Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

I stayed at an aparthotel made of shipping containers, which is located near London’s busiest train station

Stowaway apart-hotel's exteriorThe hotel is made from the shipping containers — but the rooms don’t seem small.

Grace Dean/Insider

  • Stow-Away is a block of aparthotel rooms made out of shipping containers in central London.
  • It’s very close to the UK’s busiest train station. Insider’s Grace Dean spent a night there.
  • She was impressed by how big the rooms were, but some of the features perplexed her.
Earlier this month, I stayed at Stow-Away, a block of aparthotel rooms made out of shipping containers. Though prices vary, I paid £179, or around $222.50, for a one-night stay.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

The aparthotel complex is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Waterloo Station, the UK’s busiest train station.Waterloo train station

Grace Dean/Insider

Source: The Office of Rail and Road

From the exterior, the complex looked strange but not necessarily like it was made of shipping containers — unless you looked from the side, where you could tell the walls were made from corrugated metal. On the ground floor of the building was a wine bar and restaurant.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

The complex itself is unstaffed, with no on-site office. To enter my room, I had to type in a pin sent to my email, which led me down this alleyway next to the restaurant. It was a strange way to enter accommodation that cost around $220 a night.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

I also had to go through the back of the bar-restaurant to access my room.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

Walking around the complex was also a bit strange. All the stairs and corridors were external and it felt more like a fire exit for an apartment block than an aparthotel. The decor was very modern and industrial – the color scheme was grey and white with lots of metal.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

There were five rooms on each floor. The complex has 20 beds in total.Stowaway apart-hotel's exterior

Grace Dean/Insider

Stow-Away says the rooms are approximately 213 square feet. Considering it was made from a shipping container, the room didn’t feel small. It seemed similar in size to a standard hotel room, apart from the fact that this room also had a kitchenette included in that space, too.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean

It certainly wasn’t as small as this photo on the wall may suggest.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

The room was dominated by the king-size bed.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

The compact kitchenette came with a sink, fridge-freezer, microwave-grill, toaster, and kettle. There was also a vast trove of cooking supplies, including a pan, colander, and vegetable peeler. I couldn’t imagine many people using them, though, as there wasn’t a cooktop or full-size oven to cook with.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

What I found strange, though, was some of the space-saving measures that didn’t exactly seem necessary, like this cushion wedged against the side of the bed as a makeshift sofa so you could watch TV.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

For example, the tiny bin was tucked under the kitchen sink and could be pulled out on little wheels, which seemed a bit excessive given that the room wasn’t very small. If you had takeout, you’d probably struggle to fit a pizza box or more than a couple of big aluminum trays in there.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

There was also one of the smallest dishwashers I’d ever seen, which I found a bit surprising because the size of the kitchenette made me doubt whether anyone would do enough cooking to justify switching the dishwasher on.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

Considering Stow-Away bills itself as an “eco-aparthotel,” I hadn’t expected the room to come with dairy milk for hot drinks.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

I didn’t spot too many green features when I stayed, but one that did catch my eye was this switch by the door that let you turn all the lights off in one go when you were leaving the room, rather than turning them off individually. I thought this was a smart addition in case people forgot, for example, one of the bedside lamps. The room also had some motion-sensor lights, though these seemed a bit wasteful as sometimes they turned on when you didn’t want them to.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

Another fun feature was the electronically controlled blinds on the window, something you don’t see often in the UK. Unfortunately, the controls were located next to the wardrobe – you definitely couldn’t reach to open or close the blinds while you were in bed.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

Ultimately, I had expected the room to be smaller than it was given that it’s made from a shipping container, and I was hoping for more quirky space-saving features. My experience staying at Stow-Away wasn’t much different from staying at a normal hotel.Stowaway apart-hotel's interior

Grace Dean/Insider

Read the original article on Business Insider