london: locke hotel opening

© locke / photography: nicholas worley

owned by saco, a london-based provider of serviced apartments with an extensive network of properties in key cities across the planet, its locke offshoot was only launched earlier this year, and although its format is more or less similar, the surrounds are specifically design-led and inspired boutique hotels, catering to a demographic of in-the-know travellers with a penchant for a contemporary urban travel experience. the first property, called the leman locke, has just opened its doors in the storied whitechapel neighbourhood of the british capital. the property occupies a newly built structure, and features 168 apartments and suites.

the premises have been designed by grzywinski+pons, an architecture and design practice based in new york city. the apartments not only include everything today's traveller would expect, including a fully equipped kitchen with all the prerequisite utensils, but also indulge them with beautiful design. the very same can be said about the suites, which at 30 to 39 sqm. [323 sq.ft. to 420 sq.ft.] are double the size of an average boutique hotel room. in stark contrast with most hotel rooms you'll come across just about anywhere, the leman lock suites have been designed to revolve around an L-shaped sofa that allows you to sit back, lounge, sleep or what not. although brand new, the property wasn't purpose-built, but the designers were able to exert some influence during its construction.

leman locke's reception area and the café space are divided by the lift lobby, and both sections have been given a distinct look, but are compatible in terms of light, warmth and texture. the café, called hyde, is largely defined by openwork panels dipped in a frivolous pink hue, and serves healthy bites and juices during the day, but in the evening, it morphs into a full-fledged bar where to indulge in craft beers, wines and cocktails. by contrast, the reception area oozes a more formal vibe, featuring grey walls and floor-to-ceiling shelving. a true focal point in the setting is swirling staircase that leads up to a restaurant space upstairs that'll open early next year. location: 15 leman street [whitechapel].

© locke / photography: nicholas worley