Street art themed rooms, epic breakfasts and warm hospitality… a stay at the Andaz London Liverpool Street is a special experience.
The weekend was shaping up to be a good one. With my other half’s big 3.0 on Saturday, I decided to shake things up a little with a surprise the night before.
I checked into the Andaz London Liverpool Street, spent an hour exploring the facilities, hung up a kitsch ‘Happy Birthday’ banner above the bed, and laid out a few presents on the desk. I’d been dying to stay here… and he didn’t know it yet, but he, too, was in for a real treat.
The luxurious Andaz London Liverpool Street is a 5-star hotel with ambition. Yes, it’s in the ideal location for business travellers who need easy access to the city, AND a great base for tourists … but it also offers plenty for travellers like me. A Londoner. A Londoner attempting to be a tourist in my own city.
Recently the Andaz collaborated with SideStory – arguably one of the capital’s coolest tour operators, to offer two special experiences. After staying in one of the hotel’s super-trendy street art rooms, guests spend an afternoon on a photography or street art in the local neighbourhood. It’s a great concept, and refreshing to see a luxury hotel looking for a new way to heighten the guest experience.
The next day we would venture out to explore Shoreditch’s exciting street art scene with Karim from SideStory… but first, time to check into the unique street art room.
My Andaz journey started in a super-efficient way. A smart staff member organised my check in using a touch screen computer, offered me a drink, and explained more about the facilities. One of my favourite things already was the communal table (which resembled a tree trunk) in a dimly-lit area by reception. It was loaded with complimentary drinks and snacks. People gathered there, chatting away – it felt lovely and social. Even better, later in the day this was where the hotel provided complimentary canapés and wine for guests. If this isn’t 5 star luxury, I don’t know what is.
I headed up to my room on the 3rd floor – a super king street art themed room. There are only a handful of these specially decorated rooms in the hotel, created for the Room With A View project. My room was entitled “The Day The Flower Rose” and was by artist Patrick Morgan.
A vision in bright blue, the wall brought the East London streets outside, indoors. Giant plants appeared to be growing up the feature wall and onto the ceiling, while a painted window to one side made it feel like we were peering into Whitechapel Public Library. I loved the 3D elements, with faces, flowers and frames making the image even more dynamic. A designer red chair with footstool sat in front – a beautiful bright clash if ever I saw one!
As for the rest of the room – it was super smart and modern, with all mod-cons. A sparkling bathroom with a powerful shower and bath. A great mini-bar with plenty of complimentary treats. The bed was enormous, big enough to get totally lost in!
Despite its location next to Liverpool Street station, it was perfectly quiet in the room. A peaceful sanctuary from the swathe of office workers marching through the streets below.
There are several of restaurant options at the Andaz, including the breathtaking 1901 Ballroom (where breakfast was served – more on that below), classy Japanese restaurant Miyako and more casual offering Eastway. For drinks there’s British boozer The George, and sophisticated champagne bar Catch.
With Indian food heaven Brick Lane on the doorstep, and plenty of fine dining options including Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba just across the road, I wondered whether people would use the hotel facilities – but sure enough, they were busy!
Breakfast was served next door in the spectacular 1901 Ballroom – once the ballroom of the Great Eastern Hotel. It was a buffet setup with additional items (eggs, omelettes etc) available for order. The room is enormous, with elegant high ceilings, huge designer lights and an amazing stained glass dome.
After an evening of overindulgence, all we could think about were carbs and fried goodies! This buffet did not disappoint! I tucked into pork and herb sausages, fried mushrooms, herby potatoes, smoked salmon, crisp toast, and two perfectly runny poached eggs. It may have been a fry up, but the quality of ingredients and level of cooking put it in the fine-dining category. Service was casual yet efficient, and I couldn’t help but notice how well groomed the staff were throughout the hotel. They clearly took pride in delivering great service, and making guests comfortable!
Beyond all the history of the ballroom, the friendliness of the service, and the coolness of the bedroom, the Andaz provided a wonderful, relaxing stay. It wasn’t brash, it was understated. I think that’s why we enjoyed it so much. It was the perfect level of casual British sophistication.
I was sad to check out, but made sure I enjoyed 5 last minutes at the communal table. A few cookies later, it was time to set off. On their website, the hotel uses the phrase “Arrive a Visitor and Depart A Local”… well I arrived a local and felt even more at home after my stay. I think that’s job done.
Prices at Andaz London Liverpool Street start at £169 for one night in a Queen Room.
I was invited to stay at the Andaz as part of my street art experience with SideStory. I can’t wait to share more about that incredible tour, so stay tuned! As always, opinions are my own!
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