Nobu in London’s Shoreditch opened last Saturday — the first hotel in the UK from this trendy, no-carbs brand.
Design wizards: Rooms at Nobu provide a restful sanctuary with an artistic urban twist
It’s a new and innovative building, with overhanging floor slabs and a frayed edge on one side that makes it look as if the construction company has downed tools and buzzed off prematurely.
This is a big opening (143 rooms, 240-seat restaurant, sushi bar, 18-seat chef’s table) and it’s different, clever and expensive. We’re paying £275 without breakfast for the smallest category of room, knowing only too well that dinner will be a further £150.
The tried and trusted ‘east meets west’ theme is in full throttle, with wood screens that slide across the sealed windows, squiggles on the concrete walls, sexy pink lighting, low-slung futon-type bed and cosy bathrooms that have gold rectangular basins and walk-in showers.
Half the joy of a hotel is staying somewhere radically different to your own digs. Job done, here.
Stylish: East London creativity meets understated Japanese luxury at Nobu’s first UK hotel
Leaving my wife in the room, I go down to reception and tell a smartly-dressed Frenchman that at these prices I expect a few bottles of complimentary water. He doesn’t just agree but says he will arrange for two glasses of comp champagne to be delivered to our table by way of an apology. Impressive.
The corridors are black, gold and dimly lit. So dimly lit that my wife can’t find the elevator and so takes the stairs and ends up first in the rubbish bin area and then in a laundry room where a female member of staff takes her by the hand and leads her to the restaurant on floor minus two.
It’s a fabulous use of space — the bar and restaurant that is, not the laundry room.
Striking: The hotel’s jagged exterior looks as if workmen downed tools and left prematurely
The slinky bar is massive and there’s an open air dining area split into terraces on four levels. Staff are friendly and omnipresent and although the whole confection is ‘of the moment’ you won’t feel out of place if you’re not quite ‘of the moment.’
Just be prepared to pay £5 for a double espresso in the morning by way of a hangover.
10-50 Willow Street
London EC2A 4BH
Tel: 0203 818 3790, nobuhotelshoreditch.com
Doubles from £249, room only