Since the start of the 21st century, no other part of London has changed quite as much as Shoreditch. What was once an almost no-go outpost of the capital, butting up against the Square Mile, has become prime real estate.
Now it’s a bustling, buzzing hive of creative energy, ranging from art and fashion to media, music and tech. And when all of that arrives, then great food, nightlife, shopping, and – of course – hotels, will surely follow.
Plus, it couldn’t be easier to head east (or west) for a visit now, thanks to the Elizabeth Line. Whether you’re here for a long time or a short time or even if only to check out one of the many markets on offer, there really is a hotel for everyone.
Here’s our guide to some of the best places to rest your weary head after a day of street food, craft beer, hipster-spotting and vintage shopping.
Best hotel for a classy home away from home: Hoxton Shoreditch
This is a hotel brand where, if you’re visiting a city lucky enough to have one, you should be sure to book a night or two, but the Shoreditch version is the original. The gorgeous bedrooms – ranging from ‘shoebox’ to ‘roomy’ – are a lesson in mid-century industrial chic, with wood paneling, designer chairs and lighting, and rainfall shower heads in the well-appointed bathrooms. There’s also an in-room continental breakfast, an excellent rooftop Mexican-themed restaurant, and the whole establishment is centered around the legendary Hoxton Grill. The trendy and welcoming communal spaces include a working space lobby with bar, library and meeting rooms.
A short stumble from the buzzy Rivington St and Curtain Rd, this high-end independent offering is a heady mix of classy hotel elegance and mid-century modern cool. Warm, woody, muted tones stretch from the welcoming reception right up to the airy designer accommodation, with its Miami pops of color, sleek finishing, seating areas and amazing views. Speaking of views, the rooftop bar and restaurant will give you some of the best panoramas of London you’ll see at a hotel, along with delicious Californian treats, such as beef rib tacos, or soft shell crab burgers. Be sure to try the White Negroni, too.
Best hotel for luxury: Mondrian
The Mondrian comes to Shoreditch, taking up residence in the sprawling old Curtain Hotel building, and retaining the Curtain club members. The cool and luxurious rooms are generously sized, and all have a very welcome steam room facility in their showers. Christina’s Anderson-esque ground floor bar puts a fresh twist on the cocktail menu by only sourcing products from local independent suppliers. Food-wise, Laurel’s serves seasonal Californian fare next to a rooftop pool, while, below ground, the Andalusian BiBo is the latest offering from Michelin-starred Dani Garcia (try the gazpacho soup).
You can plant yourself in just two minutes from the Silicon Roundabout, immerse yourself in top-notch fixtures and fittings – soft sheets, comfy bed, big-screen TV, hi-tech lighting and sleek bathroom – and don’t pay through the nose. The most budget option on our list, Z’s compact accommodation offerings are perfect for a one- or two-night stay if you need a decent place to kip, get ready, and then just get out there. Everything is almost literally within arm’s reach, with a frosted glass screen dividing the modern bathroom from the rest of the space. So, don’t share it with someone you’re not on intimate terms with.
The New York loft aesthetic and ex-industrial Shoreditch go together incredibly well, as realized in this cool and sleek boutique offering, found moments from excellent bars such as The Book Club and Queen of Hoxton. There’s a whole village under the roof too, with a bakery, deli, grocery store, mandatory rooftop restaurant – serving elevated (pun intended) British food – and the addition of a bar and brasserie. The 17 rooms are individually decorated, by Terence and Vicki Conran no less, so no detail design has been overlooked.
You know you’re off to a good start when the building itself is an optical illusion. Sitting a few minutes away from Old Street tube station, this triangular-shaped (or is it?) luxury hotel is an ode to the creative spirit that kick-started the rebirth of Shoreditch in the late 1980s. Beyond the tasteful and angular aesthetic, the luxurious touches are palpable, with a highly recommended Jet Lag spa treatment (don’t worry if you haven’t been on a plane), a photo lab where guests can print their snaps, using the studio’s smartphone printers, and a truly excellent restaurant.
If you want an extra level of quirk and playfulness sprinkled over your already leftfield Shoreditch experience, go and see Mama. Designed in collaboration with French interior designers Maxime Dion & Florence Arles, a tasteful maximalism engulfs the communal areas, while the bedrooms have an equally playful yet more laid-back approach to their interior design. If you want to add an extra… er… dimension to your stay, â€‹â€‹you can purchase a ‘Mama Sexy Box’, and most rooms have a mirror that looks onto the bed. Worked up an appetite? Mama Restaurant serves up tasty French cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere – though not quite as relaxed as the availability of a ‘Sexy Box’ would suggest – and there’s an excellent garden cocktail bar too.
Behind an innocent door on a side street, opposite the shipping container pop-up mecca BOXPARK, lies the Shoreditch iteration of the (in)famous members club Soho House. You don’t need to be a full member to stay, but you do need to join up to Soho Friends, which gives you access to Soho House bedrooms, Studios and events. A separate lift from the main club brings you to the bijou New England-style accommodation, but the sense of luxury, design and little touches elevate the experience – with great urban views, freshly baked cookies, turn-down service and high-end toiletries . With this and access to the club – with its rooftop pool, game room, events, late-night bar and two restaurants – during your stay, it makes for a truly fantastic Shoreditch base camp.
Prices: Doubles from £170, excluding membership
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