WORDS Danielle Weakley PHOTOS Supplied (The Londoner); Courtesy of The Standard London; Simon Upton and Benoit Linero (The NoMad); Niall Clutton and supplied (The Mondrian)
In the second of our series on cool new international hotels, we take a look at hip establishments recently opened in London.
Remember the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square? Home of a thousand British premieres? The new Londoner is set on its original site, and has dubbed itself the world’s first super-boutique hotel. It spans 16 storeys, rising up to a rooftop bar and plunging down to six subterranean levels. The entire establishment gives more than a passing nod to its theatrical location in the heart of the West End, with undulating walls referencing the lines of theatre curtains, and illuminated mirrors in the bathrooms echoing those found backstage. The lighting is sublime, changing throughout the day to adjust the ambience in one of the greenest hotel in the UK. Stop for a classic gin and tonic at the speakeasy, Joshua’s Tavern, named after the 18th-century artist (and former local) Joshua Reynolds.
The Standard London
The Standard London takes all the fun of its original iconic American establishments and transfers it to King’s Cross. The building – once part of the Camden town council – is classic Brutalist, with the only pop of colour to break the facade being the scarlet bubble lift on the exterior of the building. Inside is anything but serious: expect ’70s decor with a healthy side order of playful kitsch. There’s a Mexican rooftop eatery, which is garnering rave reviews, with its signature dish of caviar-topped tortillas already a cult favourite; while the diner/cocktail bar (the rooms come with cocktail shakers too) is more casual. If you book one of the suites, situated loftily up top, you’ll get heavenly views across the city from the outdoor bathtubs.
READ MORE: New York’s New Design-Forward Hotels
The NoMad Hotel
Another European first for an American hotel group comes in the form of The NoMad, a ridiculously stylish bolthole situated in Covent Garden. It recently opened in the former 19th-century magistrates’ court – where Oscar Wilde stood trial – and has been designed by the same achingly hip crew who took on the interiors of New York’s Ace Hotel. According to the designers, the property has been imagined as the domain of a sophisticated art collector and, as such, is liberally hung with artworks, from evocative vintage images of Covent Garden to modern American art. The rooms have a cosy feel, with custom-blown lights, moulded fireplaces and old rotary phones. Pop in for a cocktail at one of the snug booths in The NoMad’s underground late-night lounge, aptly named Common Decency in a nod to its storied past.
Shoreditch’s newest addition to the hood is the Mondrian – and like the rest of Shoreditch, this place is cool, contemporary and loads of fun, right down to the lobby’s holographic selfie booth and the insanely beautiful copper bar at Christina’s. (It literally gleams!) The rooms are aesthetically quieter and more masculine, with black-framed factory windows, exposed brick walls and hardwood floors, and the marble bathrooms double up as steam rooms. The jewel in the crown, according to the foodies, is Spanish chef Dani GarcÍa’s tapas restaurant Bibo, which boasts a romantic hidden courtyard, piled high with greenery. The chef himself is world-renowned for his brioche buns – the oxtail brioche is apparently not to be missed.