Despite launching on New Year’s Eve in 2008, Sir Terence Conran’s boutique hotel is a discreet affair. Boundary was the first hotel project by the eminent octogenarian British designer and his partner, Peter Prescott, but the inexperience doesn’t show. This is a very polished place that revolves—as you might expect from a furniture-obsessed restaurateur—around good food and seamless design. From the street, you’d barely know a hotel existed. The focus is on the busy, brasserie-style Albion restaurant, whose tables pour out onto the pavement, and the adjoining grocery store, bakery, and cake counter. But that’s not to say the rooms are an afterthought. Hidden away in the upper floors of a handsome Victorian warehouse on London’s Redchurch Street are 17 distinctly designed rooms that brim with custom-made furniture, handmade beds, and a splash of eye-catching art. All are flooded with light through large sash windows and take their cue from leading designers such as Eames, Le Corbusier, and Mies Van Der Rohe. For those who believe good design should blend effortlessly into its environment, this is the place to stay.
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Despite sitting in the middle of happening East London, there isn’t a hipster in sight around the Boundary. The hotel’s inconspicuous aesthetic isn’t aimed at style-conscious scenesters. But foodies are spoiled for choice. Directly opposite the hotel is Dishoom, a Bombay-style restaurant with great cocktails and a covered courtyard that gives the effect of being outside, even in the brisk British winter (reservations advised). Another top table on Redchurch Street is the taxidermy-stuffed Les Trois Garçons—ideal for special occasions. Cafes, curry houses, and courtyard clubs abound on Brick Lane.
Need to Know
Rooms: 17 rooms, including five suites. From $329. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11:30 a.m. Dining options: First-floor Albion is famed for its kedgeree—a British take on the classic Indian breakfast dish that oozes with cream and poached eggs. You can even pick up a free recipe card to take home. In the basement, the main Boundary restaurant serves French à la carte fare amid decadent Art Deco–inspired interiors. The year-round Rooftop Bar & Grill features century-old olive trees, a weatherproof pergola, and near-panoramic views of London’s iconic skyline. Spa and gym details: No built-in facilities, but a therapist is on hand to offer in-room treatments if requested.
Who's it for: Design buffs who don’t like to brag. Foodies who crave quality restaurants—both in-house and just outside the hotel. Our favorite rooms: The four Corner Rooms are light and spacious. We particularly like 26, which looks across to the adjacent Biscuit Building, home to advertising agencies such as Mother and the Shoreditch branch of Soho House. Special privilege: Hotel guests get priority restaurant bookings at the rooftop bar, which often sees hourlong lines around the block on warm summer days.