Graffiti & Grandeur: The East London Hotel Where Traditional Meets Trendy

By Erica O'Hara | 6th June 2023

You’ll struggle to find an area of London that isn’t steeped in history, but Andaz London Liverpool Street combines history with modern artistic spirit thanks to its prime East London location. Straddling the crossroads where the City of London meets the eclectic East End, this five-star gem seamlessly blends the best of both worlds.

We checked in to check it out…

Andaz London Liverpool Street: Hotel Review

Boasting a rich history, where real and fictional tales intertwine, the hotel is housed in a historic Victorian red-brick building that dates back to 1884 when it was constructed as one of the city’s original railway hotels, the Great Eastern. Literary enthusiasts will best know this as the hotel vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing stayed in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but fiction aside, remnants of the building’s real history remain – from the Masonic temple and grand staircase, to the iconic Grade-II listed ballroom and stained-glass dome ceiling that survived both world wars (thanks to staff covering it with mattresses). The building underwent an extensive renovation in the mid-2000s, transforming it into the multifaceted five-star hotel it is today.

Location is everything in London, and Andaz London Liverpool Street is the epitome of a strategically positioned hotel. Nestled between two lively areas of East London – the City, with its smart restaurants and busy office workers, and Shoreditch, with its creative galleries, markets, and nightlife – a stay here offers the opportunity to easily explore the capital on foot, while being conveniently located right next to Liverpool Street station for smooth access to destinations further afield. Within walking distance, you’ll find cool pubs, independent boutiques, cosy cafes, tempting Brick Lane curry houses and some of the best street art in London. It’s all right on the doorstep.

andaz london lobby

Upon entering the lobby, it’s obvious that Andaz London isn’t just a hotel; it’s a testament to the area’s history and the ever-evolving East London art scene, where contemporary design blends seamlessly with traditional charm. The dark walls, vibrant velvet sofas, and artsy graffiti murals capture the creative vibrancy of the East End, while the reception desk (designed to resemble vintage travel trunks) and grand double-height ceilings are a nod to the hotel’s past.

The front desk team provides a flawlessly friendly check in experience – welcome glass of fizz included – and we’re invited to a wine hour hosted for guests in the evening, complete with complimentary wine and canapés. It’s five-star service from the get-go.

The Rooms

Despite being right next to the bustling Liverpool Street station, rooms at Andaz London are a peaceful sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city below. We check into a King Deluxe room, with a plush king-sized bed, separate seating area, spacious modern bathroom, and ample space to unwind. Rooms are modern with a quirky, slightly masculine flair – think black feature walls, grey tones, pinstripe carpets, and noteworthy design elements like drop ball pendant lights flanking the bed (a design feature I make a mental note of for my own home décor projects). Each room captures the hotel’s location by showing the vibrant artsy vibe of East London, some paying tribute to Joseph Markovitch, who lived in the East End for 86 ½ years and left the city only once to go to the seaside with his mother.

A testament to the area's history and the ever-evolving East London art scene.

andaz hotel london rooms
andaz london rooms, liverpool street hotel

Some rooms are even fitness-equipped, with Peleton bikes, dumbbells and yoga equipment, so you never have to leave the convenience of your room for a quick workout.

Food & Drink

The hotel is a haven for foodies, with six distinct dining options that’ll spoil you for choice. Indulge in international wines and treat yourself to afternoon tea at the elegant 1901 Wine Lounge; escape to buzzy Rake’s which transforms from a café by day to a lively bar by night; immerse yourself in the authentic flavours of Japan at Miyako; or tuck into a classic brasserie menu at Eastway. And if you’re looking for a quintessentially British experience, they’ve even got their very own pub on site.

For dinner, we eat at Rake’s Café Bar, an Instagrammable eatery decked out with a central pergola and lush foliage. Under twinkly lights and sophisticated yet cosy design, the buzzy restaurant has an all-day Mediterranean menu that packs a punch. Dinner here is laidback, with a menu spanning tempting choices of both small and large plates, including Rake’s signatures like the seafood paella, a decadent dish filled with prawns, mussels, squid, saffron and garlic alioli; and Rake’s tagliatelle, with oxtail ragu, dry aged parmesan and fresh basil. The sesame cauliflower wings with cashew ranch are a can’t miss indulgence, washed down perfectly with a bottle of Champagne.

We continue the evening in the adjoining Parlour with its vibrant red walls, opulent velvet furnishings and seductive vibe; the kind of place you could spend hours sipping cocktails. Our top pick is The Prison, from the signature cocktail list, where subtle nuances of whiskey infused with honey and pepper are blended with lemon, sage and bombardier bitter beer. It’s the perfect place to while away an evening – whether you’re a hotel guest or a London local looking for a hidden gem in the heart of Liverpool Street. With cocktails priced at just £14, it’s a rare find for a five-star hotel (or anywhere remotely nice) in London.

The next day, breakfast takes place in the hotel’s ballroom, which dates back to 1901. Retaining its grandeur from the days of the Great Eastern Hotel, the stained-glass window dome ceiling and traditional art deco elements make it a glorious setting to start the morning. No need to compromise on choice – the buffet breakfast has everything you could possibly want and more.

The Verdict

Whether you’re hunting for a family-friendly London hotel for exploring the city’s major attractions, or a solo staycation for work or play, there’s something for you at Andaz London. Seamlessly combining classic with contemporary, this secret haven in the heart of the city is one of London’s most unique hotel options, showcasing the best of East London’s past and present.

Rooms at Andaz London start from £350 a night. Book your stay here.

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