Vibrant is the word used to describe areas of London that are culturally diverse and far from gentrification; and so we find The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in "London's vibrant East End".
That said, hop in a cab from the City and you're there in a matter of minutes. If you arrive after dark there is no mistaking your destination: a beautifully up-lit, grand, Neoclassical façade to this Edwardian and Art Deco building that was once the pride of Bethnal Green.
Bold innovations by Rare architects to the Grade II-listed building include a stunning laser-cut metal veil façade at the rear and a new roof space.
This combined with work by expert restorers to the marble, wood and plaster has created something that's fascinating and unique, a place to stay that feels historic while being modern-comfortable. Add in artwork installations from six up-and-coming East End artists, and it's a cleverly elegant package with a twist.
No hotel chain has its finger in this particular pie. It is the vision of lawyer-turned-hotelier Loh Lik Peng, who has come up with a new concept for city guests. Most (92 out of 98) rooms function as apartments, each with a fully equipped kitchen and seating area. With reconditioned vintage furniture in every room and a place to work, plus free wi-fi, they really do make cool and comfortable pied à terres for a longer stay.
The restaurant, Viajante has become a destination spot for Londoners, so book ahead. It offers a tasting menu, with wine pairings, put together buy chef patron, Numo Mendes. The bar is stylish, yet particularly cosy for a hotel. You might want to linger too long.
RATES: Rooms: from £136
TEL: 020 7871 0460