History and luxury nicely overlapped in this East London artists’ hotel.
Few London hotels keep the original style of their old buildings, but Bethnal Green’s Town Hall has retained the character and grandeur of its Edwardian origins. So much so, that it is often used as a film location and has been mentioned in Monica Ali’s "Brick Lane" and Salman Rushdie’s "Satanic Verses." Enter the grand old lobby to 1920s music playing quietly and footsteps echoing around huge marble pillars. An even combination of corporate guests and creative types fill the 98 bedrooms and apartments, which are noiseless, bright and fitted with wooden or marble floors. All rooms have stout double beds, glass-walled bathrooms and extended living room areas with one-off vintage furniture and kitchenettes screened off by sliding doors. Of note: the jaw-dropping De Montfort suite could be mistaken for its own house. An ornate arched ceiling stretches over a wooden ballroom floor, a Steinway grand piano, a glass dining table for ten, shag rugs and curved sofas seating plenty of guests before the 62-inch plasma screen TV. Upstairs the glass-walled mezzanine bedroom looks like a chunk of Paris’s Pompidou Centre, with an all-white bathroom stocked with L’Occitane products. To ensure a stay here, book at the very least, three to four weeks in advance.