Always thought I wouldn´t have an issue with modern hotels and a young crowd. But this time I am feeling old. Very old…
For some reason I had to choose the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. I really like this part of the City. Not far from Liverpool station, walking distance to the finance district where I usually have my meetings during the day. At night: pleasant change of environment. You don´t see many ties in this part of the town. Instead a mixed crowd really living in the area and not just working. Trendy bars, cafés, restaurants, food courts and in Redchurch Street shops that make women´s hearts beat faster… not mine though… This is one of many reasons, why young people like Shoreditch. Can only recommend anyone visiting London to spend a day in this barrio and walk around. Even if you are not here for a mediocre curry at Bricklane.
Ideally you stay for a night or two. But where ? The place I usually go to was booked out, the Hoxton undergoing a facelift, the Zetter too far away. So I discovered the Ace Hotel London, just around the corner from my favorite Peruvian restaurant. Did not know the place and booked it…
Ace Hotel London
If you stand in front of a big grey box at Shoreditch High Street 100, you are right. A couple of steps through some sort of urban jungle and you enter the probably hippest hotel in the area. They even have a doorman. Not an oldfshioned boring one with uniform. No, a smart young man with coat looking important.
In addition to the doorman, this place has absolutely everything you need. A restaurant called Hoi-Polloi, a cool bar, a café, fitness room, rooftop terrace. The lobby regularaly hosts DJs playing music that is definitely not mainstream for those who can listen and work on their MacBook at the same time. Cosy chairs in the corners, a huge desk in the middle of the lobby. All in all a reduced design, plenty of concrete, coloured pictures, a bicycle on the wall. The reception is covered by covers of old discs that can be bought in a shop next to the hotel.
It did not take me too long to get tired of watching men with beards and turned my attention to the noseringed Italian guy at the check-in desk. Minutes later – very professional and friendly treatment – I have my key to a room on the fifth floor.
The category Deluxe Double was booked. Not cheap, but what is in London ? As the hotel is quite big, it takes a while to get from the elevators to my room, passing floors in used concrete look that goes well with the grey carpets and some old newspapers on the walls.
The room is spacious (it better is for over GBP 200.-), modern bathroom in black and white, medium sized cupboard, iron, minibar. You´ll find a huge sofa just under the window with a view to the walls in the neigbourhood. On the one hand all fits – it is also very clean – but on the other is does not for me. It feels odd.
And it´s not the grey – a colour you really have to love if you stay here. It´s not the colourless walls and the sad sofa. But I feel somehow to have fallen out of time. Unfortunately not into the Victorian England but straight into the room I had as a child in the 80ies. Looks a bit like Ikea in its early years… The bed not much more than a mattress on the floor, plastic boxes for your belongings and the usual cookie and crisp selection.
If you are 20 something you might find this supercool. But with 40plus you have seen it. Perhaps I am a bit picky, but Youth Hostel charme for Grandhotel prices ? Even the Champange in the minibar does not help.
As indicated before, there is nothing you will miss at the ACE Hotel London. The Hoi Polloi offers breakfast a la carte until 11:55am, which is great. So you don´t have to get up for breakfast before you wake up. Full English breakfast shortly before lunch: no issue… I also liked the opportunity to have just a coffee or bagel in the cafeteria. Positive also the bar experience, friendly and skilled staff, good selection of drinks and – what else – craftbeer. At night independent sounds made by DJs and plenty of people from outside. Liked all that.
Really difficult to rate the place. The hotel is modern, you will have all you need, service not only professional but friendly. It is cool, it is clean, breakfast in order and still this will never become my place. I rate it with two out of three bonvivant stars nevertheless, which means: recommended. My problem if I don´t like the design of the room…
You´ll find more economic places though. Calculate with GBP 180.- upwards for the Ace Hotel London but there might be offers every now and then. If you are a business traveller not part of the lifestyle or media industry you will be used to different places for that price. It is definitely good for young couples, weekend travellers, party people, coulorblind, craftbeerlovers with beards, iphone addicts.
Address: Shoreditch High Street 100, London E1 6JQ, Tel: +41 20 7613 9800
- Location if you want to stay in Shoreditch or close to the City
- Design (somewhat different)
- Location, if you want to see entire London, Tube is 8 min walking distance
- Design (I am too old for youth hostels)