Currently in its soft launch phase after opening in May, Green Rooms is the first ‘arts’ hotel to open in London with the sole purpose of serving the needs of artists, creative practitioners and the local community.
Located a stone’s throw from Wood Green station, the hotel is a short tube ride from the gateway to Europe, St Pancras International station.
Based in a 1935 art deco building, formerly The North Metropolitan Power and Electricity Company, Green Rooms has a simple but classy feel to it: scrubbed wooden floors, white-grey walls, and slate grey blinds give it a calming classroom feel. (I went to try out an ensuite room and returned home fully rested and inspired. There’s a great vibe at the hotel: I chatted to a sculptor from Tanzania over breakfast and listened in on a theatre director giving notes.)
The full restoration of the hotel came in at just under GBP700,000 (€820,737) with a wad of financial support from Mayor of London’s £9m. High Street Fund and a handful of investors. The building is leased from Haringey Council, and local residents are employed across its services.
The brainchild of ‘artspreneur’ Nick Hartwright, founder of the Mill Co, Green Rooms has a unique social agenda and comes armed with a pledge to give artists the chance to benefit from the opportunities the city has to offer – all on a budget.
(You’ll never consider an Ibis again. Though be warned: toiletries, alarm clocks, phones, radios, hairdryers and televisions are not provided!)
The hotel is open to the general public who pay a premium over the generous discounts offered to artists: a bed in a dorm costs from GBP18 per night (€21); a standard single GBP66; a standard double GBP84; a corner single GBP72; a corner double GBP90 (all with shared facilities); with ensuites and split-level apartments available for those wanting a little more comfort and space.
Breakfast costs just GBP5, with affordable food served in ‘pop-up’ restaurants.
Managed on a not-for-profit basis, Green Rooms has partnered with cultural institutions such as the Royal Court and Barbican Centre to provide accommodation to guest performers.
Artists and musicians staying at the hotel are encouraged to present their work in the large upstairs performance space, or display their art works on the walls. There are also plans for a range of cultural events supported by Arts Council England (ACE) funding.
Hartwright hopes to roll out the concept abroad and further arts hotels are in the offing for Amsterdam and Berlin.