For a few years now, the centre of fashion in London has shifted east. Shoreditch, Hoxton and even further east are definitely worth considering as a base for a stay in London, especially if independent shopping and cool bars and restaurants are more of a priority than doorstep access to ‘the sights’. The area’s former warehouses and historical buildings have been transformed into exciting hotels, where being cutting edge doesn’t mean skimping on the luxuries.
Hoxton Hotel, Hoxton
Although the modern and award-winning Hoxton Hotel (****) (pictured top) is larger than the typical boutique hotel, it definitely indulges in boutique hotel touches, including rainmaker showers, a breakfast bag that is delivered to your room each morning, and a fridge for stocking with your own home comforts. The suites definitely have a boutique look too – the décor in each suite is inspired by the cutting-edge design associated with this area of the capital.
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch
The Ace Hotel (*****) is one of the newest openings in the area, the first branch outside of the United States. It blends its mix of Stateside cool – think turntables and vinyl, or guitars in your room – with the best of British design, with heritage brands like Ercol and Locke comfortably sitting alongside the specially commissioned wall art in each room. With its own café, restaurant, as well as florist on site, this already feels like an essential part of the local scene.
Ace Hotel in Shoreditch
Boundary Restaurant, Rooms & Rooftop, Shoreditch
The area’s design credentials were reinforced with the arrival of Terence Conran’s Boundary Restaurant, Rooms and Rooftop (*****). It is a Victorian warehouse given a stunning makeover, from the indulgent French-influenced restaurant in the basement to its quality traditional British café, Albion, to the rooftop bar, and not forgetting the 12 bedrooms and five suites. Each suite comes complete with a private balcony and is named after one of the greatest names or schools in design, such as the Charles & Ray Eames or Bauhaus, with the décor selected to match.
Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, Bethnal Green
The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in Bethnal Green (*****) as the name might suggest, is based in a former Town Hall. Now lovingly restored, the hotel makes the most of the original stunning features of the building, including the marble staircase and glass-domed ceiling of the entrance hall. This carries through the high ceilings and unique features of each room, enhanced using glass partitions, vintage furniture and cosy touches like sheepskin rugs. The thoughtful perks on offer include the unlimited mineral water in each room, a free shuttlebus to Bank or Liverpool Streets on weekdays and the ‘tea lady’ who goes around taking early evening cocktail orders. Nuno Mendes operates the award-winning restaurant Viajante, and is in control of the tasty room service menu too.
Sunborn London Yacht Hotel, Royal Docks
Finally, further east is London’s new floating hotel which arrived in the capital via the River Thames. Sunborn London (****) is a stunning superyacht converted into a hotel and currently situated next to the ExCeL centre in the historic Royal Docks. The beautifully furnished cabins offer luxury stays on the water, with excellent public transport options nearby including the Emirates Air Line cable car to North Greenwich and the O2. This unique accommodation experience is a recommended and welcome addition to east London.
Hotels mentioned in this article:
- The Hoxton Hotel – 81 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HU
- Boundary Restaurant, Rooms and Rooftop – 2–4 Boundary Street, London E2 7DD
- Ace Hotel – 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ
- Town Hall Hotel – Patriot Square, London E2 9NF
- Sunborn London – Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL
Author: Frances Ambler / Rob Powell