NHow is the sharpest new hotel in town – literally. The building is built in a triangular wedge like the bow of a giant black boat breaking through the pavements of Shoreditch.
Where the outside may be minimalist and modern, inside is brimming with personality.
If hotels were people, nhow is your hipster mate who lives on the City fringe in a loft apartment with exposed concrete ceilings.
You know that guy; you want to be that guy. And you'll want to stay at this hotel.
Especially if you can afford the penthouse…
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With interiors masterminded by Project Orange, the hotel’s theme is ‘London reloaded’. Part of the 250 City Road development, it’s a fitting trope for a part of town that is being reloaded one new build at a time.
The design combines traditional British icons with unconventional contemporary elements. Take for example, the 12-foot Big Ben sculpture in the foyer – constructed from matte black plastic, it’s set on an angle with plumes of bright green smoke billowing beneath as if a rocket taking off into space.
The lobby is a fluid place – melting from entrance to WeWorks-style space to cocktail bar to pub, all the while feeling like a modern art gallery.
There’s an LED screen telling you ‘It’s a London thing’ – and it definitely feels like that.
There are 190 vibrant rooms over eight floors, with the penthouse taking over the pinnacle of the top floor. Walking down the halls of nhow London, you could easily think you’d strolled onto a film set. Every room has a proper Victorian townhouse front door complete with knocker, door light and even a doorbell. Each one is painted a different colour like the complementary scheme of a Notting Hill terrace.
Inside, you’ll find the kind of interior design flourishes that elevate this hotel from ‘business hotel’ to ‘we mean business’ hotel. Take the hanging lights – the brass fixtures have hobnailing details fit for a Bentley.
There’s plenty of nostalgic old-school vibes throughout: rotary-style telephones, retro Marshall bluetooth speakers, and our room even had shag pile carpet.
The penthouse is particularly plush: a dining room table for six; desk with view; living room area with a big old flatscreen TV; and a bed so large it must have its own postcode.
Food & Drink
The on-site restaurant and bar is called The Bell and Whistle. Breakfast is buffet style, and lunch and dinner are fairly restrained affairs – the menu and wine list are as minimalist as the exterior.
With so many restaurants to enjoy in nearby Old Street, it’s fighting an uphill battle – but is likely to appeal to the corporate crowd; Aviva had taken over the whole place for lunch when we visited.
There are three meeting rooms called ‘Laboratories’ – each offers modern tech but in a 1980s computer-game inspired atmosphere. Your board meeting has never looked so cool. Just remember to grow a moustache for it, yeah?
Rooms from £190. nhow-hotels.com