The Selina hotel is a place for travellers who want somewhere a bit more comfortable than a hostel, but with the same hostel vibes that make for awesome conversation, life changing events and (imo) occasional debauchery.
I went to stay there during my trip down to Camden for the Zombie horse gig with Jon Coley (feat. Grace and Danger), Loz Campbell and Penelope Antena. One of the greatest gigs of my life… It’s just down the road from Camden Lock (about a ten minute walk) and is practically neighbours with the Roundhouse.
The chain of hotels that started in South America is personalisable, meaning the local staff can tweak the design and purpose of each hotel to work for them. This particular one, being in Camden has, of course, basically become a music venue. This hotel is so music-centred they even have a wristband for your room key!
The room itself is bright, industrial, alternative and quirky (again reflecting the spirit of Camden). Big blocks of colour coat most of the walls, bold patterns cover the wall behind the bed and black owl-shaped lamps set the mood. In the bathroom, an old-fashioned toilet with a pull flush contrasts with the modern style. The bed was comfortable and decked out with cushions, just the way I like it.
The décor can only be described as luxury chic hostel vibes.
Food is scrummy and very vegan. Full of goodness and nutrition.
In the morning I had a chat with the two guys who man the breakfast bar and reception while I ate my vegan yoghurt and granola pot. It was creamy, yummy, filling and sweet.
Both servers surprised me when they said that the company culture is so good that they saw themselves staying there for the long-term. They have a really nice boss who cares whether they’re happy or not. They also saw the possibility of doing well in the company and climbing the ladder.
In terms of service, I felt like it was home from home, simply because I got to know the guys running the whole thing. They encourage you to have a chat and told me during breakfast that it’s their pleasure to serve, in the same way they would serve a friend who has come to stay for a weekend. I felt like I could wander down in the middle of the night in my PJs with a question and they’d help me. It’s a nice feeling, as in most hotels you feel there is a stuffy vibe that separates staff and guests. Knowing you’re genuinely welcome certainly helps!
In terms of music, they have just begun setting up gigs – they’d already sold out their premier jazz gig, and the band was so grateful they named themselves after the hotel (t.h.e. Selina).
The café is the perfect venue for gigs. Lots of trendy chairs and cool lights. This place has a lot of plants. Imo, the winning feature of the place.
I can easily see a really top quality acoustic set working there, complete with coffee and hipster glasses a plenty (and don’t get me wrong, I love hipster glasses!) … Otherwise, a nice chill evening with red wine or whiskey or bourbon and a sweet jazz gig or indie music night; perfect. They will be have an open mic on Thursdays (at 9pm), and plan to set up jazz gigs every Wednesday at 9 (with dinner) as well as a DJ on Fridays and Saturdays.
They have a downstairs room complete with beanbags and innovative looking movers and shakers drinking coffee and talking over laptops.
All in all, a pleasant stay and a cool place for artists, nomads or anyone who wants something a bit different, somewhere well thought through with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to boot.