by Francesca Young, LondonTown.com
Not content with being one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Shoreditch is about to up the ante with six new boutique hotels opening in the east London district in the next two years.
Recently opened on 12th September, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is one of the most exciting new London hotels to launch in London in 2013 (particularly with the opening of the Shangri La likely to slip into next year).
This new contender for the crown of ‘London’s hippest hotel’ has cropped up in an unlikely location – taking over what used to be an uninspiring ten-year-old Crowne Plaza Hotel (think dull grey office block), located between Hackney and the City. But with the help of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s Universal Design Studio (the design practice of the duo who designed the Olympic torch) and a £3 million budget it has been turned into a building worthy of the first Ace Hotel outside America.
The hotel chain co-founded by Alex Calderwood is well known Stateside for its support of local designers with hotels in Seattle, Portland and New York already established as bastions for the hip to hang out. In London, the 173-room Ace Hotel lives up to the hype with works by local artists, wood panelled walls, free WiFi, and a 24-hour fitness centre complete with ESPA spa and indoor swimming pool. There’s even a private screening room and nightclub, a dance club, the Punch Room lounge, and the Berners Tavern restaurant overseen by Jason Atherton which you can access through the hotel’s own florist shop.
But that’s not all. Also opening in Shoreditch in 2013 is the new-build 200-room City Tower By Montcalm. Set within a brand new 23-storey tower dubbed ‘The Doodle’ – thanks to the scrawls of bold colour decorating its 15 lower floors – the brand new hotel located just off Old Street roundabout will be part a striking new landmark in Shoreditch. It’s one of two new Montcalm hotels opening in 2013. Sister hotel The Royal London House By Montcalm is quite a different prospect. It converts a listed building, the Royal London House, on the north side of Finsbury Square into a new luxury 256-room five star hotel.
Roll on 2014 and three high profile luxury hotels are due to open in Shoreditch. You only have to look at Ron Arad’s plans for the Nobu hotel to see how extraordinary that’s going to be. The fledging hotel brand from sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa has already opened its first branch at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas so those interiors also gives some pointers on room design.
At the north-west tip of the South Shoreditch Conservation Area, on Great Eastern Street, the Art’otel hotel promises to be a striking 18-storey, 350-bedroom addition to the area. The cylindrical shape of the bronze-coloured building (which has four floors below ground) may have prompted comparisons to a waste paper basket. But the design, by Squire and Partners, has been drawn up with art and with the environment in mind. The design includes a modern top-floor restaurant and bar, a spa open to guests and to the public, and a publicly accessible arts centre with an art gallery, space for video artists and photographic studios.
Just two minutes’ walk from the Art’otel, will be The Great Eastern Street Hotel. Planning permission for the 125-bed hotel at 61-67 Great Eastern Street was granted in May 2012. Manchester and London-based 5plus Architects plan to create a £30 million hotel-led scheme on the 0.25 acre island plot, a site which includes the Grade II listed Griffin Pub. Now somewhat rundown and structurally at risk, the pub will be renovated and its upper levels converted to residential use. The hotel architects are considering hi-tech ‘Silicon’ business services facilities such as “presentation suites and screening rooms as well as a destination spa and leisure facilities more commonly associated with international four and five star hotels”.
Due to open in mid-2015, the 185-bed citizenM Shoreditch hotel will be at the heart of the Shoreditch Village, a significant 150,000 square foot mixed-use development which will transform the site opposite Shoreditch High Street Station. The hotel, which will be built above the Overground viaduct that runs north from Shoreditch High Street station, will feature a textured glass façade and a ‘floating’ glass front-of-house at first floor which projects past a two-storey steel plinth, a nod to the demolished Kingsland Viaduct.
Plans for Shoreditch Village put forward by the award-winning Shoreditch-based architectural practice EllisMiller include reinstating a historic courtyard for open air markets and new pedestrian routes linking the site to its surrounding area as well as new shops, cafes, offices and residential spaces. When the proposed development comes to fruition by mid-2015 the whole area in the heart of Shoreditch will be unrecognisable.
– Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ (173 rooms; 11th September 2013)
– The City Tower By Montcalm, 151 City Road, Hoxton, London EC1V 1JH (200 rooms; end of 2013)
– Nobu hotel, 10-50 Willow Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4BH (2014)
– Art’otel Hoxton, Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3JL (2014)
– The Great Eastern Street Hotel, 61-67 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HS (2014?)
– citizenM Shoreditch, Shoreditch Village, London EC (185 rooms, mid-2015)
Hip Shoreditch hotels already open:
– The Boundary, 2-4 Boundary Street, London E2 7DD
– Shoreditch Rooms, Shoreditch House, 1 Ebor Street, London E1 6AW
– The Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HU