ROOM M AT E
Book a stay with the hotel brand that’s revolutionising the mini-break
There is a gap in the hotel market, according to the group of bright, young Madrid locals behind Room Mate. The world needs hotels in city centres that are design-led but convivial – places that feel like you’re staying at a very stylish friend’s house – and are run by a brand that’s not preoccupied with unnecessary, expensive extras. Setting about filling that gap, Room Mate opened its first guesthouse in its hometown of Madrid in 2005, and new ones have been popping up at an increasingly fast pace ever since – there are now 22 Room Mate hotels in 12 cities across the world, from New York to Florence, with branches opening in San Sebastian, Rotterdam and Paris this year. The success is perhaps due to Room Mate’s humanfocused philosophy – it thinks of those who stay as ‘people’, not ‘clients’, and is the first international hotel chain in the world to roll out a sign language interpreting service for deaf guests. Our favourite spot so far? The chic new Barcelona outpost, Room Mate Gerard (pictured), brought to life by Chilean designer Jaime Beriestain, whose studio and technicolour concept store are based in the city. Set in the Eixample district – famous for its Modernist buildings – the hotel boasts a gym, rooftop pool and a sundeck, as well as Wimate, the service that offers Room Mate guests free Wi-fi throughout the whole of the city they are staying in. What more could you want from a home-fromhome? From £101 per night (room-matehotels.com).