A compact orange cell for £20. It must be easyHotel

And when you are trying to sleep in a windowless orange box with only the growl of the air conditioner and six giant company slogans for company, it is the perfect recipe for a restless night.

I learnt the hard way at the new easyHotel in South Kensington, central London.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou has now made his orange mark on the hotel industry. Since launching the budget airline easyJet 10 years ago, few aspects of society have been deemed unworthy of de-frilling.

From pizzas to insurance and men's toiletries to mobile phones, his range of products has grown in every direction. His most recent bid to take over the world emerged in the form of wristwatches.

But is the minimum price of £20 a night for a a windowless room a stroke of genius, or a marketing gimmick that London could do without?

Of the white stucco-fronted houses on Lexham Gardens, it is - as you'd expect - the only property with an orange plastic sign. The building was once a 12-bedroom guesthouse. Today, it is a 34-room easyHotel.

The rooms are in three sizes: small, very small and tiny. Only three rooms have windows, a privilege for which guests pay a premium. There is no room service, mini bar, porter, wardrobe or restaurant. Televisions are activated by a remote control which costs £5, and is available from reception.

In my "tiny" second-floor room, the words "orange" and "plastic" spring to mind. A double bed is encased in plastic walls on three sides. A door marked helpfully with the words "a tiny loo" leads to a cramped plastic container with overlapping toilet and shower. The words "easyHotel.com" are emblazoned no fewer than six times across the room.

So who would stay in such a room - and who, for that matter, would wear an easyWatch?

Lee Walsh, 33, is a self-confessed easyGroupie. Mr Walsh, a supermarket warehouse worker from Kent, said he was determined not to miss the opening night.

"I would have travelled anywhere in the country to spend a night at the new hotel," he said. "I'm not here because I want to stay in London but because of the hotel. I'm a big fan of the easy products and have tried most of them." I glance at his wrist. "I actually bought one of his watches last month," he adds.

The next morning, after a dreadful sleep, I flood the "tiny" bathroom.

Others, though, had a happier night. Peter Fan, 24, a student from Australia who is spending a week in a "tiny" room with his 19-year-old brother, says: "We both slept very well. It's brand new and it's very cheap. We don't mind not having a window. The only problem is fitting our two backpacks into the room."

While the easyHotel is not for me, there is no doubt it will attract plenty of business. Even so, I recommend someone tell Stelios that orange is not the only colour.

What can you buy for £20?

* Take a one-way trip to Sardinia or Latvia with the budget airline Ryanair

* Buy a goat or brood of chickens from Farm Friends to help African farmers

* Buy two copies of the latest Harry Potter book and throw them off a high building

* Go to see the musical The Producers with a pre-theatre dinner at Porters in Covent Garden, from lastminute.com

* Buy five litres of Lambrini - that's alcoholic pear juice, or perry, to the uninitiated - and dance the night away

* Buy yourself a half-hour lesson with a PGA pro and learn how to play golf

* Get dolled up, polish your conversation and search for your ideal partner at a speed-dating do (www.speeddater.co.uk)

* Buy two loaves of bread - upper-crust Poilane bread that is, made to a traditional French recipe in a wood-fired oven. Each weighs 10lb

* Help out a pop star in distress and snap up a copy of Michael Jackson's latest heading-for-a-flop album, The Essential Michael Jackson

* Treat your date to a movie - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is sure to sweeten them up

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence