Once a home to local government, the Edwardian art deco masterpiece of Bethnal Green Town Hall was launched as the luxury, super-design Town Hall Hotel in 2011. Forget council bureaucracy, these days the plush stone building is all beauty and design chops, appealing to the kind of hip East London clientele who dig rooms draped with mid-century furniture, deliciously moody drinking spots and tasting menus in their hotels.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While the drinking and dining scene are unashamedly trendy, the Town Hall Hotel is a welcoming place where guests who don’t fit the East London hipster trope, won’t feel uncomfortable.
Larger than the average London hotel room, the rooms at the Town Hall Hotel are individually designed, combining a mix of contemporary and mid-century inspiration. Large floor to ceiling windows flood the rooms with natural light, bouncing off white walls and light wooden floorboards to create a bright, fresh environment.
Can’t bear to leave your puppy at home? The hotel is dog-friendly—all you need do is keep your canine on a lead in public areas. Also, the studios and one or two bedroom apartments are great for friends or families with young children.
We all like a little creative design, but some might feel that some of the bathrooms here get a little too creative thanks to glass walls that leave little to the imagination. Otherwise, the smart, sleek rooms come with walk-in showers, combination shower/tubs and freestanding tubs depending on the room.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some bathrooms are open plan with glass walls in full view of the bed.
Polished marble floors, dark marble columns, an amazing art deco ceiling and a collection of elegant furniture have the lobby feeling like something from the set of Mad Men. The central staircase completes the ridiculously good-looking space, which, while hardly buzzing, hums with class.
Overlooked by the fitness center, the bright white theme of the pool area is only interrupted by the turquoise burst of the pool itself. At fifteen-meters long, it’s perfect for lengths.
The hotel has a full fitness center with a good collection of cardio equipment.
Choose between the modern European cuisine of the Typing Room, complete with its own five-course tasting menu, or keep it casual with great British seasonal dishes at the Corner Room, a restaurant with a thing for vintage industrial lights.
A winning combination of Subway tiles, pretty Edison bulbs, and parquet floors makes Peg and Parrot the type of hotel bar that attracts droves of non-guests from the neighborhood. And then there are the drinks. An inspired list of original cocktails will keep guests coming back night after night to work through the menu.
Fairly isolated by London hotel standards, the Bethnal Green location means traveling to the major sights of the West End is a twenty-minute Tube journey from Bethnal Green Station on the Central Line. Alternatively, you could view its location as a great spot from which to explore the local neighborhoods, where flower markets, food markets, and hip bars, galleries, and stores are all close by. Cabs are everywhere or buses are a convenient way to make short trips.
In an area blessed with independent, creatively minded restaurants, there’s a lot to choose from. The small, quirky Little Georgia (12-minute walk) serves, you guessed it, traditional Georgian cuisine, while wine bar-cum-restaurant Brawn (15-minute walk) on Columbia Road, serves a menu that’s even better looking than the clientele.
Mother Kelly’s (4-minute walk) runs a huge array of craft beers on tap in an industrial indoor/outdoor space tucked into one of Bethnal Green’s railway arches. If you tire of the hotel’s cocktails (you won’t) head to Satan’s Whiskers (2-minute walk) for a more rustic bar experience with equally good drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A stylish alternative to the luxury hotels and boutique stays of Central London, the Town Hall Hotel is the perfect base for exploring East London’s local neighborhoods. Rooms are gorgeous, the drinking and dining options are adventurous and the pool is an added bonus that some similarly priced London hotels lack. There’s also the amazing architecture of the Edwardian building to appreciate every time you leave or arrive, which is the icing on the cake of a hotel with huge appeal. Edgy yet accessible, it may well be trendy but staff are warm and engaging throughout.