Great for exploring London’s East End from an artistic, luxury base.
What is it? Boutique hotel
Will set you back: 200 – 1215 GBP p/n
The first thing you notice about South Place Hotel in London ’s East End, is that it is very, very cool. The lobby, intimate like a boutique hotel’s should be, is undoubtedly luxe with the highest quality materials and lush furniture grabbing your attention, but the main thing you notice is the ambience. From the moment you walk through the building’s revolving doors the design footprint is remarkably strong and the lighting is noticeably dim and relaxing. If South Place Hotel wants to make anything evident to its guests right away, it’s that it dances to the beat of its own drum. It has a strong personality characterised by confident design decisions and artistic implementation and that, along with its excellent location, is almost certainly what brought you to its doors in the first place.
As one of only six outstanding Art Hotels and a member of Design Hotels, you know that the aesthetic of South Place Hotel is going to be impressive – and it is, in a really friendly, fun, and unpretentious way. The style at this hotel is luxurious but with a quirky and youthful edge – just like its nearby neighbourhood of Shoreditch. From the lobby to the restaurant to the bars and the rooms, there are bounties of art in the way of paintings and sculptures, and to add to this bag of fun are the varied mid-century modern furniture pieces with their nod to an eclectic bygone era. Although our lovely Dominion Room was petite, the space itself is high end with incredible attention to detail. Its design carries on from the theme introduced in the lobby and hallways, with extra attention paid to mood, lighting and ambience. With dark accents through the soft furnishings and feature wall, this is offset by crisp white linen and the South Place design signature – a pop of colour (usually yellow). The bathroom is again on the small side, but doesn’t skimp on the luxurious finishings one bit with an all-marble interior, oversized bath and rain-shower.
The design focus throughout the whole hotel makes walking the hallways an enjoyable experience, and the hotel regularly changes up its feature art depending on the events going on in London at the time which shows that this hotel is never at risk of losing its modern touch. During our stay it was Wimbledon, and we loved the avant-garde artworks characterised by fluorescent tennis balls scattered throughout the ground floor bar/ restaurant, 3 South Place.
The rooms are decidedly comfortable, and we get the impression that the degree of comfort strongly increases with each room category. If you can go all out and book a suite, we recommend it. They have much more room and would serve those on longer stays in London much better than the rooms, given the separate living areas that would allow guests to spend more down time in a spacious and private environment.
The Dominion room, where we stayed, has a King sized bed, however the British Kings are closer to a Queen size in the Asia Pacific. In saying this, we still found the mattress very comfortable and slept well. We recommend having a read over the brief and very cool hotel manual when you arrive in your room so you are across all of the benefits and services available to you during your stay at South Place, such as a pillow menu which is available upon request. The technology in the rooms is one of the highlights and the Bang & Olufsen TV is out of this world, as are all of the technological inclusions in the room such as the ipod docking station, the media hub with multinational sockets and the touch-panel mood lighting. The latter took us a little while to work out, but all of these features show how much dedication this hotel has to ensuring the comfort of its guests. The rooms have a gourmet (and quirky) minibar full of local brands’ food items, as well as an espresso coffee machine and tea making facilities. The rooms also have full block-out blinds which are fantastic for situations like ours, when you arrive in London at 7am after 20 hours of travel and need a nap! The only small negative in the Dominion Room is that there is only room in the wardrobe for minimal luggage, so one of our suitcases had to be left on the beautiful, retro yellow feature chair in the room and so couldn’t be used.
The people behind South Place Hotel have given a lot of thought to its amenities and facilities, and the hotel successfully caters to both leisure stayers and business trippers with its two restaurants, courtyard bar (exclusively for hotel guests), gym, sauna, steam rooms and spa treatments (available on request). The hotel is especially proud of its East End neighbourhood and offers guests the chance to take a tour of the local area of Shoreditch with a focus on local produce, markets and street art. If you are a first timer to London this is an absolute must, and from a critical perspective, a very unique service in the hotel space. In the rooms there is the inclusion of the fun and fantastic ‘sex kit’ and ‘hangover kit’ in the minibar draws which I found to be a fun and quirky idea and a great on-brand addition to South Place. The hotel also provides little walking maps of London and suggestions of where to go and what to do, all styled in its signature yellow branding and found on the study desk of your room.
The service at South Place Hotel is very British, and that means very attentive and courteous – just the way we like it. Mr T. and I had arrived at the hotel well before the 2pm check-in time due to our early flight arrival from Hong Kong , and the staff, understanding how exhausted we must be, managed to have our room cleaned very quickly after the previous guests had only just checked out, in order to allow us a much needed kip. They even arranged a “Happy Birthday” dessert in this short time, which was waiting for me in the room. The concierges were consistently helpful with local restaurant recommendations and printed off maps for us so we knew exactly where to go. In particular, the service at the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant, Angler, was incredibly formal and exceptional.
There are two places to enjoy a meal at South Place Hotel including one you won’t want to miss – Angler, the Michelin-starred seafood restaurant. On arriving in London on my birthday, South Place spoilt me rotten with a degustation dinner with matching wines at this beautiful restaurant. It was a sensational meal in which the seafood really shone, and the sommeliers were full of knowledge. Having gained a Michelin star after only one year of being in business, this restaurant is off to an uncannily strong start in the ultra-competitive London hospitality scene and is one to watch over the coming years. The service was outstanding from every member of staff at Angler and the environment is high-end while maintaining that element of quirky South Place design through its reflective ceiling design and choice of vibrant booth seating. For a more casual dining option, there is 3 South Place on the ground floor with its accompanying stylish bar that is open to the public and always seems to be buzzing. 3 South Place serves relaxed British comfort food with a modern touch, and daily breakfast, included in some of the room fares, is also served here. South Place Hotel is the first hotel project from restaurant group D&D London, trailblazers in the restaurant arena, and so it is unsurprising that the food is a high point at this establishment.
Positioned in what many will agree is the “new West End”, the East End of London near Shoreditch and Liverpool station, the location of South Place Hotel is fantastic. It is perfectly situated between the hustle-bustle of the city and the fun, youthful feel of Shoreditch High Street. A must-do is taking the hotel up on its offer for a tour of the neighbourhood’s highlights, which will see you walking though gorgeous streets juxtaposed by edgy and colourful street art, to local chocolatiers and bakeries, and on to the famous Spitalfields markets where you can get your fix of locally made fashion, jewellery and art. At South Place, you are also in the ideal location to enjoy the countless bars and restaurants that London has to offer, and the hotel staff will not hesitate to suggest their favourites. To book your stay at South Place Hotel, click here.
design haven in one of the best areas of London