East London – home of history, heritage and hipsters. And Hackney, like Shoreditch and Dalston, has become one of the area’s most popular neighbourhoods. Stay here for a vibrant culinary scene and plenty of independent retail. Here are the best hotels in Hackney.
Hackney has found itself at the centre of cool in London, transforming from gritty East End borough into a collection of trendsetting neighbourhoods encompassing Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Dalston, London Fields and Hoxton, to name just a few. If you’re looking for hip galleries, farm-to-table restaurants or single-origin coffee shops, you’ll find them in Hackney. Rub shoulders with some of London’s trendiest residents at these seven 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 to decorate. 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 brand-new hotel is already 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 through ’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 elitists 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.
Peppered with original artwork, Revo radios and carefully curated vinyl and books, a stay at the Ace feels like a sneak peek inside a rock star’s house. The hotel is much grittier than its counterparts, with the design team behind this iteration of the chain having worked hard to reflect the effortless cool of the neighbourhood. Build up an appetite on the gym’s very own climbing wall before heading downstairs for French toast and Moroccan eggs at the Hoi Polloi brasserie. It’s well worth taking a trip up to the rooftop bar – you’ll be rewarded with a sprawling terrace and uninterrupted views of the East End.
Perhaps one of London’s most well-established hotels, East London’s outpost of the Hoxton brand is 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 come with little bottles of fresh milk for a proper cup of tea (there’s none of that UHT nonsense) and check-in and check-out are flexible. The Hoxton Grill – decked out with glossy red-leather booths – does a cracking steak, and the vast wine menu is enough to get most guests’ mouths watering.
Kitsch Mama Shelter has managed to revive ’70s decor with contemporary flair. A decade usually overlooked in favour of mid-century minimalism, 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 in 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. Make sure to book a table at in-house restaurant Da Terra during your stay, which earned a Michelin star for its refined Latin American- and Italian-inspired degustation menus.