Leman Locke, London
THE HOTEL: Leman Locke in Aldgate, London, was the first opening under the fledgling Locke aparthotel brand from SACO, The Serviced Apartment Company. It is conveniently located a stone's throw from Aldgate East Underground station. The 168 units range from 30-39m2.
THE CHECK-IN I entered through the building's bar and restaurant outlet, Treves & Hyde, and was directed around the corner to the dedicated reception and small lounge area, which has its own entrance off Buckle Street. Check-in was swift and a little about the aparthotel's facilities was explained.
THE APARTMENT: On the 21st floor, my one-bedroom suite had an open kitchen and living area and oblique views through large windows of the 'Gherkin' and the 'Cheesegrater'. Decor was fashionably spartan and with a pastel palette of blues and pinks. In the living area was a small round dining table and chairs, standing lamp, trademark pink corner sofa, coffee table and Smart TV. The kitchenette had a fridge-freezer, sink, oven, twin hob, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, toaster and Nutribullet. A set of consolidated instructions – rather than a draw full of manuals – simplified the workings of the various facilities. Basic provisions included tea, coffee, water and milk. The bathroom was surprisingly spacious, while the bedroom's long open wardrobe and untreated wood finish typified the overall style – just like the polished concrete corridors of the building. There was also a laptop-size safe, TV, old-fashioned phone, hairdryer and ironing board in the bedroom.
THE FACILITIES: The Treves & Hyde restaurant and bar occupies the ground and first floors of the building. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and can also be hired for events. Locke Labs meeting rooms on the 21st and 22nd floors have impressive views of London. There's also a gym. Events advertised in the elevator included a free Saturday yoga session and a running club.
THE VERDICT: The apartment was surprisingly spacious and I liked the understated style. With the onsite facilities, the Locke brand seems to have mastered the aparthotel model.
THE DETAILS: 15 Leman Street, London E1 8EN. Nightly rates start from around £110 for studios and £140 for one bedroom suites.lockeliving.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2018)