Nick Hartwright is the brains behind Green Rooms in Haringey, North London. A hotel which provides rooms and workspaces to travelling performers and artists, while also being a hub for the local Wood Green community.
Picture courtesy of Nick Hartwright
Green Rooms is branded as 'London's arts hotel, a social enterprise offering affordable accommodation in a beautiful setting.' And beautiful it is, located within a remarkable 1930s municipal building, right in the heart of Wood Green high street.
Unlike a normal hotel, Green Rooms is a social enterprise, with the notion of connecting people right at the heart of its ethos. The leader of this social endeavour? Nick Hartwright. We were fortunate to sit down and talk to Nick about his inspirations, social enterprise and the future.
Nick by his own admission has never been employed by anyone, "I am from a family which have had businesses, an entrepreneurial family with a lot of travelling and working in different countries."
"I've always generated my own money, there are things I have done really well and there are things where I've lost nearly everything, without the lows you don't experience successful things."
Green Rooms appears to be one of those successes and has come along way since its original inception.
"It was an idea I had quite a few years ago when I used to work in theatre. One of the projects I led was to create a pop-up hotel for two theatre companies within the theatre. I really enjoyed seeing the reaction to it."
Picture courtesy of Nick Hartwright
"It was a Brazillian company and a Belgian company, who were in residence for three months. I loved the work they produced and the interactions they had with people in the area. I always wanted to do it again and on a permanent basis."
And do it on a permanent basis he has, keeping its focus centres on those in the arts.
"It is aimed primarily to people in the arts and performing arts. Often when they come to London there isn't a place to stay unless it's your mate's sofa. So I thought I could make something which is affordable and accessible for everyone. Yet it is also a platform for people to meet and have those interesting conversations. It is as much a home for people as it is a place for people from the local area to connect."
The location was a no-brainer for Nick when he decided to take the next steps to turn the concept into a tangible business plan.
"Wood Green is an interesting place and the building itself was really good. I was struck by how gorgeous it was, the decor and the municipal architecture and I thought it would just be a perfect location."
Green Rooms is on the rise and is becoming a desirable hotel within London, but Nick has no plans to stop there.
Picture courtesy of Green Rooms
"The plan is to run it in several other locations, from my idea for a pop-up hotel to possibly a few of these like Green Rooms it has definitely exceeded my expectations."
"We would love to expand at some other sites in European cities. We are looking at sites in Porto and Berlin. I spent a lot of time in Berlin when I was younger and a lot of Green Rooms features is based on places I have stayed within Berlin."
A unique aspect of the whole project is that Green Rooms is a social enterprise something which Nick regards to be "a bit of a buzzword" where no one knows its true definition with it being "quite flexible".
"To me, social enterprise is just enterprise. Business and making money should create good stuff, whether that's solving a problem, helping people or employing people. I think the two should go hand in hand."
In the current economic climate, social enterprises are becoming more common within the UK, with the nation very much taking the lead in the sector. Nick believes this is due to the economic and political situation leading people to "necessitate change and find different ways of doing things." He also stands firm that it is young people who are the driving force behind the thriving nature of the social enterprise.
"Young people have more of a thought about society as a whole, Younger People are more involved in politics, they think more about how they can change the environment around them, I think it is a lot to do with education and the knowledge people have around them."
Nick has abided by two rules through his entrepreneurial career so far and he believes young people should follow a similar tact.
"Number One: do things you would want people to do for you. Number 2: get up in the morning. I'm not saying it's all about hard work but if you are not there opportunities are not going to happen."
Find out more about Green Rooms and book your own room directly on their website using below voucher codes:
1st July - 31st December 2018
Rates are quoted per room (bed) and night, inclusive of service, 20% VAT and free Wi-Fi.
- Voucher Code STUDY15
Standard Room - £56 single / £74 double occupancy
Corner Room - £62 single / £80 double occupancy
En-suite Room - £74 single / £92 double occupancy
Studio - £98 single/double occupancy
- Voucher Code STUDYD
Dormitory - £19