Art is the soul of the hotel, which is filled with optical illusions and contemporary artwork
Art is the soul of the hotel, filled with optical illusions and contemporary artwork inspired by the surrounding artist studios of Shoreditch
- Contemporary cool architecture and design
- Swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna
- Basement Spa
- Well-connected location
- All-day restaurant menu
Montcalm East Review
The hustle and bustle of East London’s Shoreditch might not be the first place you think of when searching for relaxation in the capital, but that is exactly what can be found during a stay at Montcalm East. The diamond-shaped hotel, located on City Road, pays tribute to the op art of Tate Modern luminary Bridget Riley.
Montcalm East’s geometric façade was crafted by architects Squire & Partners and is an outward glimpse of the creativity within. The hotel, part of Marriott’s upscale Autograph Collection, advertises itself as « part hotel, part creative hub » and invites guests to « eat, drink, play, explore and unwind ».
Whether you’re visiting the city on business or are hoping to explore some of the capital’s most famous central landmarks, Montcalm East offers refuge to chill out at the end of a busy day, with the basement Bokeh Spa perhaps one of its most alluring features.
Art is the soul of the hotel, which is filled with optical illusions, contemporary artwork and mood lighting inspired by the surrounding artist studios of Shoreditch.
The lobby practically doubles up as a gallery thanks to shelves adorned with unique vases, sculptures and an array of photography books. An illuminated walkway is one of the most eye-catching features of the buzzing open-plan lobby, practically begging patrons to stop for a quick Instagram photoshoot.
Check-in is a smooth process, with friendly staff on hand to talk guests through every amenity on offer – from an on-site photo lab to the swimming pool downstairs. Then it’s time to hop in the lift and ascend to your room. Guest security is paramount at the hotel, which means anyone who wants to access one of the upper floors must have a room key to activate the lift.
The Feeling Superior room at Montcalm East is a modern space complete with mood lighting
The hotel has 288 rooms spread between levels three and 17. There are eight room types to choose from, with the popular Sky High rooms and suites located on the top two floors.
These top-tier hideaways are hailed for their impressive vistas of the surrounding urban landscape. For our stay, we spent a night in the Feeling Superior room, measuring 27 sqm and decorated with modern, monochrome fixtures and fittings. The room itself feels fairly minimalist upon arrival.
At its heart is the bed, a sumptuous double with pillows you sink straight into. There’s also a flatscreen television, perfect for curling up in front of a film or flicking through morning TV over a room service-delivered breakfast in bed. Or if you need to get some work done, the room also has a spacious desk.
The walls are decorated with collage-style artworks that riff on Shoreditch’s street posters and a pop-art style throw pillow is an eye-catching addition to the space.
The walls are decorated with collage-style artworks that riff on Shoreditch’s street posters.
The top-tier Sky High rooms are hailed for their impressive vistas of the surrounding urban landscape
By day, sunlight spills into the room through the vast, geometric windows – though this can easily be blocked out by closing the automatic curtains, using the control panel at the side of the bed. By night, the same control operated in-room lighting, including colour-changing mood lighting and a bedside reading light.
Though a locally sourced minibar is available at extra cost, guests can enjoy free tea and coffee pods, as well as refillable still and sparkling water from the water fountains on each corridor.
If you’re looking to freshen up before a night on the town or rinse off before bed, the bathroom hosts a generous waterfall shower complete with Co Bigelow Apothecaries body wash, shampoo and conditioner. And if you unpack only to realise you’ve forgotten some of your essential toiletries, Montcalm has you covered, with everything from complimentary cotton pads to bamboo toothbrushes on the countertop.
Montcalm East is home to a modern basement swimming pool housed in the Bokeh Spa
Don your dressing gown and slippers, and head down to what is perhaps the hotel’s finest asset – the beautiful Bokeh spa. This zen area is centred around the mood-lit 12-metre indoor pool and jacuzzi, a feature many central London hotels are lacking. The surrounding pool area has plenty of comfy spots to relax, as well as a steam room, cold room and sauna.
Guests can indulge in a little more « me time », with dedicated therapists on hand to work their magic with rejuvenating rubs and scrubs, indulgent massages, body rituals, expert waxing and pampering beauty treatments.
Treatments do err on the pricier side but are not surprising given its London location. Signature treatments include the ‘Temple Spa My Kinda Skin Facial’, a totally bespoke facial, tailored to your skin’s exact needs that will leave you glowing.
For those feeling energetic, Bokeh Spa is also home to a fully equipped 24-hour gym.
Dining and Drinking
Moor & Mead is the hotel’s all-day dining hotspot, which attracts working brunch meetings by day and couples seeking romantic cocktails by night. The mezzanine bar and restaurant blend seamlessly into the open plan lobby, with lush velvet upholstery, copper fittings and Danish-style design features.
The menu promises « no nonsense » « best of British » food, as well as a standout cocktail menu and wine list, including some ultra-trendy orange wines. A glass of the fruity Lafage Taronja de Gris Orange Wine is a must for balmy summer evenings.
The all-day dining menu is pleasantly diverse, with something for everyone on offer, including vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you’re on a plant-based diet, the creamy coconut daal with poached egg, crispy shallots and flatbread is not to be missed. And if you need a small plate to nibble on alongside a tipple, the Padron peppers make for a perfectly salted snack.
The main menu also offers a selection of sourdough pizzas, as well as a delicious black bean burger encased in a beetroot bun, doused in sriracha sauce and finished off with a side of slaw and fries. There’s also a carefully crafted dessert menu, with standout dishes including the rosemary cake with pistachio ice cream.
On the mezzanine floor of Moor & Meed sits the Photo Lab, another of the hotel’s unique amenities which pays homage to its artistic surroundings. Here, guests can enjoy a couple of drinks in a curtained-off, luxe red velvet area, and print off some of their favourite snaps. Guests who book ‘The Full Photo Lab Experience’, will also have access to the spa facilities, including the pool.
Moor & Mead offers up British comfort food with a classic twist
- Swimming pool
- Free WiFi
- Room Service
Just a five-minute walk from Old Street Station, Montcalm East is well-connected for those who want to explore the wider city. Of course, in the heart of Shoreditch, with an abundance of hip bars and restaurants, quirky shops and streets filled with alluring urban art, there’s more than enough to wile away the hours within the local neighbourhood.
Brick Lane, with its vintage stores and weekend market, is a 20-minute stroll away. Colombia Road, which blooms to life with its famous Flower Market each Sunday, can be reached in the same amount of time.
For those travelling to and from the Big Smoke, Liverpool Street Station is a convenient 18 minutes away, offering local and national rail services.
Guests can anticipate views across East London and beyond
Value For Money
Rates start at £199 (bed and breakfast). Find rooms and book direct on the Montcalm East website.
151-157 City Rd
Telephone: 020 3837 3000
Experiential stays are one of the things that set Montcalm East apart from other hotels, with a number of activities for guests to immerse themselves in.
As well as overnight stays, spa days and the Photo Lab experience, Montcalm also offers a package for those who want to work from the hotel.
For £30 per person, a day pass includes the option to work from the hotel in the lounge or bar spaces, gym access, breakfast and a one-course Lunch at Moor & Mead, as well as unlimited tea, coffee and water throughout the day.
Given its prime east London location, Montcalm East makes for an ideal city break but what sets it apart from the rest is the ambient Bokeh Spa tucked away in the hotel’s basement.
Guests can expect all of the fun and excitement of a stay in the capital, but with plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind.