It would be hard to miss the Good Hotel, floating on the water of the London Docklands. On a dark night, the name shimmers artistically in white neon above the river, standing out from the corporate skyscrapers lining the nearby streets.
It looks different and it is different. Unlike neighbouring Novotel and Ibis chain hotels, its profits don’t go to the company’s owners or shareholders, they go back into the business, which offers training and jobs to long-term unemployed people in the local community.
From the outside it looks like a giant, black shipping container, with green astroturf on the roof and small, square windows. But step inside and the design and atmosphere immediately reflect the community ethos. The ground floor is open plan: called the “living room”, it’s a bar, reception and library in one – a lounging area with communal tables that encourage groups to sit, eat and chat together. A sign on the wall reads: “Create beauty, do good.” The minimalist, slick industrial decor (lots of black and white and grey, with wooden tables dotted about) is tempered by snug, dimly lit corners, with sofas and comfy-looking cushions.
It's getting great reviews with the likes of the Guardian, citing the atmosphere as the thing that makes this place feel special – "it all feels very un-London, with a laid-back vibe".
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