The leafy borough of Islington can at times feel like a village within the city, located on the border of Zone 1 and technically just up the road from St Pauls. Quintessentially London, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the UK capital.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Upper Street, Islington’s high street, The Alma Rooms offer serviced apartments in the heart of the Islington neighbourhood. These open-plan studios include modern kitchens kitted out with dishwashers, a hob and combi-oven, as well as comfortable beds and Wi-Fi. If you’re in London for a lengthy stay or just want somewhere that gives you the option to cook, the Alma Rooms have everything you need in a prime location. Decor is modern and simple and downstairs you’ll find an equally contemporary and buzzing pub complete with a long list of craft beers to enjoy. Feeling peckish? Head across the road to the local food market.
If you’re looking for something a little more boutique, you can’t go far wrong at The Cuckoo N1. This gastropub has four guest rooms that are anything but humdrum. Silvery curtains and bedding play up the abundance of natural light in these high-ceilinged bedrooms, with touches like a gilt mirror here, or an original marble fire place there. Downstairs in the bar, the vibe is equally charming and there’s a great selection of craft beers on offer fresh from the hotel’s brewery down in Kent.
Pop art takes centre stage at this newly opened hotel on the border of Islington and Shoreditch. Vivid colours abound in the industrial-style lobby, with graffitied concrete pillars, chandelier motifs and luminescent neon lighting. The bright and lively theme doesn’t stop there either – Big Ben appears to take lift-off in the hotel bar, the Queen finds herself graffitied in contrasting colours all over bedroom walls, while Union Jack rugs take pride of place in several rooms. A full-sized gym and flexitarian-focused restaurant make this newcomer a serious contender on the London hotel scene.
M by Montcalm is a slightly more millennial iteration of the luxury Montcalm hotel chain, yet effortlessly retains the level of detail the brand has become so well known for. Designed for the digital era, the rooms are sleek and high-tech with plush furnishings and full-sized workspaces where any digital nomad can comfortably set up for a few hours’ work. The exterior of the building reflects the interior’s tech theme – with cutting-edge steel and glass panelling positioned at a seemingly slanted angle, it brings to mind a very modern monochrome game of Tetris.
These minimalist rooms offer all the facilities and amenities of a full-priced hotel room but at wallet-friendly prices. Located beside Old Street station, the hotel puts you within easy reach of London’s finest museums, restaurants, cafés and pubs. If you’re averse to travelling too far, however, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the surrounding area. Shoreditch Grind offers a lovely coffee-induced boost in the morning, while Turkish restaurant Oklava is the perfect spot for an evening meal – and be sure to dip into Nightjar on your way home for a subterranean nightcap.