I was so excited to be able to experience a room2 hometel first hand, and it’s fair to say that I’m astonished that such an incredibly stylish, slick and comfortable hotel can truly be this eco-friendly.
Their website states that they welcome dogs and humans with equal enthusiasm, so I took my family and little Maltese dog, Daisy, to Room2 in Chiswick to test it out!
Before I elaborate on the actual comfort of the hometel (home away from home), their messaging is loud and clear. They are truly making a difference to the planet and setting an example of how it can be done (and done well), whilst still being cool and fun.
Started by 2 brothers from Hammersmith, Rob and Stu, they spent 10 years travelling the world, racing boats for Great Britain. Tired of staying in dull hotels, they created a vision for something unique and full of personality and, thus, created the ‘hometel’ concept.
They also wanted to be able to make a difference to ongoing environmental problems and this became a reality when they opened the Chiswick hometel, London, in December 2021.
The Sciencey Bit
room2 has 3 hotels in total, based in Southampton, Hammersmith and Chiswick.
The latter is 89% more energy efficient than a typical hotel. For example, the powerful, hot showers in each room provide the same impact as a power shower but actually use 40% less water (they were fab).
The heating and air conditioning systems use pumps that go 200m below ground level to extract energy from the earth and vice versa.
In addition, the solar panels on the roof entirely run the bar and lounge for its lighting and heating, which really makes you think given the soaring costs of gas and electricity.
On top of this, all of the energy used throughout room2 is fuelled by completely renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro-electric offsite.
They also have a zero-waste policy which means that nothing at all ends up in a landfill.
The inside of the hometel is quirky, modern, stylish and comfortable. Each room is slightly different but everything throughout the hotel is made from sustainable, local materials.
The building itself was originally on the site of a wallpaper factory and they’ve kept remnants from this time in the rooms.
Carpets and rugs are made from old fishing nets, yet you would never think so to look at or feel them!
Interior designers have added features such as loud, intricate wallpaper but retained the bare, concrete ceilings with steel pipes accessing lights etc.
A motion detector makes sure that any taps or lights that are left on, are automatically switched off when the room is empty.
The philosophy of making yourself at home is in abundance. I was tempted to sit in the hotel lounge in my PJs and slippers but thought the other guests may not quite have appreciated that!
The rooms, however, have a kitchenette which include a fridge/freezer, kettle, tea, coffee, fresh milk (in a glass bottle), microwave, hob, sink, crockery, and washing up utensils. In other rooms for longer stays, you can even have a dishwasher.
As well as the bed, there was a long sofa, table and chairs, wardrobe space, ensuite bathroom and large TV. To communicate with reception, you simply WhatsApp them on your phone, and, like chatting to a friend, they reply instantly.
There’s no feeling of formality and all staff speak to you with warmth, familiarity and like they actually want to be there.
There is no main restaurant in the hometel as they encourage you to cook in your room with friends, grab a takeaway or enjoy the local restaurants nearby, but they do have a café/lounge which has a well-stocked bar.
There are also great coffees, pastries and granola on offer for a light breakfast the next morning.
I didn’t make use of their gym but did have a look around. It was spotlessly clean and although small, had Peloton equipment and everything you would need.
I particularly liked their painting of some well-known French fries hanging on the wall to inspire your work out!
In my opinion, this is the best bit! Daisy was the V.I.D. (Very Important Dog), as my son, Archie, said.
On arrival, Daisy took an instant liking to the staff who greeted her with pats, eye contact and love. She decided they would be her new best friends and was more than happy checking everything out without hesitation or fear.
In our room, she had her very own healthy doggy cupcake, welcome postcard, basket and food bowl. The hotel is even opposite a large green park which made it very easy to pop out for her toilet breaks when needed.
As the hometel is based off Chiswick High Street, there are e-bikes outside (you get 10 minutes for free per day or you can pay for longer), all shops are on your doorstep and lots of trendy places to eat and drink are within easy walking distance.
We ate at Megan’s for lunch, set in very pretty surroundings in the flower market on the High Street. Daisy had her own dog bowl and we tucked into a healthy brunch. No complaints here!
Things To Do In The Area
Chiswick House and Park
A 10 minute walk from room2 is Chiswick House and Gardens, another extremely dog friendly place full of history and beauty.
The house itself was built in the 18th Century by William Kent and Richard Boyle, who were influential Georgian architects and designers.
The house was closed by the time we got there, but the gardens remained open until sunset. We were, therefore, able to take a very pretty dog walk around the lake and take in its beauty. Well worth a visit.
My family are the first to claim that Knoops is positively the best chocolate drink shop EVER!
They have branches in Kensington, Rye, Brighton, Richmond, Covent Garden, Chelsea and Oxford. Since we were equidistant from the Kensington and Richmond stores , we opted for the Richmond one as we assumed it would be easier to park.
These stores allow you to choose the percentage of pure chocolate flakes that you want to go into your drink and you can select from a variety of hot chocolate, iced chocolate, milkshakes and ice-cream.
The staff are known as Knoopologists who have mastered their own art of Knoopology. Knoops also prioritise the use of environmentally friendly materials and sustainable products, which includes the sourcing of their chocolate.
Although chocolate isn’t dog friendly, the stores are, so Daisy was very welcome in there and a dog bowl for water was provided.
Whether visiting Chiswick for business or pleasure, you won’t be disappointed. room2 has added huge value to the area and is definitely a recommended place to stay.
I can’t wait to go back, and I really hope that other businesses and hotels realise that quality and saving the planet can go hand-in-hand.