Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch review
Since its conception in the early 90s, Nobu has been synonymous with glamour, style and refined Japanese aesthetics. Starting out as a restaurant in New York (backed by the one and only Robert de Niro), it quickly made a name for itself, with word of Nobu’s chic Japanese dishes – particularly the famous black miso cod – quickly spreading across the world. beyond the Big Apple.
It’s no wonder that now, nearly thirty years later, Nobu has grown into a fine dining and luxury hotel empire with outposts in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Marrakech and Kuala Lumpur (to name a few). only a few). One of the latest additions is the Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch – an oasis of calm in one of the city’s busiest locations.
Why stay here?
This impressive 164-room hotel is just ten minutes from Old Street tube station, set in a converted multi-storey car park. From the moment you enter the building, it’s clear that its brutalist exterior and bustling location contrast sharply with the luxurious calm found inside. The lobby features dark wood and gold, with guests greeted with a hot towel and bottled water. After a remarkably easy check-in process guided by the very knowledgeable and friendly reception team, it’s a quick trip in the lift to the rooms above.
Simply put, these rooms are chic. Like the lobby, they feature lots of dark wood and gold surfaces, but here those components are combined with khaki, gray, and navy hues, creating an almost tropical feel. I settle in quickly with a long bath in the
in the bedroom. It’s a dream setup – with free bath salts and a huge Apple TV that can be tilted towards the tub. Then, wrapped in a silky kimono-style bathrobe, I head for the large balcony with a green teapot and my book. Except for the weird car horn, I could be a million miles from home.
Terraces and large windows mean rooms benefit from floods of natural light during the day, but at night — while stylish — the room’s atmospheric lights are a little too moody and remarkably hard to turn off. The switches seem to either turn off the light in another room or do nothing at all. For all the slick decor, the technology here is surprisingly complicated to decipher.
Guests can book a variety of spa treatments during their stay, from classic facials and body scrubs to a “diamond cocoon experience” that claims to purify, fortify, and repair. If total quiet isn’t what you’re looking for, there’s also a fully equipped gym, set down an exceptionally dark hallway that felt like a natural gym avoider, as if leading to impending doom. The changing rooms are immaculately clean and equipped with a hammam for a post-workout relaxation session.
Eat and drink
The real draw at Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch is the food, with catering at the heart and soul of the hotel group. The main Nobu restaurant is closed on Sunday, the day of my visit, so I dine at Nami, the hotel bar. Although smaller, the menu here is by no means limited, with a choice of sashimi, kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and classic Nobu hot dishes.
My waitress is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but not intrusive – an impressive style of service that is noticeable throughout the hotel. The food is exceptional, especially the more classic Japanese-influenced dishes (a Peruvian-style steak is the only slightly disappointing element of the meal).
The sashimi is fresher than most food on offer in London and extraordinarily tasty. I try the “new-style”, which is flavored with fresh yuzu, and the yellowtail spiked with jalapeño. The miso cod that follows the raw fish is definitely worth it: it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory, the fish crumbling into big translucent flakes as I poke my fork.
The Nami’s cocktail menu matches both the restaurant and the hotel itself; it’s sleek and refined, with some innovative twists. I taste the yuzu and the apple martini, which go down very well. There is also an extensive whiskey list, including several varieties of delicious Japanese Nikkas to suit all tastes.
For a more casual Nobu experience, with the same high food standards, Nami certainly delivers. This hidden gem of a bar will definitely be on my list of top Shoreditch recommendations.
Breakfast is a classic buffet with continental options and traditional hot items (eggs, bacon, and slightly watery mushrooms). It’s perfectly fine but nothing to write home about, which is a little disappointing from such a food-focused chain. Given the location of the hotel, this is hardly a problem; with the center of Shoreditch on the doorstep, some of London’s best cafes and restaurants are only a stone’s throw away.
Other than eating and drinking exceptionally well (which, of course, isn’t to be sniffed at), there’s not much else to do here – but who needs a hotel packed with activities? when you’re right in the middle of the action, in one of the world’s most exciting cities?
The Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch is perfect for a city break. It’s decadent and luxurious – and exactly the kind of relaxation space you’ll want to fall into after a long day of sightseeing.