With the opening of Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, Inhabit Hotels is expanding its mission to create restorative, environmentally and socially conscious places to stay in the city. We take a (mindful) sneak peak inside…
Set across a crescent of mid-19th Century townhouses on a tree-lined square near Lancaster Gate, Inhabit Queen’s Gardens is an intimate boutique hotel comprised of 159 uplifting guestrooms, along with carefully considered social spaces. It has been created with a passion for wellbeing and living in a way that supports a healthy mind and body, as well as modelling responsible hospitality practices. The public areas include a 70-cover, plant-heavy-menu restaurant and bar, comfortable lounge areas for socialising and working, and a noise-free library stocked with thought-provoking reads spanning wellness, meditation, social enterprise, holistic health, contemporary art, philosophy, local London, and nature. A subterranean wellness area provides treatment rooms, a fitness suite and yoga studio.
Mindfully designed for the modern traveller, everything at this new hotel has been curated with a genuine commitment to environmental initiatives and meaningful community partnerships. This ethos is not simply about providing guests with a recycled water bottle and the odd yoga lesson, it has been carefully thought through and penetrates every level, from design through to materials, from F&B offerings through to its business model and broader interaction with the local community.
The tranquil interiors of the hotel are a result of the work of Holland Harvey Architects, Caitlin Henderson Design and the art curators at Culture A. Its soothing style blends contemporary Scandinavian inspiration and Eastern philosophical awareness with a fuse of quintessential British design. The Inhabit Hotels ethos has been considered on every step of the design journey, and the hotel showcases the ingenuity and creativity of craftspeople, working with more than 30 makers and artists. Goldfinger, an award-winning social enterprise demonstrating that high-end design can and should be people and planet positive, has produced bespoke joinery for the hotel throughout the public areas and guestrooms.
Somerset House Studios and Makerversity offer artworks by emerging as well as established artists to complement and enhance the meditative mood of the interior scheme. For visitors and guests, inspiration awaits in works by artists such as AnneMette Beck, whose multi-textural art installation welcomes guests as it plays along the wall at reception. Hugo Dalton’s dynamic light drawings nudge visitors to consider nature from a new perspective. Freya Bramble Carter’s bespoke tactile ceramics are installed throughout the guest rooms. Social-impacting soft furnishings include Myanmar’s Kalinko Homewares and Studio 306 cushions from Aerende, made by people recovering from, and living with mental health illness.
Inhabit is a hotel brand founded on the belief that design should have a positive social impact, and they have focused on using sustainable materials throughout the building’s transformation. One such material is Granby Rock, a custom-made terrazzo produced by Granby Workshop using marble from the original site, which will now form a centrepiece fireplace in the reception. Granby Workshop is a manufacturer of architectural ceramics based in Liverpool, as part of a community-led effort to reinvigorate Granby, a neighbourhood within the city made derelict by decades of poor planning initiatives.
The understanding that wellness is not simply a physical state, but regarding it as a way of being, is what is at the heart of the Inhabit brand. The new hotel champions social connectedness, intellectual expansion, environmental responsibility, physical and emotional wellness and occupational enrichment. An engaging series of regular workshops, lectures and events will be curated by Maria Tsiarta, the Head of Wellness, to help guests recharge, invigorate, connect and learn. In keeping with the Scandi aesthetic, guestrooms and suites will be stocked with uplifting, full-size and refillable amenities from Skandinavisk, a Certified B Corporation.
‘Inhale at Inhabit’, the hotel’s wellness centre, hosts a programme of daily activities, including vinyasa flow, transformational Hatha and yin yoga, Pilates and complimentary morning meditation classes. The gym provides the essentials, as well as a Peloton Bike. Guests can join live classes with leading instructors, streamed directly from Peloton’s NYC studio, or choose from a library of studio workouts. There are also two treatment rooms which offer treatments by GAIA, a natural skincare brand handmade in Britain using traditional artisan production methods. Inspired by ancient Greece’s Mother Nature, the GAIA skincare range uses Fairtrade, certified-organic plant extracts sourced from small farms and producers. Inhabit Queen’s Gardens is the first London hotel to offer GAIA treatments.
The hotel brand has collaborated with Marc Francis-Baum, founder of London venues such as Mare Street Market in Hackney, and Moor & Mead at Montcalm East, to create The Kitchen at Inhabit. A 70-cover restaurant serving an imaginative all-day menu in a light-flooded space that is quite unique to this West London neighbourhood. At the charismatic marble bar, focus is given to English wine and small UK spirit producers, while new-gen, alcohol-free drinks are plentiful, too, from vegan sparkling wine through to the pre-requisite kombucha.
“It’s an exciting challenge opening a fully meat-free hotel in London,” said Craig Purkiss, Executive Chef, Barworks. “We’ve researched and developed a menu focussed on the quality of our produce, as well as the importance of sustainable dishes and practices. Ultimately, we let the produce do the talking.”
Not content with keeping sustainability on the surface of things, the hotel brand is working towards B Corps certification with the goal of being among the first hotel groups in the UK to achieve this eminent standard of corporate responsibility, an accreditation for businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose. Importantly, along with these admirable ideals, is a commitment to design and hospitality, stylishly illustrating the point that prioritising both people and profit is in fact a possibility as we step into a new year excited by the possibilities that places like Inhabit Hotels inspire us with.
> Since you’re here, why not read our review of Inhabit Hotels‘ first property?
Main image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook