WHAT'S IT LIKE? The new five-star serviced-apartment development Atelier EC1 by Bridgestreet Worldwide opened in late 2008. The property offers luxury apartment-style accommodation, without the frills of standard hotels such as leisure facilities, bars and restaurants, and without the additional cost.
WHERE IS IT? The non-smoking property is situated within London’s famous jewellery quarter, Hatton Cross, and a few minutes on-foot from Chancery Lane underground station and Farringdon mainline station.
ROOM FACILITIES Studio apartments have a combined lounge and bedroom with a dividing screen, while one-bedroom apartments have a separate bedroom. My two-bedroom en suite apartment had separate baths and showers in each of the two bathrooms (complete with Bridgestreet-branded toiletries) and a large combined kitchen, dining and lounge area. Self-service laundry facilities are available in the building.
Rooms are decorated in charcoal greys and neutral tones, with dark wood furniture and contemporary art on the walls. The lounge is equipped with an LCD flatscreen television, Sky, a DVD player, an iPod docking station and a comfortable sofa.
In the kitchen, a free breakfast box was waiting for me on arrival with a choice of snacks, cereals, orange juice, milk, biscuits, tea and coffee. In the cupboards and drawers I found all the equipment I needed to make a meal, having made a trip to Sainsbury’s beforehand. (The small dishwasher was big enough for everything I used in the preparation of this, but not much more.)
In-room wifi internet access is available for £6 per hour, £12 per day, £28 per week or £45 per month.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are no restaurants or bars in the property but there are plenty of places in the local area including a choice of supermarkets (Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer are both within walking distance). Directly opposite is the Bleeding Heart Tavern, which serves food, ales and wines.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The good-sized lounge area and dining table in most apartments is a good space for a small board meeting.
LEISURE FACILITIES There are no leisure facilities on site, but staff are happy to direct you to one of the many nearby gyms, such as the original YMCA Club on Great Russell Street. With London on your doorstep, there’s plenty to explore on foot, including the British Museum and Oxford Street.
VERDICT The good-sized contemporary apartments are centrally located and offer bed and breakfast as well as comprehensive cooking facilities. While there are no leisure or meetings facilities, the property offers a good base for the more independent traveller.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 24 one and two-bedroom apartments in total
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The large, comfortable lounge area is perfect for relaxing after a hard day in the city, while the neat and compact kitchen means you can cook exactly what you want – a sure way to save on expenses.
PRICE Rates vary on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. A studio costs: from £207 per night for one night; from £194 per night for seven to 28 nights; £172 per night for 29+ nights. A one-bedroom apartment costs: £248 per night for one night; £229 per night for seven to 28 nights; £210 per night for 29+ nights.
CONTACT 30 Greville Street, London; tel +44 (0)20 7792 2222; bridgestreet.com