Tried & Tested

Aparthotel review: Dao by Dorsett West London

8 Oct 2022 by Hannah Brandler
Dao by Dorsett West London

Background

Asia-based company Dorsett Hospitality International launched its Dao by Dorsett aparthotel brand in June. This 74-apartment property in West London marked the debut of the brand. Since then, the brand has opened its first aparthotel in Asia, Dao by Dorsett AMTD IDEA Singapore.

The company says that the brand offers “locally minded” fully serviced apartments in central locations across the world, featuring “slick and chic city interiors”, Dorsett bespoke beds, daily housekeeping and hampers filled with essentials.

Dao by Dorsett West London

Where is it?

The aparthotel is adjacent to the existing Dorsett Hotel on Shepherd’s Bush Green, which we reviewed in 2015. It is located within the new eight-storey Palladium building, which first opened in 1910 as the Shepherd’s Bush Cinematograph Theatre. It has had many lives, including serving as a Walkabout pub until 2013 and subsequently as office space until building work began in 2018.

It is a five-minute walk from Shepherd’s Bush station (both the central line on the underground and the overground station opposite) and Westfield London shopping centre.

It is also next door to the wonderful Grade II-listed Shepherd’s Bush Empire, which happens to be my favourite music venue in London.

Dao by Dorsett walkway art

What's it like?

Architects Flanagan Lawrence have retained elements of the original building, such as the 1920s pedimented facade, giving it an old school-feel despite it being mostly a new-build. The architects added eight storeys to the building, with its brickwork in keeping with the neighbouring Dorsett Hotel.

At the time of my visit, there was still work going on and the building did not yet have a separate entrance, but there is a walkway attached to the hotel and subtle signage for Dao on the facade of the Dorsett Hotel building.

Inside, a desk on the immediate right-hand side is dedicated to the aparthotel guests, with a separate check-in desk for hotel guests a few steps down.

The lobby of the hotel features a calming interior design that offers welcome respite from the brash traffic outside. I’m a local so have a soft spot for the chaotic nature of Shepherd’s Bush but appreciated the quiet as soon as I stepped foot through the revolving doors.

Check-in was simple and staff were extremely friendly and knowledgeable about the brand. A walkway to the left of the lobby features a large £10 bank note artwork (which is soon to be outdated following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II) and comfy-looking velvet green chairs.

Two elevators at the end take you to floors 1-7 (standard apartments on 1-6 and duplex style on floor 7), and the basement has a colourful neon-clad laundry room which is free of charge for guests. Note that housekeeping takes place every seven days as a standard. The property currently shares facilities with the hotel but will soon feature its own entertainment spaces and a café.

The carpeted floors on each floor have a geometric pattern in greens and blues, which is reflected on the cushions and throws within the apartments.

Dao by Dorsett One Bedroom, Living Room. Credit Jack Hardy

Rooms

There are three categories of apartments: studios (29 to 36 sqm), one bedroom (29 to 43 sqm) and two bedroom duplex (31 to 39 sqm). I had a spacious one bedroom apartment on the third floor.

These apartments have an open-plan living area with a fully fitted kitchen and breakfast bar, and a sofa facing a large flatscreen TV. There is a separate bedroom, and the L-shaped bathroom has doors to both the main living space and the bedroom.

The contemporary décor is a bit confusing as the Dao brand feels high-end in its amenities and clientele yet the interior design doesn’t have that luxury feel. The beautiful emerald green velvet bar stools and sofa give an upscale look, as do the Vogue and The White Company coffee table books, but the blue and grey carpeting and gold curtains don’t necessarily fit with this aesthetic.

The separate bedroom has a large comfy bed with a leather headboard and a vanity desk facing a large mirror. There are plenty of wardrobes throughout the apartment for belongings and these also house a safe, hairdryer, two fluffy bathrobes and slippers, scales, a steamer and an ironing board.

The bathroom is on the luxury end of the scale and features a rain shower and hand-held shower in a spacious cubicle, with large-sized Elemis toiletries and a woven bag filled with everything that you might have forgotten for your visit – toothbrush and toothpaste, mini sewing kit, a comb, hairnet, nail file, earbuds and cotton pads, and a razor with shaving cream.

Dao by Dorsett One Bedroom. Credit Jack Hardy

There are plug sockets throughout the apartment including next to the breakfast bar, allowing me to easily work on my laptop, on either side of the bed and at the vanity table.

The trouble with the apartments is that the noise from the neighbouring Shepherd’s Bush Empire might keep you up at night, especially if gig-goers congregate around the stage door.

The Google smart clock beside my bed also started broadcasting a welcome message at a high volume at 11.30pm for no reason at all (I was in bed and my room was silent). I unplugged it to avoid any further disturbance.

Dao by Dorsett One Bedroom, bathroom. Credit Jack Hardy

Food and drink

The kitchens are well-equipped for cooking (or microwaving if you prefer a ready meal). Each apartment includes a fridge, microwave oven, an induction hob, toaster, Opal coffee machine, kettle and plenty of crockery and cooking paraphernalia. There are two complimentary glass bottles of water, milk sachets in the fridge, Avantcha tea with a lovely menu detailing the different types, and coffee pods from The Borough Coffee Company.

There are also plenty of restaurants on your doorstep to choose from should you want to dine out. The hotel’s Shikumen restaurant specialises in Chinese cuisine and is recommended, plus there’s bars on Goldhawk Road and numerous restuarants at Westfield. I spotted some guests picking up a Deliveroo in the lobby, so takeaways are also a possibility.

Breakfast is served in the Jin Bar, just off the lobby area, but the staff were not very welcoming and the buffet was not replenished frequently. Aside from the buffet, you can also order one hot dish from an à la carte menu.

Dao by Dorsett West London kitchen

Meetings

The Dao property has no meeting spaces, but the Dorsett Hotel has three meetings rooms with a maximum capacity of 85 when combined.

Leisure

The Dao by Dorsett brand offers various experience packages (known as Dao Journeys) to its guests as a means to personalise their stay – the pricing is currently to be determined.

Not all of these were available at the time of my visit, but I opted for the ‘Move Your Way’ fitness package and was very impressed with the in-room products. These included a Peloton bike, squeezed into the corner of the room, Peloton resistance bands, two weights, some day pass vouchers for Gymbox, Fitness First and Yoga West, a yoga mat and a beautiful Dao-branded wood effect reusable water bottle.

While I’m not necessarily a fitness enthusiast, it was a fun and different experience to my usual stays and of great use to those that want to stay in shape during their visit.

Dao Journeys package

Verdict

I enjoyed my stay at Dao by Dorsett West London, with the ideally located spacious apartments well-suited for a business traveller. The brand’s best features are its bespoke touches, such as the packages, the tea menu and useful amenities. The use of the Dorsett Hotel facilities, such as the lobby space, is also useful for those that want to work or meet colleagues/clients for a coffee.

While its location in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush is useful in terms of transport, this comes with some noise disruption at night, so try to opt for a room that faces the green rather than the neighbouring concert venue – or alternatively buy tickets to a gig and become part of the hubbub!

Fact box

Best for

Well-equipped apartments in a buzzy location

Don’t miss

A ride on the Peloton followed by a well-deserved cocktail at Shikumen and a gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Price

Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in November, including breakfast, started from £230.50 for a Dao Studio

Contact 

56 Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8QE; +44 (0) 203 262 1026

daobydorsett.com

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