A new aparthotel concept, launched by serviced apartment company SACO, opened at the end of October in the East end of London. Leman Locke, located in Aldgate, is a blend of lifestyle hotels and serviced apartments.
Making intelligent use of space, the 168 apartments – including 105 spacious studios and 63 one bedroom suites – are almost double the size of a typical hotel room. Each room has a bedroom and fully fitted kitchen as well as a living area. Food and drink will be provided in the form of Treves & Hyde by Hyde Restaurants, evolving throughout the day from healthy breakfasts through to late night cocktails.
Ben Harper, Sales Director at Saco Apartments, spoke to Premier Hospitality about the concept behind the new venture and how that influenced the design of the project:
“We are growing the aparthotel business across Europe. We’ve been operating serviced apartments for 15 years and this is the first aparthotel that will include an element of food and beverage.
“The intention behind Leman Locke is to blend the best bits of lifestyle hotels like Ace and The Hoxton with traditional serviced apartment living to create something in the middle which is a lifestyle aparthotel concept. Providing a space where people can work, hangout and eat is a big part of that.”
“The space was designed by an architect based in Manhattan called Matt Grzywinski and the design concept is very much around bringing light into the space. It is an airy and light feel when you walk in from quite an oppressive city location. The key part of the proposition with serviced apartments is that they offer more space and it’s a space to live rather than just a hotel that’s a space to sleep. It was key we add comfort to what is quite an innovative and contemporary design.”
While what makes Leman Locke unique is its attraction to guests staying for various periods of time, this also proved to be a challenge in the design process as Ben explained:
“The project is the first of its type and when you are pushing boundaries there’s lots of ideas and creativity. The challenge was keeping control of plans so we delivered on time and budget but also to remain really focused on what’s actually important to our guests and our visitors, whether that be people dining with us or people staying with us.
“An important thing to remember with our concept is that we’ll have a mix of people staying from 1 night to 1 year and that’s a very interesting proposition when you’re trying to design a space. The expectations of someone staying with us for 6 months to a year could be quite different to someone just coming in for a couple of nights. To blend the best bits of both in order to create a sense of home and a lifestyle hospitality experience has been quite difficult.”
Leman Locke was the first Locke property to open, with further properties to be rolled out across the UK and Europe from 2017 onwards.
Chapel Street is fortunate to work as the furniture partner to some of the best-known names in the interior design business. Over the years, Chapel Street have created a curated library of classic designs that are inspired by both past centuries and the modern day. Having seen trends evolve and be refined, Chapel Street believe their collection reflects the best of these directions for commercial and residential projects.
Chapel Street played a vital role in the realisation of the Leman Locke Aparthotel, assisting the procurement consultants, Argenta Projects, and the designer to help turn their concepts into reality. Nicole Jones of Chapel Street told Premier Hospitality why it was so important to be involved with this project: “We thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to show how diverse Chapel Street’s manufacturing capabilities are. We worked alongside our sister company, Ben Whistler, which specialises in high-end commercial and residential projects, and that level of excellence informed what we were able to deliver at the Leman Locke Aparthotel, despite working to strict budgets.”
Ben Whistler’s recent projects – including Fera at Claridge’s; the bowling alley at Ham Yard Hotel; and The Blue Bar, at the Berkeley Hotel – are highly prestigious, and the high standard of finish at Leman Locke Aparthotel has undoubtedly benefited from Chapel Street’s shared expertise.
Chapel Street “prides itself on outstanding service, attention to detail and exceptional quality – from concept stages to final installation and on-time delivery,” said Nicole.