Press Release

Safestay to open in Elephant & Castle, London, SE17
March 5, 2012

Setting a new benchmark in safe, stylish and affordable accommodation in London, Safestay at Elephant & Castle will open this July, the first in a line of new contemporary hostels.  

With prices starting at just £18 a night, the 74 room, 407-bed hostel will be based at John Smith House, the former Labour Party Headquarters, on the Walworth Road, close to Elephant & Castle underground station and many of Central London’s tourist attractions.  SE17 is currently the subject of a £1.5bn regeneration programme which will see huge investment in the public and community spaces.

Safestay is a joint venture between Moorfield Group and Safeland plc, and the brand was created by Larry Lipman, Safeland’s Managing Director.  Both Safeland and Moorfield have proven entrepreneurial track records of significant scale: Safeland plc was the company behind the launch of the very successful self-storage company, Safestore plc and Moorfield Group created student accommodation provider Domain, as well as a budget hotel developer and operator, Kew Green Hotels.

Speaking on behalf of the joint venture, Larry Lipman said, ‘The UK hostel market is currently very fragmented.  The standard and consistency of accommodation is still extremely poor – it really is a lottery. We identified an opportunity to build a strong quality brand to appeal to a broad community of guests: from independent travellers and backpackers to school groups, to value-conscious business people and families.” 

“We want Safestay to be a game-changer, one that overturns existing perceptions of the hostel market and offers a, safe, secure and stylish place to stay, whilst still providing extremely good value accommodation“, continues Lipman.

The Grade Two listed Safestay building dates back to the early 18th century and many of the original architectural and design features have been preserved, from the moulded ceilings to the fireplaces in the reception rooms and library.

Designed by Black Box Interiors, all the rooms are bright and airy and feature comfortable bunk beds (with individual curtains for additional privacy), and lockers to secure luggage and personal items.  Neutral flooring and cream walls lend the rooms a relaxing and sophisticated tone, whilst feature walls decorated in colourful stripes create a vibrant and uplifting space. 

Private twin rooms with TV’s as well as 4 bedded, 6 bedded and 8 bedded rooms are available, most of which have en-suite facilities.

The expansive open plan public areas on the lower ground floor maximise social interaction to create a fluid, communal space which offers a lounge area with leather sofas, a large screen TV, a bar, a games room, vending machines and a restaurant that serves complimentary continental breakfast. French doors open out onto a stunning walled garden with a water feature, swing and additional seating.  Further facilities include: a well equipped laundry room; free luggage store and a library area.

Guests travelling with their own laptops can take advantage of free Wifi in the bar and there is also a computer room on the ground floor adjoining reception.

As one of the few remaining areas of ‘Real London’, Elephant & Castle has historically been a hub for people, arts and culture. Past residents include Charlie Chaplin, Michael Caine, Michael Faraday, poet Robert Browning and author, artist and thinker John Ruskin. 

The Regeneration Programme which is being spearheaded by Southwark Council is underway and this, in addition to the area’s close proximity to Central London and its excellent transport links, mean that it is once again attracting a burgeoning artistic community.   As well as transforming the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, there are plans for new galleries, cinemas and performance venues. The shopping experience of Walworth Road will also see investment whilst ensuring the preservation of well-established shops such as G Baldwin & Co - London's oldest apothecary founded in 1844 - which still thrives today.

Safestay at Elephant & Castle is the first of several developments to come and the Joint Venture are actively seeking further sites for redevelopment.

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