The Stratford Hotel
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
"Designed by SOM architects, The Stratford Hotel is an important new opening not far from central London.
Smart and simple, with just enough luxury, is perfect for young professionals and hardcore shopper."
TOP WORLD HOTEL Certificate
What is that? Evaluation by our Hotel Advisor. "JANUARY 2020"
The Stratford is an ambitious new-build which took ten years to construct. Within the 42-storey building lies a 145-room hotel and 248 furnished loft apartments. The hotel opened in July and occupies the first seven floors, while the apartments fill the upper 35 levels.
This “Double Personality” can mislead guests who think they are entering a Hotel, while the building instead has more lofts than rooms.
In addition, this ambiguity is accentuated by the fact that upon entering the building you do not immediately see a reception. Without the presence of a receptionist, it is difficult to find the desk to check in, as it is hidden in a corner near the elevators.
The whole structure is however new and modern. The common areas are well-made, comfortable and well-kept, and has incorporated green elements into the building – there are plants throughout, and three sky gardens with greenery emerging from the wooden patio.
Unfortunately, only the seventh floor terrace is accessible to hotel guests.
There are seven room categories; the smallest is the STANDARD ROOM of 23 sqm, then there are the MEDIUM ROOM, LARGE ROOM, LARGER ROOM, DOUBLE ROOM, the STRATFORD STUDIO in which we stayed, and the MANHATTAN STUDIO. Rooms either overlook the street or look inwards to the light well, which has a glass dome sculpture.
Chic bathrooms are stone, with big walk-in showers, full-sized REN toiletries and a beautiful three-panel mirror. Opting for a studio or suite and you’ll get an amazing tub.
The bed is very comfortable, with a grey curved headboard, Egyptian cotton sheets and a soft woven throw by Italian couture brand Society Limonta – both cosy and stylish. To report the lack of a hairdryer, while the abundance of towels of various sizes is truly impressive.
There are plenty of USB and sockets throughout the room, a large flat-screen TV, programmed with Apple TV and Google Chromecast.
The interiors, by Space Copenhagen, fuse Scandinavian style with old-world opulence via serene pastel tones, natural timbers and elegant stone bathrooms.
If you expect to find yourself as if you were in central London, this is not what you find in Stratford.
Recently, money has been poured into rejuvenating the area as a retail, residential and business district, glossing up Stratford significantly.
Even though Stratford isn’t particularly exciting at the moment, it’s a prime property investment. In the next few years there’ll be an outpost of the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, University College London, and the London College of Fashion, among other openings of note.
At the moment, it’s still quite residential, but the hotel is located next door to Stratford International station, and it’s only 20 minutes away by taxi to London City Airport. It takes less than 20 minutes on the underground to both Bank and Oxford Street, and just 6 minutes to St Pancras International by High-Speed Rail.
By day, you can count on the east London’s Westfield, one of the UK’s largest shopping centres, full of shops and places to eat or have a drink, but late in the evening the neighborhood does not offer much.
Food & Drink
The Stratford hotel has two restaurants, the ground-floor Stratford Brasserie and seventh-floor Allegra – the latter is accessible from a dedicated elevator on the ground floor.
The Stratford Brasserie is a contemporary and welcoming all-day dining restaurant, open 7 days a week – serving breakfast, lunch, dinner pizza and light bites with the addition of free-flowing brunch at the weekend.
It’s also the spot for breakfast, with a similarly familiar menu of avocado on toast, eggs Benedict, home-made crumpets, Bircher muesli and a Full English.
Breakfast is not buffet style, but is served à la carte. You can choose between different sweet and savoury dishes. The variety is good, although it could be expanded, while the quality of sweet dishes must be improved. Something more was expected.
We tried some drinks in the lounge bar and the professionalism of the bartenders left us really satisfied. They served us really delicious cocktails.
The headline spot is Allegra on the seventh floor. Chef Patrick Powell takes the conceit of farm-to-table cooking and transports it to a glossy dining room. The restaurant also has outside dining and is bordered by The Highline sky terrace.
The Mezzanine lounge overlooks this room but is accessible from the check-in area, discreetly hidden behind a drawn curtain, giving it an air of exclusivity.
The cocktail menu with New York-inspired signature cocktails, snacks and DJ sets until 2am, is about evoking emotions and embracing the classics by using modern techniques, there is also an extensive selection of premium spirits and Champagnes.
An excellent staff, very professional, kind and ready to satisfy any need. An absolutely positive point that raises the level of services of this hotel. All the staff managed to provide a great experience bringing a personal touch while engaging with the guests. A concierge is on hand for local tips. Check-out is at a leisurely 12pm (check in from 3pm).
A tablet beside the bed provides information about the hotel facilities, a friendly welcome message, and the opportunity to request various services – from restocking the minibar to re-booking the hotel should you already want a future stay.
Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and in room. Valet parking is available.
The hotel has a 24-hour gym with equipment from Technogym and various classes on offer, including monthly dog-yoga classes – sign me up. The hotel is also planning to offer sky yoga on its various landscaped roof terraces when it starts to heat up again.
There’s also a rich events calendar, from the likes of life drawing classes to talks with artists and musicians, and cocktail masterclasses.