All Images Credit Locke Hotels

The Locke at Broken Wharf: London’s Hip Hotel Showcasing the Future of Urban Travel

Feb. 23rd, 2024

There’s no place on earth like London. The most prestigious monarchy in the world, Big Ben, double-decker buses, afternoon tea, and fish and chips. The Thames River cuts through the city and gives it so much of its personality and inspiration. At the foot of the pedestrian-only Millennial Bridge that crosses the Thames River is where you’ll find a dashing lifestyle hotel made for today’s travelers who want to be in the middle of it all. It is the Locke Hotel at Broken Wharf and most likely unlike any place you've ever stayed.

This is not your regular one bed, a TV, and a dresser in a rectangular room with a widow type of hotel. This is something completely different made for the traveling needs and lifestyle of another generation. From the digital nomad to the road warrior business person, the hotel is made for much more than a place to crash before you catch your next flight.

We’ve all heard the tired travel trope of a hotel being your home away from home but his place really is. Its entire concept is to create a smart and stylish aparthotel that allows you the comfort, convenience, and amenities of an apartment but also the lifestyle of a new-gen hotel.  It is ideal for stays from three nights to a month or two with a kitchenette, laundry, workout facilities, morning yoga, and more. Their hotels are mainly in the UK and Europe and are near the most desirable locations for urban travelers such as their Broken Wharf location with easy access to the best of Central London.  

The Locke brand is cognizant that being on the road can be lonely. As such, their concept seeks to create a sense of community with comfortable communal workspaces that encourage interaction with other guests.  You’ll instantly notice that the staff is not programmed. They are genuinely friendly individuals with real personalities. They are your friend at the hotel who can advise you on what to do and see around the area vs. being a scripted concierge looking to book you a table at the nearest fancy restaurant.   

Location, Location, Location

One couldn’t ask for a better location to explore Central London. It is literally at the base of the Millennial Bridge that crosses the Thames River connecting the North and South Banks. The South Bank offers many options for arts and culture including the the Tate Modern Museum, Southbank Centre, and Shakespeare's Globe. Another must-visit destination is to sample the culinary offerings of one of London’s oldest food markets at the Borough Market.

The North Bank, where the hotel is located, is close to  St Paul’s Cathedral or a pleasant stroll along the Thames with views of the London Eye and Tower of London and the city’s iconic skyline. The Locke at Broken Wharf is also a short walk to the Blackfriars, Cannon Street, or Mansion House underground stations making getting around the city quite easy.   

The Locke Aparthotel Concept

What separates the Locke hotels from other hotels, or what you may have come to expect in an aparthotel, is that their properties are made for living as much as it is for traveling.  The ground floor is a mixed-use lounge, working area, and café on one side and a restaurant area on the other. Outdoors there is an alfresco dining area next to the Thames with views of the South Bank.

Looking in from the outside through the large plate glass windows, it is hard to figure out exactly what it is. It looks more like a WeWork space with creatives face-mugging their laptops while sipping on their soy milk mocha lattes. But it is so much more than that. There is a certain feeling and energy there that is made for today’s workforce.

The design is modern and fresh with a heavy dose of pastels and muted colors. There are communal areas that make for switched-on travelers looking for more than a drab and forgettable business hotel. You’ll find them spread out on comfortable couches made for connecting and chatting with other guests or perhaps a work session with colleagues. Other spaces are more removed and created for time alone with your laptop.

This is a design-led concept hotel with edgy design elements including metal lamps chainmail curtains, leather sofas, and rattan chairs that add to the avant-garde aesthetic. The building was once an office building and many of its industrial design elements including exposed steel beams ceilings, cinderblock walls, and polished concrete floors repurposed into industrial design. The spaces are softened with the ubiquitous pastel color palate, retro art posters, coffee table books, and lots of green leafy plants making the space all the more soothing and inviting.

Apartments for Living at the Locke at Broken Wharf

The hotel offers 113 accommodations that you’ll find far from a predictable hotel room. They vary in size and formation from their Micro Studio to the River Suite with larger accommodations offering separate living and sleeping spaces. All are fully equipped apartments and not the sterile safe places that one thinks of with an aparthotel. Many offer stunning views over the Thames, Southbank, and London’s skyline. 

They have personality in the design and features. The sage pastel color palate is there along with rattan furniture including a somewhat quirky cube sofa. The kitchens are fully equipped with marble tops and Smeg appliances as well as all the amenities required from a toaster, kettle, pots, pans, and Hay utensils.  Larger suites include a washer and dryer and for those without, there is are washer and dryer in a common room available for guests.  

The Locke at Broken Wharf is located near an endless offering for foodies in London. There are eateries from food halls to cafes to Michelin-star restaurants within a short walk from the urban retreat. However, the property offers some savory options that will make you think twice about leaving.

To start the day, you’ll see the lords of the laptop settling in at the communal lounge area on the first floor. For breakfast, forget your bacon and eggs served in a buffet of warmed-over tasteless food  To order their flat whites along with a tasty menu of yummy bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and smoothies they scan the QR for the menu and ordering app located where they’ve sat or from their room. No need to queue in line and wait for the barista to shout out your name scrawled on a cup. Once the order has been placed, in a few they’ll get a notice that it is ready and they’ll pick it up from the counter. Easy breezy.  

The old way of traveling doesn’t work for many. Boring hotels, and forgettable rooms have passed their expiration date. Just having good water pressure,  cable TV, and wifi is no longer enough. The  Locke at Broken Wharf is a breath of fresh air in the hospitality industry. No matter how long the stay, a week or several months, it is a place to live vs. a place to stay. A place of comfort with all that you need to prepare your own meals if you choose or to wash your clothes. They also happen to be located near the exciting parts of town that you’ll want to visit.

Locke defines itself as where guests can dream, dance, cook, sweat, work, create, connect, taste, and experience. All under one roof, in locations that inspire and excite you. A place to be lived in and not just slept in.  And by all measures, the Locke at Broken Wharf seems to accomplish all of that and so much more.   

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)