This month, Mike Fletcher stays onboard Good Hotel London.
Christmas is a time for giving so what better way to give than to book a festive party or dinner at a London hotel which will use that money to help people.
The floating Good Hotel, moored between ExCeL London and The Crystal is a non-dividend company, founded on entrepreneurial spirit and the belief that one day, all businesses should be social businesses.
It uses its profits to provide hospitality training to the long-term unemployed, collaborate with local charities throughout the London borough of Newham, and to fund its NGO partner in Guatemala, supporting children of low-income families living in the mountain villages around Antigua.
Many of the staff at Good Hotel are going through the on-the-job hospitality training scheme. Others will have gone on to find permanent jobs in the local economy having spent long periods of their lives unsuccessfully looking for work.
The 148-room Good Hotel believes in fresh starts and second chances. And that doesn’t just apply to its people. Much of the handcrafted wooden furnishings that make-up the minimalist, yet clever Scandinavian room interiors derive from the wood used in the original build, before Good Hotel was transported by submersible barge over the North Sea from Amsterdam in 2016.
Everywhere you look around the ship there’s fittings and furnishings that combine eco-friendly durability with luxury and beauty - encapsulating the hotel’s motto, ‘Create Beauty, Do Good’ captured in neon on a wall by the bar.
For meetings and events planners, there’s four ‘Small’ to ‘XL’ meeting rooms, which all offer riverside views, natural daylight and a day delegate package that starts from £60 for a minimum of ten delegates.
The XL meeting room boasts an in-room pantry and holds up to 60 delegates theatre-style.
The Living Room is an open-plan meeting area for up to 120 cocktail style, with communal tables, snug corners and industrial decor throughout.
While the roof terrace (or ship’s deck) is also available for alfresco receptions.
This was my second stay onboard Good Hotel. Since my first visit in 2017, the hotel now not only sources everything locally, it is also more involved with local amenities.
That’s good news for event planners as Good Hotel can help organise local activities such as water-skiing at Royal Victoria Dock, an escape room experience or group discounts for Thames Clippers and the Emirates Cable Car.
For Christmas this year, the Good Hotel’s events team is offering packages which include ginger-bread making, wine tasting and other festive add-ons. But really, even taking staff out to dinner for a good job well done during the year will pass the good along and see your investment help more people achieve their potential.
All in all, Good Hotel London is the epitome of what a unique, unusual venue in the UK capital should be. The fact that it’s not just doing good, it’s doing great should be applauded.
Remember, the ship is due to set sail again in 2021 so make use of it while it’s here. Giving feels good all year round.
By Mike Fletcher