The Emirates Stadium may be world-famous as the home of Arsenal Football Club, but it’s buried away in the North London suburbs. For easy access to the stands – or just to follow the goals through the roars of the crowd – stay nearby in Islington, Camden or Kings Cross with these hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.
Hidden on an Islington backstreet, the Cuckoo is close enough to walk to the Emirates, but just far enough to mean you’ll still get a good night’s sleep after a big win. Boutique rooms with comfy beds, silvery colour schemes, spangly ceiling lights and original Victorian details – including cast-iron fireplaces – are set upstairs from a friendly pub with a great, traditional menu.
The location is the big draw of this appealing Citadines property, just seconds from Angel Tube. It’s set a mile (1.6km) from the Emirates in a handsome red-brick building within the posh Islington Square arcade, with loads of great dining on the doorstep. Behind the Victorian facade, the apartment-style rooms are modern, bright and a little bit Scandinavian, with designer rugs, small kitchens and big windows letting in lots of light.
Within easy distance of King’s Cross and St Pancras International, but edging into genteel Bloomsbury, the Gyle is a stylish update of a Georgian townhouse, with a Charles Rennie Mackintosh feel. Corridors with moss-patterned ceilings lead to fun-filled rooms with Scottie dog cushions, tartan blankets, and mixed metallic colours. The sleek king room has a sunken tub set into the floor. It’s a cut above the average Kings Cross hotel, and minutes from the Emirates via the Underground.
Facing the red-brick towers of St Pancras, the Standard rises above the average for Kings Cross hotels. It’s set inside the old Camden Town Hall Annexe, an imposing piece of Brutalist architecture from 1974, while the interiors put a modern spin on colour schemes borrowed from British Rail and the Underground. Wood-trim and round-cornered windows only add to the sense of being on a sleeper train. For a splurge, the suites come with indoor-outdoor bathrooms and terraces.
Walking into nhow London feels like walking into Google’s headquarters – graffiti fills the walls and a Big Ben-shaped rocket ship blasts off from the lobby floor. There’s more riffing on London themes in the rooms, adorned with vintage phones and bulldog-shaped lamps with street-map shades. It’s as hip as you’d expect from the edge-of-Shoreditch location, but something of a hike from the Emirates, so it’ll be a black cab or Uber to the stadium.
Set inside a graffiti-muralled building right by King’s Cross station, the Megaro feels like a three-dimensional piece of street art transformed into a hotel. Weird and wacky lighting, flight cases turned into furniture and Judge Dredd and Barbarella cushions create a mood that’s somewhere between Banksy and 21st-century Japan. The rooms all feel very different, so browse the lot before you decide. To reach the Emirates, just cross the road and step onto the Tube.
There are hotels with history, and hotels that are pieces of history. The Renaissance is set on the hallowed premises of the former Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, a George Gilbert Scott masterpiece from 1873. The subtle, celadon-coloured bedrooms have an Edwardian elegance that might come as a surprise after the lavish detail of the lobby, with its theatrical bar spaces and sweeping imperial staircase. Arsenal tube is just a few stops away on the Piccadilly line.
There’s fun to be had right outside the front door in Camden, but the Enterprise is an easy cab, Uber or Tube ride from the Emirates. Set in an 1870s pub with artisan beers on tap, it’s a hip hangout, and the steely-grey rooms upstairs have lavish bathrooms and outsize mirrors, in case you need to check the hang of your footie scarf. The best rooms are at the top, under skylight windows.