As one of the capital’s leading centres for art, dance, film, theatre and music, London’s iconic Barbican Centre draws audiences from all over the world – as well as architecture buffs who come to admire the striking Brutalist architecture. It’s located on the cusp of the East End, in the creative neighbourhood of Clerkenwell, which is home to many leading design agencies. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the best hotels near the Barbican Centre.
Close to Old Street Station, or a 15-minute walk from the Barbican Centre, M by Montcalm is a haven amid the chaos of London. The modern bedrooms boast comfortable furnishings and plenty of high-tech features like climate control, mood lighting and complimentary smartphones that international guests can use to make calls. There’s also an indoor pool and a spa that offers facials and massages, so you can soothe yourself after a day of exploring.
Also a 15-minute walk from the Barbican Centre, The Curtain epitomises the grunge, elegance and artistic flair of London, blending its rugged location – inside a converted warehouse – with luxurious furnishings. It’s also a private members’ club, so you’ll probably see much of East London’s design and art crowd enjoying the rooftop pool or hanging out amongst the foliage in the Green Room bar.
Don’t mistake South Place Hotel’s sleek minimalism for simplicity. Bedrooms may be understated, but there’s plenty of flair at this East London hotel, including a spa and Michelin-star restaurant Angler. There are also three bars and lounges, but the show-stopper is definitely the Secret Garden Bar – an Eden of overhanging foliage, glowing lights and botanical cocktails. It’s got ‘date night’ written all over it.
Just 10 minutes from the Barbican Centre, this eccentric, flamboyant and undeniably luxurious hotel has been pulling in fans of the finer things in life for years. Expect to find elegant Georgian decor, cavernous freestanding tubs and a well-stocked honesty bar down in the beautiful conservatory.
The Apex London Wall Hotel may be corporate but still manages to feel boutique, thanks to its richly decorated rooms, friendly staff and hearty all-day menu. If you plump for one of the top-floor rooms, you’ll be rewarded with a rooftop view and a balcony from which to enjoy it. Close to the Financial District, it’s also perfect for those in town on business, and a nifty 10-minute walk from the Barbican Centre through the City.
Aside from being a 10-minute walk from the Barbican Centre, the Malmaison is also within touching distance of the historic and endlessly fascinating Smithfield Market. Its style is eclectic, vibrant and youthful – just like the clientele – with a spirited mix of warm colours and textures, from velvet-clad headboards and marble tabletops to retro armchairs. The Chez Mal Brasserie is a local favourite and offers up a relaxed à la carte menu and moreish cocktails.
The Zetter is a reflection of the talent that resides in Clerkenwell, which is said to be home to more creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Overlooking St John’s Square, the boutique hotel was fashioned from an old Victorian warehouse. Bedrooms bring together the warmth of country style and the edge of modern design to create supremely comfortable spaces to hang out in. Fill up at the restaurant – a casual brasserie that serves contemporary takes on classic British cuisine.
A classic pub-with-rooms, the One Tun is a stone’s throw from Farringdon station. The cosy bedrooms have a literary theme, since the pub is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The design makes the most of the building’s heritage, boasting elegant dressing tables, comfortable double beds, gilt-framed paintings and old fireplaces. Down in the pub, you can throw back a pint of local ale before tucking into delicious pan-Asian dishes, and a brisk walk will have you at the Barbican Centre in 15 minutes.