Business at the front, party at the back: that’s the ethos behind this hotel, which opened in London’s financial district in 2012. Weekdays, the clientele in the lobby bar and brasserie is all business, the conversation a gentle hum of meetings. But the hotel has a lively side. On weekends, a young, fashionable crowd from nearby Shoreditch and the ever-growing tech center Silicon Roundabout comes for the DJs that regularly include big names such as Ricardo Villalobos. Owners D&D London—the city’s leading hospitability group and brains behind such restaurants as Coq d’Argent—have made food the focus of their first hotel. Within one year of opening, the top-floor, fish-focused restaurant, Angler, already had a Michelin star. And then there’s the art. Sir Terrance Conran’s design firm created modern interiors accented with pop-art prints, full-wall installations, and playful sculptures, many created by British artists living and working in the area. The hotel also runs an annual Art Prize to showcase emerging talent, judged by head honchos from Tate Gallery and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Winners get to exhibit their work in a street-facing space near the lobby, making for a warm welcome.
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The hotel is perfectly placed for second-time visitors or those already familiar with London. On the booming eastern fringes of the city, it’s a short hop from multicultural Brick Lane—home to innumerable Indian curry houses, hipster bars, vintage shops, and a longstanding Sunday flea market. Also nearby is Spitalfields, a bustling red-brick building crammed with weekly markets and surrounded by fashionable restaurants such as St John’s Bread and Wine. British artists Tracey Emin and Gilbert & George all have studios in the cobbled streets around this historic building. Immediately to the south, you’ll find St Paul’s Cathedral, a 17th-century beauty designed by Sir Christopher Wren. To the north, seek out the Barbican, a Brutalist arts center with a comprehensive cultural calendar.
Need to Know
Rooms: 80 rooms, including two suites. From $280. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: In the lobby, the open-plan 3 South Place bar adjoins the brasserie, where dishes range from lobster rolls and Cobb salads to mini hamburgers. The signature Michelin-starred restaurant Angler is on the seventh floor, where you can go à la carte or order a well-priced seasonal set menu. All the fish dishes here are sourced from the British Isles, and fresh shellfish arrives daily. On the roof, an alfresco terrace overlooks the city’s jumbled rooftops. A laid-back lounge, Le Chiffre, comes with Technics turntables, vinyl records, board games, and books. Spa and gym details: Small but kitted out with touch-screen Technogym equipment, the wellness center has a single treatment suite, with Aromatherapy Associates products, plus a small sauna and steam room.
Who's it for: Young, aspirational business types who don’t take themselves too seriously. City workers with an eye for art and a taste for food, who know how to let their hair down on weekends. Our favorite rooms: Suite 610 is the showstopper, running the full length of the hotel, with far-reaching views of London’s skyline. Couples will also love the intimacy of Suite 604 and its freestanding in-room tub. Dining reservations: Restaurant reservations are not as hard to come by as some London spots, but the hotel's reservations manager can help if you run into difficulties. Make sure to check out weekend brunch, noon-4 p.m., which offers a choice of two or three courses, with unlimited Bloody Marys, prosecco, mimosas, and Bellinis.