Andaz Hotel: inspired by east London
- Credit: Archant
Andaz manages to retain an independent feel and avoids falling into the uniform aesthetic that many chains have
The Andaz Hotel is by no definition small, but somehow I’ve managed to walk right past it many times without really paying much attention. Looking out of the bedroom window onto Liverpool Street, however, it’s immediately obvious just how much ground is covered by this Victorian redbrick behemoth. Designed by the architects of the Houses of Parliament, it opened in 1884 as the Great Eastern Hotel.
As one part of global hospitality giant Hyatt puzzle, Andaz manages to retain an independent feel and avoids falling into the uniform aesthetic that many chains have.
The Andaz is east London’s first five star hotel and they show their pride: in the artwork and features such as the east London inspired afternoon tea.
Hackney photographer Martin Usborne has contributed portraits from his wonderful book ‘I’ve Lived in East London for 85 ½ years’, which follows his friendship with the late Joseph Markovitch, “the original face of Hoxton Square”.
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One of these portraits, as well as the book, is in my newly redesigned room (Conran and Partners) alongside Sophie Mo’s tattoo-esque illustrations.
The décor is modern and neutral, which is perfect to let these artworks stand out. There are little attentions to detail in the interior design that make it extra smart: one such thing is the continuation of the wall colouring into the curtains, or the artistic intricacies in the monochrome bathroom – small elements perhaps but one that contributes to the unique character.
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Down in the foyer, there is a cocktail tasting every Wednesday as well as delicious and seemingly never-ending canapés. All the ones you want – mini burgers, tiny open sandwiches – and could be enough to fill you up if you hung around long enough! But the hotel has seven restaurants and bars, so you’d be missing out if you stayed here the whole time.
Miyako Eastway Brasserie, Catch Bar & Lounge and the George Pub, there are loads of places to pick from for dinner; if you’re really making the most of the east London experience, there are numerous places nearby in Spitalfields or Shoreditch to try.
Dragging ourselves away from the room, where we could easily have curled up in duvets until morning, we went for the nearest one and indulged in some sweet-savoury alliance at Duck and Waffle atop the Heron Tower.
Post dinner, stuffed and definitely ready to crash, we retire to the giant, spongy bed – perfect for people like me who need their sleeping space! It’s surprising how little sound from the constantly busy street below permeates, something that I thought might be a problem with sleeping in such a centrally located hotel, and I am out like a light until my alarm awakens me for breakfast.
Down in the 1901 restaurant, a buffet feast is laid out, with everything – I mean everything – to choose from: all the trimmings for a full English, pastries, yoghurt, fruits, salads, oats. So naturally, we cram as much as possible onto the plates to get our brains ready for a day at work.
I imagine that as a tourist hoping to stay in the heart of things, The Andaz would be a good place for a luxury traveller to hang their hat for a while. For me, it’s a nice break from the routine, with an energetic spark and beautiful aesthetic.
The Andaz Hotel rooms start at £169 per night.