THE HOTEL: Occupying the space of the former Ace hotel, this independently owned (by the Lore Group, which also operates Sea Containers on London’s Southbank) reopened in March 2022. A property with the coolest of names and addresses, it has 258 exquisitely designed and furnished bedrooms and suites.
You get a sense of the quirky but classy vibe inside as you approach along Shoreditch High Street and notice the shiny black steps, striking oriel windows on the building’s facade, and random carved totem poles that guard the entrance like custodians.
THE CHECK-IN: I was welcomed with a smile and was addressed by my name. I had arrived early and my room wasn’t quite ready but my luggage was quickly stored and I was shown to the lobby area, which was alive to the chirping of multiple laptops being tapped. The lobby doubles as a meeting area featuring various tables and armchairs and a long wooden work table which had been colonised by students and their teacher, but I found a cosy and relatively quiet spot in a lounge chair next to the coffee shop.
THE ROOM: My studio room (228) was super-comfortable, with a king-size bed, two adjustable bedside lights, work station and a wall-to-wall white-upholstered couch, small dining table, a striking blue-and-black tapestry and bespoke art work by Jacu Strauss – a designer and architect who also oversaw the revamp of the Pulitzer Amsterdam and Riggs Washington – black-out blinds, a min-fridge, pull-out tea and coffee station and DS and Dura bathroom amenities. With its unfussy decor and white and beige palette – a contrast to the vivid colours in the rest of the hotel – it elicited a feeling of calm and relaxation.
THE BUSINESS: The lobby area (there are more wooden totems), with its work tables, comfy chairs and USB ports is set up for meetings and laptop work, although the constant beat of house music isn’t conducive to complicated conversations or even telephone calls. There are also five meetings rooms, of various sizes, and a large event space, The One Hundred room, which features floor-to-ceiling glass and stunningly distracting views of the London city skyline.
THE FACILITIES: The property features three bars and six restaurants, including Goddard & Gibbs, an all-day seafood restaurant and wine bar. In its centre is an incongruous giant yellow rock sculpture. The menu highlights its ethical sourcing and local suppliers. The staff – a mix of Europeans – was attentive and informative while the kitchen served up one of the best fish pies I have ever had.
Seed Library is a basement cocktail bar whilst at the opposite end of the building, on the seventh floor, there’s one of the most impressive rooftop bars and terraces in London. It has taken its inspiration from California’s desert cities, with its powdery-pink colours, greenery and pebble-based cacti and can be booked for private meetings or events.
A lobby coffee shop-cum serves up a variety of creative treats such as kimchi, mushroom and peanuts sandwiches. A nice touch is the water dispensers – of both still and sparkling water – that are opposite the lifts on each floor. There is also a workout area featuring five Peloton bikes.
THE VERDICT: This is a classy hotel that is as warm and cosy as it is contemporary and sleek. Since its reopening it has quickly become a Shoreditch stand-out venue for both guests and non-residents. The staff – from the doorman to the concierge to the wine waiter – were superb: welcoming and helpful. The rooftop space is also something special. The one negative for me was the constant hum of the buzzy lobby, from both a never-ending stream of walk-in traffic and the omnipresent too-loud piped house and club music. This seemed at odds with an area set up as both a chill zone and working space.
THE DETAILS: 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ, onehundredshoreditch.com. Nightly rates for a Studio room start from around £300.
By Steve Hartridge