An Inspector Calls… Tech-savvy hotel brand Yotel has opened a new branch in London’s Clerkenwell – the cabin-style rooms are ‘terrific value’ and its ‘glamorous’ bar is a highlight
- Budget chain Yotel has opened a new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London
- There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small but comfortable and spotless’
- The standout feature, says the Inspector, is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar
Full marks to Yotel on the bravery front. Not many other spanking new hotels would swing open their doors when London has seldom been so quiet and when visitors from overseas are giving Britain a wide berth.
But that’s what happened this week in Clerkenwell, marking the budget chain’s first foray into the capital, following Yotels at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and one in Edinburgh.
There are 212 rooms (sorry, cabins, as they’re called) and only four are occupied in addition to mine.
The Inspector checked into Yotel’s new outpost in Clerkenwell, central London. Pictured is the ‘glamorous’ atrium and bar
‘But I think it will be an advantage. We will be in a better position once life returns to normal,’ says Pedro, a chatty member of staff from Portugal, who works behind the bar and helps out in the kitchen.
Let’s hope so because for £85 in the centre of town, this is terrific value. It’s cleverly designed over six floors: minimalistic, tech-savvy, fun (reception is called Mission Control, staff are referred to as Crew and the bar area is Komyuniti, Japanese for community).
Calling rooms cabins is a good way of managing expectations. And, yes, they are small, but comfortable, spotless, white all over and everything works. Press a button for the shower; another to turn the bed into a sofa; multiple power and USB charging ports; bunk beds for families and views of St Paul’s Cathedral if you’re facing south.
There’s a gym in the basement and a ‘grab and go’ food area near reception. I’m looking to order and stay, which I do at the bar to the rear of the building.
There are 212 cabin-style rooms that are ‘small, comfortable and spotless’
This is Yotel’s stand-out feature, with its own atrium and a glamorous air about it, enhanced by the high stools, sleek sofas and little booths.
No frills needn’t mean no thrills. The all-day menu includes a variety of flatbreads, bao buns, king prawn skewers and padron peppers.
I go for sweet chilli crispy chicken, the peppers and paprika fries, all for £14, and Pedro is keen for me to try an Argentinian Malbec that, he says, spends some time in bourbon barrels.
I can’t stand being hermetically sealed at night. It feels so unnatural. But I don’t hear a thing.
You can get a cooked breakfast, but this is more a place for rolling your own yoghurt and drinking herbal tea.
‘You will have a beautiful day,’ says Eric at check-out. And he means it.
YOTEL London 96-100 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1M 5RJ. Doubles from £85. For more information call 0203 146 1310 or visit yotel.com.