In a city teeming with overpriced hotels, Kip is an absolute gem. Halfway between a hostel (albeit a super classy one) and a hotel, it offers guests the option of cheap, flexible stays in the heart of Hackney, whether you want a quick crash pad for one night or a more permanent base — you could rent for a whole year, should you wish. The rooms are slick and stylish, with singles with shared bathrooms starting at just £30, while a sumptuous penthouse complete with own kitchen still won’t quite break the bank. Kip’s strength lies in its versatility, with rooms catering for everybody through from singles wanting a live/work space, families on holiday, or groups of friends who can rent out one of the dorms.
7-19 Amhurst Road, London, E8 1JW, United Kingdom, +44 20 8629 7884
Town Hall Hotel
Technically in Bethnal Green but still not far from the centre of Hackney, Town Hall Hotel is basically what it sounds like. Set in an imposing Edwardian town hall which has featured in such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, this luxury hotel complete with original art-deco features is a truly unique experience. As you would expect from a member of Design Hotels, this is far from a cookie-cutter hotel — the rooms are all individually designed and adorned with sheepskin rugs and one-off vintage pieces, while the public areas are filled with quirky furniture. Business guests are able to rent conference spaces from a choice of seven, one of which is the former council chamber — how’s that for a wow factor? While almost every room/apartment has its own cooking facilities, the building also houses two restaurants and a cocktail bar, alongside a gym and swimming pool. The only danger here is you won’t want to get out and explore.
Patriot Square, London E2 9NF, United Kingdom, +44 20 7871 0460
If Hackney is where you want to be then you couldn’t get much better than the Old Ship. Accesible down its own little brightly-hued passageway – the walls of which are subject to an ongoing art project – this little pub, kitchen and inn is situated smack bang in the centre of Hackney, right next door to the venerable Hackney Empire theatre, making it perfect for slipping away to after a long gig or, alternatively, for carrying on the night with its great selection of craft ales or cocktail deals. The Old Ship is an old-fashioned, cheap and cheerful little place, with everything you’ll need, and the perfect base from which to explore the rest of East London.
The Old Ship, 2 Sylvester Path, London, E8 1EN, United Kingdom, +44 20 8986 2732
This luxury, boutique hotel is family-run, and it shows — whether it’s in their commitment to the local community as shown in its local sourcing policy, the ethical and environmentally friendly stance, or their local youth work experience programme. The Kotecha family are originally from India — Avo means ‘welcome’ in Hindi — and have lived in Dalston for over 25 years, having previously run a post office and newsagents for 18 years on the site the Avo now sits. The rooms are filled with wood furnishings, elegantly mixing traditional and contemporary features, while the sparkling black-tiled, chrome-fitted bathrooms are described as ‘sexy’ — and we agree. All rooms are en-suite, while you also have the option of renting a penthouse suite or a stand alone apartment for longer periods. And just by the by, Benjamin Zephaniah is a big fan.
82 Dalston Lane, London E8 3AH, United Kingdom, +44 20 3490 5061
The Luxury Inn
The hotel for people who don’t want to feel like they’re in a hotel, The Luxury Inn is a unique space in the Hackney area, offering guests the freedom of a communal living space combined with the privacy of individual rooms in what can only be described as a home-from-home. This urban guesthouse is housed in a former factory that has been architecturally developed into a bright and airy, contemporary space using glass, wooden beams and limestone. The four individual rooms are crisp and modern, and are arranged around a shared, loft-style lounge, kitchen and dining area, as well as a patio garden. Guests can make use of smart TVs, a computer and printer, with a free-serve continental breakfast provided in the kitchen area each day.
156 Tottenham Road, London N1 4DY, United Kingdom, +44 20 7683 3056