HOTEL: The former East London Hotel was rebranded as a YOTEL and opened in April 2022, the group’s fifth city centre hotel in the UK. Despite its name this 161-room hotel is in Tower Hamlets – Bethnal Green tube station is a two-minute walk away. This was self-service. THE CHECK-IN: At a station called ‘Mission Control’ I keyed in my name and booking reference and my Smart key card was cut – except it wasn’t. It didn’t work for me but an assistant was on hand to check me in and point me in the direction of my room. Guests can also use their mobile devices as Smart Keys.
THE ROOM: Although compact by design, the bed occupied all the space between the end of the bathroom wall and the window. It felt a touch claustrophobic and the oversized TV at the end of the bed was too close to make viewing comfortable. However, the room made smart use of space and was super comfortable. The white walls gave it a nice clean feel and the mood lighting made it feel cosy. There was a body-length mirror, a small coat hanger hook and a Nespresso machine. The bathroom was disproportionately large, with a rainfall shower. I liked the bathroom mirror that lit up when you approached it or squeezed hand wash from the Urban Jungle toiletries.
THE BUSINESS: Komyuniti, the lobby area cum restaurant and bar, is set up for those needing to spend some time on their laptops. WiFi throughout the hotel was super-fast.
THE FACILITIES: There’s a small bar that doubles as a breakfast counter serving yoghurt, apples, bananas, croissant and a bacon and egg or veggie burrito (£10pp). Komyuniti’s menu features a range of pizzas, curries and bar bites, plus local craft beers and spirits. The hotel doesn’t accept cash. There are plenty of pubs, restaurants and fast-food outlets nearby. The hotel doesn’t have a car park of its own, though parking facilities are available nearby at 27 Brubeck Street, E2 OEL.
THE VERDICT: Minimalistic by design, this stylish hotel is comfortable and great value. It is not often you would describe a hotel as ‘fun’ but it deserves this tag with its Smart technology and neat quirky touches.
THE DETAILS: YOTEL London Shoreditch, 309-317 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9LH London. yotel.com. Premier Queen rooms start from £140.