JC Stays: New Road Hotel, Whitechapel

Funky urban style comes to an old East End factory


My grandma worked as a machinist and I can easily imagine her amusement at the thought of me staying in the New Road Hotel, a converted textile factory, in London’s East End.

Located in Whitechapel, close to the bagel shops of Brick Lane, you might think it’s an unusual spot for a boutique hotel. But this place is far from average.

With exposed brickwork and stripped-back features from its previous incarnation as a 1960s warehouse, this quirky hotel exudes cool. But not in a way that makes you feel awkward.

Young, efficient, receptionists couldn’t have been more helpful and its relaxed atmosphere instantly put me at ease. It may not be five-star in the traditional sense but guests certainly get VIP treatment here.

Little clues on the ground floor, where knitting and sewing workshops are sometimes held in the lobby, hint at the building’s heritage.

An old timecard machine and meter hang behind the front desk. Industrial glass windows make the most of the natural light, both downstairs and in rooms. At the back are restored wooden fire doors.

And a metal lift guard separates the bar, where there’s an old service sign, from the hotel’s Marco Pierre White restaurant, Mr White’s English Chophouse, where I ate dinner.

The menu has a vegetarian section dedicated to mushrooms and the lasagne was comforting and packed full of flavour. Just save room for dessert as the squidgy sticky toffee pudding was heavenly.

If breakfast is more your thing the hotel has its own trendy cereal café.

Upstairs, all of the sleek 80 bedrooms — with the exception of loft rooms that come with hot tubs and their own private terrace — are roughly the same size.

Clever design is used to maximise space, keeping them compact and functional. Instead of a wardrobe there’s a desk with hanging space. There’s no fridge, kettle or phone, you can WhatsApp or call reception from your mobile.

But while facilities are minimal in rooms there’s no skimping on style or comfort.

A giant Hypnos bed, two metres square with pillows from the Fine Bedding Company, fills most of the dark wooden floor of my Warehouse X room. The padded turquoise headboard on three sides allowed me to choose which direction to starfish in while watching the 49-inch flat-screen Smart TV.

The bathroom is equally bijou, a glass wet room with a rainshower and Heaven toiletries, although there’s an absence of shampoo.

All of which is ideal for a short stay. The intention is to encourage people to get out and explore the local neighbourhood, with scooters to borrow from reception for this purpose, or to socialise with fellow guests.

Each floor also has its own free vending machine with a selection of hot drinks and a communal area that gives it a youth hostel vibe, albeit a much more grown-up, luxurious one.

My favourite was the old-fashioned library, but there’s a games room with a pool table and snack station, an ironing station and a metal staircase leading to the top floor where there are yoga mats and kettle bells if you’re inclined to work out.

I’d assumed, from the lack of noise, that the hotel was fairly empty. It wasn’t until next morning at the a la carte breakfast, also served in the restaurant, I realised how busy it was. Expecting the clientele to be millennials I was surprised to find an eclectic mix of guests of all ages.

I think my grandma would have approved too.


Like this? Sign up for more with our JC Life newsletter, coming soon

From fabulous recipes, to parenting tips;  travel and West End entertainment; insightful interviews and much more: there’s more to  the JC than news

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive