

"We know that everyone is different and when we travel, we demand different things. That's why we've moved away from the 'one size fits all' experience that's become associated with the big brand budget hotels. Sure, we get the basics right like somewhere comfortable to sit and a great bed to sleep in, but we're letting guests define the rest. We've learnt a lot from our test lab in Hammersmith and that's all being reflected in our first fully-fledged Hometel in Southampton," said Godwin. "We see room2 with nationwide potential and are considering a range of UK city locations. In particular we see great opportunity to enter markets where hotel owners and/or operators have underinvested in their assets, and not shown the vision of late to cater to the flexible demands of the modern traveller. There is a huge opportunity for room2 to take a leading role in this space, and we are both considering and inviting purchase and partnership opportunities across the country. We're really passionate about bringing this concept to the market. It's what the industry, and most importantly, consumers, have needed for a long time. When room2 launches in Southampton we're confident that it'll form the blueprint for us to roll out the hometel concept across the UK. As a young and ambitious brand, we couldn't be more excited about that."


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