Walk into a boutique five star hotel steeped in grand detail and history. From the balustrade to the bedroom, The Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch perfectly marries traditional English government architecture with effortless on-trend chic (without using the word hipster).
Perched high on what would have been one of the most sought after land sites, the hotel has transformed the ambience of the old town courthouse and police building from austere justice to warm cordiality. Be welcomed by attentive, caring staff – where nothing is a problem (even carrying two 32kg bags up the entry level stairs). Experience art that transcends eras and provenance clearly chosen and placed to enhance your hotel design experience.
The Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch is helping pioneer the new wave of design hotels across the globe that appeal to savvy, intelligent, independent travellers who appreciate ultramodern finesse (like super fast free wi-fi and travel buddy touch pads) and old-fashioned service (like remembering what coffee you ordered last time you stayed). Centrally located in the emerging cosmopolitan precinct of Shoreditch and flanked by numerous transport options (bus, underground and overground), the hotel is making its way to being London’s absolute best place to stay. Showcasing a next level contemporary design after undergoing a recent £40 million renovation, the suites and rooms are exceptional as is the 196-seat cinema, indoor swimming pool, top of the line spa, and two-lane bowling alley fully equipped with retro designed shoes and balls.
The Old Street Courthouse is a unique heritage building. Much of the traditional Edwardian Baroque architectural elements of the original building have been attributed to Police Architect, John Nixon Butler who constructed the building in 1905. His understanding of class, function and materials ensured the building was “grand” enough for magistrates at one end and “tough” enough for police and crims at the other end. The building was divided into two parts with an outstanding central foyer and staircase marrying the courtrooms and police quarters.
The building also has always had the big names stay. It was home to George Orwell for a few days after being arrested post Animal Farm and the notorious Kray Twins. Come the 1960s, all magistrates were integrated and the Inner London Magistrate’s Court is formed, meaning the original division set up by Butler was no longer necessary and by 1998 the Magistrates Court had relocated. The police relocated around 2008 and soon after the site was statutorily listed as a building of special architectural and historic interest meaning that its heritage must be preserved for future generations.
Enter the Sanger family, who are committed to heritage, boutique hotels and design, and in 2009 commission Garuda Designs, Girish Sanger and Consarc Architects to painstakingly restore and repurpose the old Courthouse into the iconic Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch. Girish Sanger is also one of the directors of the hotel and has a special interest in ensuring guests are treated to a luxe design experience. As one of the sons of the famous Sanger family whose hotel portfolio has grown rapidly over the last few years, the expectations were high. And Girish has not disappointed.
The East (police) and West (magistrate) Wing of the building has been lovingly converted into 86 guest rooms and 42 suites that combine the classic, elegant, Victorian architectural materials and plush, on-trend décor complete with fast, free Wifi, suave “Guilty” or “Peter Thomas Roth” complimentary toiletries and huge TV in bed (and in some cases bathroom).
There are several different room options ranging from deluxe king rooms to world class suites. The Dalston King Room (27m2) is beautifully appointed with large comfy king bed, huge flat-screen satellite TV, minibar, desk and en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. Some of the rooms feature a seating area and/or city views. Complete with cowhide patchwork cool chair stools and transcendental mood lighting. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Other options include The Magistrate King Room (30m2), The Xscape Room (30m2), The Hoxton Studio Suite (44m2) and The Hoxton Family Suite (46m2), some of which have city views, separate reading and study areas. Alternatively, you could always upgrade to one of these swanky suites…..
Shoreditch Suite 50m2
Let loose your inner highly paid lawyer and lash out on the Shoreditch Suite which comes equipped with a TV above the deep bathtub, designer chaise lounges, large shower, city views, separate reading/seating area, study area, touch pad travel buddy to make free calls when on the go, excellent king bed facing another huge TV screen with great selection of satellite channels and of course comfy, fluffy, large towels.
Shoreditch Sky Terrace Suite 65m2
With sweeping panoramic views of the city, this impressive suite is the signature piece of the hotel and the best room in the house. With private bar and mini cinema lounge, entertain or be entertained. The suite comes equipped with a TV above the deep bathtub, designer chaise lounges, large shower, separate reading/seating area, study area, touch pad travel buddy to make free calls when on the go, excellent king bed facing another huge TV screen with satellite channels and of course comfy, fluffy, large towels.
Food and Drink
Relaxed and comfortable, glamorous and sophisticated, food obsessed or cocktailaholic, the many dining and bar options will have you out of your hotel room in no time. All options are open to guests, local residents and visitors.
