One of my best birthday presents from the boyfriend was a surprise 2 night stay at Andaz, formerly the Great Eastern, next to London’s Liverpool St Station.
The red brick Victorian facade speaks of traditional railway hotel glamour, but inside, Andaz is a vast, modern space dedicated to contemporary art and minimalist luxury.
There is no reception desk as such, so staff seat you in the ‘living room’ and check you in on a cool portable computer (no, not exactly a laptop) while you get comfortable. After coming out of the lifts, you enter an other-worldly ‘atrium’ – an eerily clinical beehive meets mini Guggenheim. Rooms on the new side of the building have windows overlooking this unusual little ‘village’, but it’s a welcome retreat from the Shoreditch sirens (those of the police, not the gentlemens clubs).
The rooms are exceptionally large and are kitted out with the most sumptuously soft bed, Frette linen, REN toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and an fully-loaded iPod (ask concierge). The oversized furniture and burnt ochre touches fill the space and give the room a more homely feel.
The bathrooms are also massive and have that clinical but sexy thing going on, adding to the oddness of the hotel. During our visit, it poured down for 2 days solid, so the furthest we ventured out was to Spitalfields. Instead of sightseeing, we checked out the hotel’s art collection and snooped around the hotel like mischievous boarding school kids. Andaz is like Wonderland, with concealed messages and hidden staircases and to make it even more mystical, there is a Masonic Temple.
One night, after the London rain treat us so badly, we ordered cocktails from room service – some of the best-mixed concoctions I’ve ever tasted, served by a zen-like model-waitress in a black
Miyaki, George pub, 1901, Catch oyster bar and Eastway.
We ordered cocktails from the room