Affordable, comfortable, non-bad-hotel-pillows lodging options are certainly having a moment right now. If Philadelphia is on the agenda, you might want to check out ROOST. ROOST is where you stay when you want to feel like you’re really staying in a city, as opposed to that sterile, characterless feeling you get from massive chain hotels. We spoke to Randall Cook, CEO/Co-Founder of ROOST Apartment Hotel to learn more about how this space came to life, and what it’s offering that Airbnb can’t.
text byShani Silver
photography byMatthew Williams
interior design by Morris Adjmi Architects
What is ROOST? Who is the ideal guest?
Our ideal guest is someone who has traveled a long distance, is completely new to Philadelphia, and was a little apprehensive about their extended time in a city far from home that they knew little about. We think this gives us the best opportunity to experience what differentiates ROOST from other stay options. We’ve been able to turn this apprehension into excitement and happiness – not only through the comfort and design of the apartments, but also our unique amenities. Our bike share, coffee program curated by La Colombe, lending library, and also through our staff who help them to take advantage of the some of the amazing experiences that Philadelphia has to offer.
What brought the idea for this place to life?
The idea sprung from a realization that there was a very close correlation between some of the more stressful things one goes through in life (relocating for a new job, extended medial treatment, home remodeling, separation/divorce) and why someone needs a place for a few weeks or a few months. We worked backwards from this idea that “hey our customers are often in a unique place and let’s do everything we can to make this period as easy for them as possible and bring them happiness in the form of engaging service and beautiful, comfortable design.”
What are the advantages of staying at ROOST compared to other options?
ROOST offers a totally different experience than any hotel in that you feel like you could live in a ROOST apartment indefinitely. Most often, even the best hotel rooms start to wear on you after five or six nights. Airbnb offers a similar residential feel, but it feels like you are living in someone else’s home, not your own. We want ROOST to feel like it’s your place and also take out all of the unknowns that exist with a stay at an Airbnb (24/7 front desk concierge/security, on-site management, maintenance and housekeeping, and some brand standards that give our customers a better idea what to expect).
What is your favorite part of the decor at ROOST?
We worked very hard to make each apartment feel part of the brand, but also have some unique touches. At our first location, we spent the better part of the year collecting antique Turkmen rugs generally close to 100 years old. We think these rugs give a sense of authenticity to the design and present a nice contrast to some of the more modern elements of our design, like Gubi glass coffee tables and a very simple, monochromatic kitchen palate.
What inspired the decor?
The decor was inspired by the understanding of how important it would be for us to use a design scheme that makes people feel happy during whatever situation lead them to need a temporary residence. Our study led us to a very layered design that feels timeless and authentic through the use of both classic and modern elements that were pulled together over time. Kind of the way one organically pulls together a well designed home that you enjoy spending time in.
What is your personal favorite memory of this design process?
The best part of the design process was the excitement and enthusiasm of collaborating with all of the designers. Morris Adjmi and his team really set the tone for the design process and played a big part in insuring a passion for what we were doing.
What is one thing you wish EVERYONE knew about ROOST?
How important it is to us if we’ve been able to help residents feel comfortable, happy and inspired while they have been taken out of their normal living environment.