Hackney has found itself at the centre of cool in London, with trendsetting neighbourhoods such as Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Dalston, London Fields and Hoxton, to name a few. If you’re looking for a place to stay in this borough, rub shoulders with some of East London’s trendiest residents at one of these hotels.
The Curtain is the hotel embodiment of East London’s vibe; the private members’ club has a taco restaurant, a live performance venue and a rooftop pool with views to die for. Rooms are as stylish as you’d expect, with dark wood floors, exposed-brick walls and pictures of musical icons. There’s enough in this hotel to keep you occupied for days on end, but once you do venture outside, you’ll find yourself right in the thick of Shoreditch’s trendiest bars, restaurants and shops.
This hotel is the talk of the town thanks to its buzzy Italian restaurant and impressive foundations; it took a team of architects three years to refurbish and reclad the two-storey building. The 37 rooms come in five categories, from tiny to large, and are inspired by the style of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, resulting in a cosy but Insta-friendly atmosphere. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that it’s part of the ever-cool Soho House brand and will no doubt be frequented by celebs and style elites in the coming months.
East Londoners sure are fond of a rooftop view, and this is one of the best. The Boundary Project’s top-level bar looks out onto the city but feels intimate enough that you can enjoy being in your own private part of the capital. The building itself is a former Victorian printing warehouse, but it now features 17 rooms, each representing a design movement (such as Young British Designers) or an iconic designer. The Albion Café on the ground level offers a ridiculously good breakfast. If you can manage two courses, try the salmon and eggs followed by a perfectly buttery pastry.
The boutique offshoot of hotel heavyweight Hilton, Hart Shoreditch manages to do what many chain boutique hotels fail to do – combine trendy decor with an edgy vibe that is perfectly suited to its locale. Sitting in the heart of Shoreditch, the hotel has all the mod-cons and comforts you would expect from a Hilton, just under a shinier, more youthful sheen. Expect a vibey lobby bar, a chic Levantine-inspired restaurant, Barboun, and a spacious, back-lit basement gym.
Perhaps one of London’s most well-established hotels, the Hoxton Shoreditch is East London’s outpost of the Hoxton brand – but it’s far from generic. It has all the hallmarks of Shoreditch style: low lighting, vintage radios, exposed brick and industrial details; plus, a handful of concept rooms are available on request. But don’t be fooled into thinking this hotel is all style and no substance, because there’s plenty of attention to detail here: the fridges in the rooms, for example, come with little bottles of fresh milk for a proper cup of tea (there’s none of that UHT nonsense). The Hoxton Grill – decked out with glossy red-leather booths – does a cracking steak, and the vast wine menu will satisfy thirsty guests.
Kitsch Mama Shelter has managed to revive ’70s decor with contemporary flair. This affordable hotel has gone to town with bold, busy prints, bright cushions and enviable tasselled lampshades. The sensory overload continues in the restaurant with an international menu that spans food as diverse as tonkatsu tuna, jerk-spiced black bean burgers and pie and mash. Cartoon fans will love the Looney Tunes masks slung around the rooms, and you shouldn’t miss the karaoke rooms where up to 15 of you can belt ballads into vintage-style mics.
A pinnacle of Edwardian architecture, this palatial building originally opened its doors in 1910 as Bethnal Green Town Hall. The building has retained many of its art deco features, such as the imposing green marble columns at reception and a sweeping central staircase. The rooms themselves beautifully combine Edwardian spaces with soaring ceilings and windows that run the full height of the room. Each is unique, some with parquet flooring and mid-century furniture, others with luxuriously contemporary glass-walled bathrooms, another with a green-tiled fireplace. During your stay, make sure to book a table at in-house restaurant Da Terra, which earned a Michelin star for its refined Latin American- and Italian-inspired degustation menus.