East London’s latest floating hotel, Good Hotel, sparked a great deal of curiosity amongst the locals when it arrived here last September. The structure which made it’s way across the North Sea and into the Royal Docks (pulled along by tug boats) will stay anchored in its scenic home for the next five years. Built in 2007 as a prison to hold illegal immigrants the hotel works on a non profit basis but offers premium hospitality.
Does it work? Yes! I spent a night at the Good Hotel and experienced all the hospitality and service of it’s well trained and well informed staff. The proof that it works is in the pudding. It has opened a second hotel based on the same model in Antigua, Guatemala.
Mission Good Hotel is to train long-term unemployed locals in a variety of jobs in the hospitality industry. A training program named, “Good Training”, once completed qualifies participants to a three-month contract at Good Hotel. Furthermore, it progresses to negotiations in the city’s hotel business on the participant’s behalf. This adds weight and value to those seeking a career in the industry but have been unable to break in to it.
Mine was a double deluxe room with waterfront view with the same minimalist theme which runs through the hotel. The crisp cotton sheets were as soft as silk and the down pillows ensured a wonderful night of sleep for me. A cute addition was the complimentary “Worry Doll” from Guatemala, left on my pillow, to carry away worries while I slept. An endearing personal touch which connects you to the philosophy of the hotel.
Breakfast was included as part of my stay. It was an array of food to satisfy even the most demanding patrons. It was obvious that the hotel attracted a wide range of people. There were families on city breaks, couples on romantic weekends, solo travellers as well as business travellers enjoying breakfast. The buffet style offering served a classic English, continental, yoghurts and a variety of cereals and seasonal fruit. Did I mention? All the food is sourced locally.
The Roof Terrace
Perhaps the icing on the cake at Good Hotel is its roof terrace which serves as a bar and chill out space. The bar opens from 11am until 9.30pm. It serves breakfast juices, healthy kale, spinach and pineapple smoothies (simply out of this world!) as well as cocktails and snacks. A recent addition to the terrace’s itinerary is rooftop yoga which is proving equally popular with guests and locals.
London has seen a wave of roof top bars open up all over the capital recently. East London in particular has relatively underground, cool terrace bars which are yet to be overrun by the masses. The roof top at the Good Hotel however, stands out because of the breath taking view it offers while you sip a drink. (My favourite was the strawberry daiquiri in case you’re wondering). There is a panoramic view of the Thames as well as the Royal Docks. The wooden decking against the white furniture simply adds to the atmosphere here. This is an urban oasis in the heart of London making no compromises. Only winners here. Be sure to check them out.