Contemporary lifestyle hotel in the heart of East London
Lifestyle hotel nhow London definitely has the wow factor. Walking into a large open plan lobby you are hit by a riot of colour, funky furnishings and contemporary artwork, with a bright and vibrant European street-style feel. A central bar gleams in a day-glow yellow, there’s a giant Big Ben rocket, free jelly bean dispensers, Rockstar chairs, neon signs, industrial lighting, a chain curtain and lots of comfy seating areas with soft furnishing in an array of different fabrics and colours, and a large work station area all with access to power points.
Currently, the restaurant is closed for refurbishment but there is plenty of table seating where meals are served. And for those of you who want to keep up your fitness regime, it also has a gym in the basement which is set up with a ‘London theme’.
Ideally situated, nhow London is just off the City Road, between Hoxton, Islington and Shoreditch. Perfectly placed for exploring East London’s hip bars, independent shops, galleries and nightlife. And if you fancy seeing the sights on a pedal bike the hotel provides access to groovy Brompton bicycles.
The hotel has 190 rooms, each uniquely designed with a punky high-tech style by architecture and interiors studio, Project Orange. There’s a choice of double rooms, twin rooms, superior rooms, superior access rooms, seven junior suites and the Penthouse Suite where I was staying. All with good free Wifi. Pets (dogs and cats) are allowed and limited parking available at an extra fee.
We were warmly greeted in the lobby and directed to the Penthouse Suite, number 814 on the eighth floor. The corridors are an experience in themselves, each door painted in a different colour, with doorknobs and brass fittings in the style of a traditional front door. The long corridors made me feel like I was Alice in Alice in Wonderland whereas my companion thought he was in the shining!
The suite is shaped to a point, as it is housed in the corner of the building. It has a good view looking out over North London. The large living room space has hessian wallpaper, a brightly coloured grass green shagpile carpet, a large green sofa, a sea blue rug and giant wicker basket chairs giving it an outdoorsy feel. The coffee table was set with an artsy book full of photos of up-and-coming hipster musicians, and a welcome plate of pretty homemade biscuits, cakes and a bottle of wine.
There’s a desk and a dining table which seats 8, which might be really useful if you’re on a work trip, a retro clock and old-style phones. There’s a mini-fridge, glass cut tumblers, a cocktail shaker, tea making facilities with a cute porcelain kettle, teapot and an espresso coffee machine, which I really appreciated as I love fresh coffee first thing in the morning, it makes all the difference.
The hessian walls continue through into the bedroom, which is furnished with a comfy double bed with a vibrant print headboard that continues the green theme and a large gold-rimmed TV set into the wall which makes it feel as if you are on a cruise ship. I loved the lighting setup, as it has clever sensors which light up at night if you get out of bed for a nocturnal bathroom visit.
We had King and Queen embroidered bathrobes, slippers, iron, hairdryer and lots of mini bath products including toothbrushes, loofahs and an emergency shaving kit. The beautifully clean bathroom opens directly onto the bedroom, a lovely large bath is set against a floral wall with a bling gold sink and a walk-in tiled rain shower and a separate loo, plus there’s is another loo in the hallway, for guests I presume.
Dinner was served in the lobby dining area. The cocktails from the bar were excellent; a perfectly made Manhattan with whisky, angostura bitters, sweet red vermouth and cherry and a classic Caipirinha made with cachaça, lime, sugar and crushed ice.
The menu was traditional pub-style with a modern twist, but the choice was a little limited, perhaps because of the restaurant currently being closed. There was fish and chips, pizza, a beef burger or a pasta dish with nachos, pumpkin kebab, rosemary doughnut and prawn bao buns for starters, snacks and sides included olives and cod croquettes and a couple of salads.
We kicked off with some crisp salted cod croquettes with Sriracha mayo, steaming hot, fresh from the fryer, and an amazing tower of tortilla nachos slathered with guacamole, jalapeño, pico de gallo, Montgomery cheddar & mustard fondue, sour cream and coriander cress.
Next a veritable Tower of Pisa of a beef burger made with dry-aged Angus beef, topped with smoked bacon, mature cheddar, salad and gherkin, perfect if you’re ravenous.
The Cornish crab tagliolini, was cooked al dente, bathed in a rich crab bisque with a mild chilli kick.
On the side, some indulgent triple cooked chips and a mixed leaf salad, brightened by a zingy lemon dressing. And finally, refreshing lime sorbet and delicious pistachio ice cream, which tasted homemade.
We chose to relax and enjoy our spacious Penthouse after dinner, but there is plenty to do in the area so it’s well worth exploring.
The next morning, we had breakfast brought to our room by friendly and attentive staff. A fabulous combination of cooked and continental (gluten-free options are available on request) which arrived on two trays piled high with fresh fruit salad, pastries, ham, cheese, toast and preserves, granola, fresh juices and coffee and poached eggs on a creamy bed of avocado and toasted muffin. It was quite a feast and we were rather pleased to put our huge table to good use whilst also taking in the view in the morning light. We had a leisurely morning as the check-out time is a very civilised 12 pm.
If you’re looking for a contemporary, fun lifestyle hotel in the heart of East London nhow is just the place.
nhow Hotels can also be found in Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Marseille.
Address: 2 Macclesfield Rd, London EC1V 8DG
Phone: 020 3907 8100
Looking for something similar on Bankside? we recommend Ruby Lucy