The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, a 98-room boutique hotel set to open this month in the gritty surrounds of London’s Bethnal Green, is being hailed as further proof that the city’s east end is firmly on the road to chicness.
Built a century ago, the imposing Edwardian building was reimagined by Loh Lik Peng, a hotelier with history of developing cool design hotels in Singapore. Much of the grand interior remains, with swaths of oak paneling and marble floors, a soaring glazed dome and vast mahogany-walled suites.
Artists from the neighborhood — which is rich with artists – have been commissioned for one-off installations. Nuno Mendes, an up-and-coming Portuguese chef, will be in charge of the in-house Viajante restaurant.
Hotels watchers might consider the hotel, with rack rates starting at £290 for a short-term stay ($435 at $1.50 to the pound; cheaper rates available on the Web site), to be awkwardly situated. But two of London’s most charming markets — Columbia Road Flower Market and Broadway Market – are within walking distance. Hoxton Square is a quick cab ride. And when the 2012 Olympics roll in town, about two miles away, Town Hall will be in the heart in the action.