you didn’t buy a dog in 2020, you started a
podcast. As tempting as a four-legged SUITCASE mascot was, we
went with the latter. After spending the entirety of season 1
recording from a wardrobe, when season 2 rolled around I knew it
was time to up my game and seek out somewhere soundproof but
Enter Sonder. The next generation of self-catering stays
that mixes savvy tech with thoughtful design. Whether you’re mixing
up your home office or embarking on a city staycation – we greedily
opted for both – Sonder has a portfolio of properties from New
Orleans to Mayfair, Madrid to
On our visit (and after painstakingly browsing hundreds pads
worthy of Architectural Digest’s front page on the Sonder app) we
opted to bed down in The Arts Council, lured by the high ceilings,
arched windows and the ability to record without competing with our
housemate’s Netflix resonating through the walls.
After picking our chosen property, we were sent step-by-step
instructions detailing building codes, how to operate the heating
and neighbourhood recommendations. Better yet, this information is
always on-hand, throughout your stay. Despite being a millennial,
tech does tend to get me in a bit of a tizz and plenty of times
I’ve locked myself out of my apartment, unable to remember the door
code. With Sonder? It’s like having your sensible friend that makes
sure everyone’s home at the end of the night with you at all
Tech is the key to saving the travel industry and Sonder has
nailed theirs. It’s a seamless, self-service journey that means you
skip check-in – and we mean, really skip check-in – there’s no
apologising for your shoddy just-landed appearance or
not-slept-a-wink eye bags, and in my case, on my staycation in my
home city of London, I could dump my bags and head out to do what I
wanted to do.
Combining the convenience of a hotel with the freedom of a
self-catering stay, Sonder has answered a multi-hyphenate
millennials podcast-recording prayers and provided a stay that
blurs the boundaries between work and play.
Our apartment was a lesson in modern Scandi minimalism. Antique
lamps sat atop a vintage-looking woven rug, a small library’s worth
of books were artfully strewn across a marble table, a gallerist’s
selection of art hung on the walls and, on the bed were the
fluffiest, vanilla-hued satin sheets we’ve ever had the pleasure of
climbing into. Within seconds of entering our new design-driven
pad, we’d requested to extend our stay on the Sonder app.
Aside from the state-of-the-art kitchen, Netflix-ready
flat-screen TV and the fully stocked bathroom cabinet with woody
fragrance lotions and potions, you’ll also find a coffee machine,
and wait for it, a washing machine stocked with detergent and
fabric softener. We’re not sure whether it’s lockdown-induced
obsession with cleanliness or boredom of fighting our housemates
for the machine at home but we practically squealed when we found
Sonder’s real draw though? Your on-hand, in-app concierge that
can take care of everything from late check-out to switching a
light bulb, all within a few taps.
Where should we go for a food shop?
Wreak havoc on the fully equipped kitchen – we’re talking chef’s
knives, woks, peelers, the lot – and whip up dishes from one of
your favorite restaurants’ home
delivery kits. Making use of that Masterchef-worthy kitchen
also helps keep stays affordble – this is bougie on a budget.
What about if we want to eat out?
We became morning regulars at Bonne Bouche,
tempted by its glistening almond croissants, and stopped by
Strutton Ground Market for lunch. Without sounding like a Craig
David 90s soundtrack, on Monday we snacked on burritos, Tuesday a
stuffed-to-bursting falafel wrap and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
we gorged on takeaway plates piled high with fiery jerk
Aside from our sample of each of Strutton Ground Market’s stalls
on a rotating basis, The Cinnamon Club (for modern Indian fare), Lorne (a
lesson in locavore menus) and A. Wong (famed for its legendary dim sum) are
all within walking distance of the apartment.
Who should we bring?
Someone who wants a change of scene and will enjoy upgrading
their own surroundings – partner, housemate or your pet. Working
from home has you feeling haggard? Go it alone. A change of scene
in a swoon-worthy crash pad is all it takes to reignite your
Anything essentials we need to pack?
Sonder has thought of everything and got it all covered. Use the
app to request everything from fresh towels or extra shower gel to
more dishwasher tablets and fabric softener. We told you,
Things you should know…
That you’ll probably have booked your next Sonder stay before
you finish your first.
Likelihood is after your stay you won’t want to return to your
traditional flight-and-hotel model and will be searching the Sonder
app for your next boutique bolthole. Flicking through the app feels
a bit like interior browsing Pinterest on a Sunday evening and with
everything in your stay being made so easy, the cleanliness and the
safe, self contained spaces, you’ll soon, like us, be hooked.
What abouts its green credentials?
Sonder takes care of people as well as the planet. During the
pandemic they provided Sonder rooms to those in need, including
healthcare workers and patients seeking aftercare, as well as
helping local artists with creative partnerships in multiple Sonder
Within a short walk, you can find…
The whole city is at your disposal. Amble along the river, dip
in and out of St James’s nibbling at Paxton &
Whitfield cheese samples as you go, scoot around Tate
Britain or saunter along the Southbank.