The Rooftop Bar – Shoreditch Sky Terrace
Noted by Timeout as being one of the best in London, the rooftop terrace offers sensational panoramic views of the city. Watch the sun go down while sipping on a “Solitary” (a signature cocktail which is a heavenly mixture of rum, lime juice, dark chocolate, liqueur, red chili and charged up with ginger beer).
Walk over a glazed link bridge to the roof space of the hotel and relax in the décor’s natural, organic materials and colours and watch the city hubbub fade away beneath you. Quiirky sculptures are dotted around to divert your interest from the iconic main sights: Canary Wharf, the Shard London, Heron Tower, Crystal Palace, Arcelor Mittal Orbit and BT Tower, all visible from the Shoreditch Sky Terrace. With expertly mixed music and even more expertly mixed cocktails, the Rooftop Bar is the social centre of the hotel, and on the must do for Shoreditch’s new wave of cool people.
Judge & Jury Restaurant: British fine-dining revisited.
Out with the stuffed rabbit in with the Scottish salmon – or is it the other way around? With food trends accelerating at an alarming pace, it is difficult to keep up. The simple rule is to order what you like to eat, not what is insta-riffic. At the Judge & Jury, courtroom formality is abandoned as patrons enjoy starters of Beef Tartare, Confit Quail Egg Yolk and Sesame Oil to mains of Duck Breast, Confit Pressed Leg, Pear, Walnut, Blue Cheese and Truffle Oil or Monkfish, Cauliflower, Coconut Bhindi Masala, Apple Raita and Coriander.
Test your knowledge of British legal history by browsing through the many leather-bound law journals and legislation or simply immerse yourself in an age of justice, law reform and baddies by checking out the courtroom memorabilia, artifacts and heirlooms.
The Jailhouse Bar
Located on the ground floor of the hotel, the Jailhouse Bar is home to private cells where once- infamous prisoners were held while awaiting trial. This is where you send the ex-boyfriend after the “conversation”.
Serving as a relaxed lounge area throughout the day, perfect for meetings and coffees, the bar transforms into an after-work hub for those looking to unwind with a drink or two. With free wi-fi, flexible table arrangements and an outstanding setting and drinks menu that pays tribute to its prisoner past, the Jailhouse Bar is somewhere you would want to be locked up.
Staff are ready to impart their knowledge of craft ales, varied and interesting wine selections, premium spirits, classic mixers and signature cocktails. Specialising in creative cocktail offerings, such as the Ball and Chain Cocktail – made from Sipsmith Sloe Gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and orange marmalade, with the “chain” being a shot of Prosecco and Liquid Cosh, featuring Eagle Rare, Grand Marnier, apple juice, fresh kumquats, apricot jam and served over crushed ice with a fresh slice of Kumquat, guests will leave impressed. Be sure to also enjoy a delicious offering of street-inspired small plates from the innovative grazing menu.
From 12 noon every day, enjoy an Afternoon Tea of freshly prepared sandwiches, gently warmed scones served alongside homemade preserves and clotted cream alongside a glass of pink champagne.
10pm sees the lights dim at Jailhouse Bar and the DJ take the stage. The atmosphere transforms to one of excitement and electricity, making it a great destination for those who are looking to let loose and have some fun at the weekend.
There are not many hotels in the world that can lay claim to having their own bowling alley and their own theatre.
Bowling Alley and Games Room
Guests are able to bowl the night (or day) away in this beautiful two lane bowling alley. With professional timber finish, retro bowling shoe shelving, balls and pins the bowling alley is a favourite for corporate events, cell-ebrations, families and anyone who loves a bit of competition. There is a minimum of six players and you can play from 7am – 10pm for £45 which includes four beers/house wine or soft drinks and all hire.
Other games on site include the ever popular foosball, a ping pong table and darts board. The games room is neatly designed with re-used fire hydrants converted to tables and fashionable chairs.
With seating of up to 190, the theatre is fully equipped for all types of conferencing, viewing, workshops, seminars and entertainment. Or just relax in a huge cinema and watch an old movie with some great friends, family or even a significant other.
Can we suggest ‘Coriolanus’ which was filmed on site, and saw Ralph Fiennes be nominated for a BAFTA.
Pool, Sauna, Spa Rooms
The 25 metre indoor heated pool with water feature, showers, relaxing lounges, pool towels and more is a must visit after a hard day of traveling or business. Unwind in the serene surrounds of the deep blue paddling pool or try a few laps in the neighbouring plunge pool.
The pool area has been designed to transport the guest away from the urbanization of the precinct to an isolated, safe “me” zone. The state of fitness room and sauna are also nearby to dissolve the grit of the city and don’t forget to make use of the spa special treatments on offer.
Prices from $240 per night.
Go to www.shoreditch.courthouse-hotel.com
By Sonia Komaravalli