Arty London hotel celebrates pop culture icons: nHow London hotel review

The bar and open plan foyer is an explosion of colour at nHow London

With its artful design and City location, nHow London is ideally placed as a hotel base from which to explore the Capital.

The first UK outing for the NH hotel group, which is headquartered out of Madrid,  the nHow feels newly launched. It first opened its doors, and then promptly closed them again, at the start of the pandemic.

The hotel’s modernistic design is the work of architect James Soane, co-director of the London-based Project Orange interiors studio.

The nHow London is in the City, Islington and Shoreditch triangle

nHow London – Location

The four star hotel is located a relatively short (10 minute) walk from Angel tube, and is bordered by City, Islington and Shoreditch. It’s part of the 250 City Road luxury living development, designed by Sir Norman Foster’s architectural firm Foster + Partners.

A colour throne daubed with ‘It’s a London Thing’ invites Instagramers to pose…

nHow London – Design

Enter the eight-storey 190-room hotel and you can’t help but smile at the familiar British iconography and playful aesthetic. A Big Ben clock blasts off like a rocket, while a colour throne daubed with ‘It’s a London Thing’ invites Instagramers to pose. Cushions and chairs sport union flag patterns

There are jackets hanging above the check-in (literally a fashion statement), while ‘London Calling’ is daubed across the mirrored interior of the lifts, and can be found in certain rooms. It’s an unsubtle fashion Clash. This is not a sober retreat. 

The pop culture dressing may not be to everyone’s taste, but it sure makes for a fun environment. The open plan lobby features a central bar, reception area and café. 

The corridors on each floor are distinguished by a rose-patterned carpet, with each room door a different colour.

If you haven’t guessed, nhow is NH Hotel Group’s urban design and lifestyle brand.

The ground floor may be open plan, but there are distinct areas to relax, thanks to the inventive use of lighting and funky furniture. A crafty LED fireplace with wooden design elements and warm lighting create a homely feel.

nHow London – Rooms and amenities

The nHow London has 190 rooms. There are double rooms, twin rooms, superior rooms, superior access rooms, seven junior suites and the Penthouse Suite, all reflecting the hotel’s faux punk style. The suites have baths as well as showers.

Pets are allowed (an extra charge, so check before you pack your pooch).

We stayed in the Penthouse Suite on the eighth, and it’s a wonderfully indulgent space. A large wooden table with comfy chairs and the lawn-green carpet give an outdoor vibe. There’s a sofa in front of the TV, a Marshall wireless speaker, and desk space for laptop working (although a lack of plugs seemed to be telling us to spend time at the bar instead).

A dog statue keeps watch over the door. 

The bedroom is spacious and comfortable, again with a large flatscreen TV, while the bathroom area with shower and bath, is a gold-plated treat.

There’s something of a cruise ship vibe in the Penthouse, given it’s at the upper most pointy bit of the building,  and the wall fixtures are rounded like portholes. The windows are large. There’s definitely enough room in the Penthouse to entertain.

Inventive lighting design is a signature part of the hotel’s look, and it’s used to delineate the dining areas, lifts and rooms. In our suite, industrial pendant lights add scale and interest.

In addition, there are meeting rooms on the first floor and a gym.

nHow London – Restaurants

The hotel’s Bell & Whistle restaurant was closed when we visited, so food was served in the café area. The menu is unadventurous but family friendly, and includes Fish and chips (£16.50), Sourdough Pizza with mozzarella and smoked salmon (£15.95), Quinoa Salad (£11.50) and Pan Fried Spring Lamb Rump (£22.80).

Fancy a light bite? Try the tempura prawns with Sriracha mayo (£6), which we found to be dangerously moorish, and nachos with burrata and tangy chilli jam.

The same space is transformed for breakfast, with the bar area seconded for pasties, juices and cereal. Continental breakfast will run you £17 a head.

nHow London – Verdict

With its colourful personna and feel good vibe, this debut UK nHow is easy to like. The cartoony decor is welcoming, and we like the eclectic room design and fittings. 

The restaurant and bar space is fine, but the menu is routine, so you might want to look elsewhere if you’re in town for a special occasion. 

Overall, we rate the nHow London a brilliant London staycation base – just remember to pack your sense of humour.

The details

nHow London, 2 Macclesfield Rd, London EC1V 8DG
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3907 8100
Rooms rates start at £168 a night; suites start from £288, and a night in the Presidential Suite starts just shy of £600. 

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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