An impressive grand staircase and life-size gold soldier statue greet guests entering the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch foyer. Opened in May 2016, the Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch offers a luxury boutique hotel experience in east London. The main part of the hotel is located in a Grade II listed Baroque style building which once housed the Old Street Magistrates Court and Police Station. With the restoration of the building and transformation into a hotel, its pleasing to see that original features have been retained which add to the charm of this hotel. Like the beautiful arched led-light windows separating the main foyer area and Jailhouse Bar and the rich wood panelling in the old courtroom which now houses the hotel Judge and Jury restaurant.
Once hotel guests have checked in, they have the option of luxuriating in the lovely hotel swimming pool and spa, booking a lane at the hotel bowling alley or simply enjoying a drink in one of the hotel bars. The Jailhouse Bar area is massive and offers guests a choice of seating options for a relaxing drink – velvet couches, pale blue and beige fabric chairs, brown booths, and turquoise bar stools lined up like attentive police officers along the wooden bar. If you are wanting something more unique, five of the original jail cells have been retained and offer privacy away from the bustle of the main bar. A little gangster history is thrown into the mix with the cells once occupied by the two notorious Kray brothers. The exposed brick, clever lighting, quirky paintings and splashes of colour – glazed red apple, bright coffee tables – all add to the eclectic ambience of the Jailhouse Bar.
Although the rooftop Shoreditch Sky Terrace Bar bar was closed during my stay due to inclement weather, a quick peek through the glass door was all I needed to determine that this would be a fantastic place for a rooftop drink in summer with views overlooking the Shoreditch Town Hall and surrounding area. I was informed that several suites have their own private walkway giving direct access to the rooftop bar. Perfect for those who want to spend balmy summer evenings enjoying the roof terrace and retire with only a few steps to their comfy king size beds.
For dining options the hotel offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Judge and Jury restaurant. Light snacks are also available in the bar areas. For those who cannot simple tear themselves away from the comfort of their hotel rooms, room service is available too. At the time of my stay, the Judge and Jury restaurant wasn’t open for dinner, however, eating breakfast in the gloriously restored old courtroom was such a treat. The wood panelling, the conservatory-like roof, and the amazing art-deco style chandelier captivated my attention. The breakfast offering was good and in keeping with the size of the hotel. There were a selection of hot dishes made to order from the menu along with a continental breakfast buffet. The filter coffee was endless and the Eggs Florentine that I ordered were tasty. The perfect way to start a busy day of meetings or sight seeing.
Most Hoxton Suites are located in the newer part of the hotel, however, two are located in the historic old courthouse building and were originally the judges offices/chambers. I was lucky enough to stay in the renovated old building and upon entering room 324, the first thing I noticed was the expansive ceiling and two distinctive round windows flooding the room with glorious daylight. The room was spacious and the large king size bed took centre stage. Although the room was facing the busy Old Street road below, I barely noticed the traffic and in the evening, quickly fell into a deep slumber in the cozy king size bed. The pillows, duvet and bed were so soft it felt like you were cocooned in a fluffy white cotton cloud.
The room came with all the standard amenities one expects nowadays of a luxury hotel such as tea/coffee making facilities, robes, slippers, hairdryer etc. Hotel guests staying in the suite are automatically provided with free internet and wifi, and the service was good and internet speed fast. Guests can also utilise a smartphone called Handy – a free travel companion whereby guests can stay connected with family, friends and the hotel itself. The Handy service is absolutely free and offers unlimited local and international calls (terms & conditions apply), unlimited mobile internet, an indispensable city guide, exclusive discounts and offers, hotel information and bookings. My stay was too short to utilise this service, however, I think its a great value-add for guests.
The bathroom was also spacious and completely separate from the bedroom/suite area. The walk-in shower was covered from floor to ceiling in grey marble, which was a nice feature throughout the rest of the bathroom. Plenty of white towels and bath sheets were provided, although a small face flannel would have been handy for guests. The bathroom toiletries came in colourful packaging with the word ‘Guilty’ blazed on the front. Whilst all the toiletries had a pleasantly strong masculine scent, this could be disconcerting for anyone with more feminine, floral olfactory tastes. The hotel in-room directory continued to pay homage to the buildings past with headings like Custodians (extension numbers), Bread & Water – traditional rations served in the clink (dining options), Relaxed Sentence (treatments, pool, steam & sauna, fitness centre), and Cell Support Officers (house keeping).
If you happen to be staying at the hotel during the week or over the weekend, there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and markets in the Shoreditch area. The hotel is a short 10 minute walk to the bustling, colourful Sunday flower market on Columbia Road. Those looking for a more stylish shopping option than the grit and grime of Brick Lane, head to Redchurch Street where you will find stylish independent clothing stores, coffee shops, homewares, cafes and restaurants. Also, around the corner from Redchurch Street is BOXPARK Shoreditch – a shipping container pop-up mall where you can eat, shop and drink – with local and international arts, fashion and lifestyle stores and all types of cuisines on offer. Plenty to see and do, and live like a Londoner or Shoreditch local.
The Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch is a great hotel option if you are wanting to stay away from the London tourist areas and experience the grandeur of an old courthouse, all whilst exploring the more grittier, urban side of London life. The hotel staff were very attentive, friendly and willing to offer 5-star stellar customer service to guests without even being asked. With plenty of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore in Shoreditch, the Courthouse Hotel is in the perfect location and offers a luxurious respite at the end of the day (or night) from the bustling, eccentric hipster vibe of Shoreditch.