Hotel Hit Squad: Nobu Hotel Shoreditch – ‘Like a vast superyacht, weaponised by someone with a penchant for Japanese landscape gardening’


The interior is… a bit much. There’s a lot of very 2017 brass finishing that will date as well as dairy produce, and hessian-weave wall coverings that will wear badly. Compared to something like the Hoshinoya in Tokyo, which creates a strikingly contemporary ryokan experience in a city hotel with élan, it’s brash. But then Nobu is a brand about fun, not Zen. And as busy as the interior is, it’s chic and apposite for the address. 

I loved the exposed concrete ceilings in the rooms and the other Japanese design tropes that have been jazzed up and lipglossed. Think of it as disco wabi sabi: metallic woven headboards, blow-torched wooden beams and hallway carpets with digital patterns. My room had full-height sliding screens, decorated by local artist Sichi, in lieu of curtains – richly decorative, but a pain in the proverbial if you want to let sunlight in. 

Being entombed in the dark was a minor inconvenience, though, compared with trying to wash. The bathrooms are works of art – meticulous, all-white spaces. A shame, then, about having to hurdle the 1ft-wide lip of the bath to get into the shower. I’m 6ft tall and found it perilous; anyone shorter may need to be lifted into the tub.

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