This 278-room hotel was the first to open in the City of London from the fast-growing Hampton by Hilton brand. It’s in Osborn Street in an up-and-coming neighbourhood between the City and Shoreditch, where other international hotel brands have been popping up in recent years. It’s conveniently within a five-minute walk of five London Underground stations, including Aldgate East and Whitechapel, while Liverpool Street station is 10 minutes’ walk away and links to the Elizabeth Line (good for Heathrow) and the overground train network. Previously the Arbor City Hotel, the red brick property has been given a major makeover to fit the Hampton by Hilton brand standards. Another property, the 107-room Hampton by Hilton London Old Street, was due to open at the end of January 2024.
The reception desk is part of a colourful, open-plan lobby, bar, lounge and workspace which was nicely buzzing with people coming and going. Curved upholstered benches with scatter cushions were dotted between tables and workstations with high and low seating. Nice touches included a sign behind the desk saying ‘Sometimes the best souvenir is a smile’. I was greeted with one of those smiles, given a brief rundown of the breakfast times etc. and handed my room key.
The rooms are well designed, making the most of the space. Mine was a Queen with a sofa bed, which I didn’t need, so it stayed a handy corner sofa. The safe, in a draw, was easy to operate and big enough for my laptop and the free WiFi worked well. The room also came with an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, mini-fridge and a kettle with teas and coffees. I noted there wasn’t a coffee maker, but as a non-coffee drinker that didn’t bother me. A flat panel HDTV had freeview channels and on each side of the bed there were reading lamps and power sockets, as well as two USB-A ports. The shower room had a good-sized shower, fluffy towels and full-sized pump toiletries.
The Hampton bed was extremely comfortable and came with two types of pillows. Décor is modern and neutral with wood-effect floors, rugs and quirky art work, including a framed Johnny Nash vinyl and a cartoon of a monkey riding a bike. From the window my city skyline views included the famous gherkin.
All stays include a self-serve hot breakfast in the open-plan lobby/lounge area. If you don’t want sausage, eggs and bacon there’s also a decent selection of cold meats and cheeses, cereals, pastries and the brand’s signature make-your-own waffle station. There are even giant dispensers with smarties and mini marshmallows! If you’re short on time the hotel provides ‘On the Run’ breakfast bags.
In the basement there’s a small but well-equipped fitness centre with treadmills, elliptical fitness training, recumbent cycles and a state-of-the-art Peloton Bike, to work off the breakfast waffles! There’s no restaurant but snacks – Pringles, Nobby’s nuts and cereal bars – and soft drinks can be bought from reception. There are plenty of restaurants close by, including some of London’s best curry houses in nearby Brick Lane.
With rates starting at under £200 a night, this hotel is great value and is another reason to consider staying in this well-connected, vibrant part of London. Rooms come with everything a business traveller needs and with so much on the doorstep, I didn’t miss having an on-site restaurant. It’s close enough to the action but tucked down a side street, which has its benefits – mainly less noise – but meant that after dark, being a lone traveller, I opted for a taxi back to the hotel rather than walk from the tube station.
Rooms from £175 per night, including breakfast, and Hilton Honors members get 17% off the Best Available Rate. hilton.com
by Bev Fearis