New London hotels have to hit certain criteria: architecture like no other, visual appeal, a location within walking distance of the city’s top shopping and attractions, Instagrammable decor, food that is a real taste sensation, and luxurious rooms that offer a real sense home comfort. The Stratford is like no other hotel we’ve experienced in London; more a community than a hotel, it’s one of the city’s new hidden secrets, and for very good reason.
The newly opened Stratford hotel is a stone’s throw from the Westfield Stratford shopping centre. Its unique exterior gives the optical illusion of terracotta on one side, shading to grey on the other, depending which way the sun is shining on the building. On entering the extravagant, high-ceilinged lobby, you get a real sense of the spectacular design here, which is down to property developer Harry Handelsman. The man behind the Manhattan Loft Corporation and Chiltern Firehouse, he certainly knows a thing or two about creating a successful venue. For The Stratford hotel’s 42-storey modern tower block, he pulled in London’s finest team to deliver an extraordinary, Mayfair-standard experience in the east of the city.
The Stratford’s 145 hotel rooms are well-equipped, modern and chic; comfort is key. The interior decor features a muted, natural colour palette of neutrals, charcoal and wood, with soft pops of pastel colour. Attention to detail goes without saying; all your needs, from room service to extra towels, can be requested using the in-room directory tablets, with no need to contact reception
Bathrooms are in keeping with the Scandinavian minimalistic colour palette; stone is the key material, alongside marble-effect tiles. Ren, currently leading the charge in the beauty industry’s war on waste, is the brand you’ll find on the shelves.
For guests who wish to stay for a month or two, or even up to a year, The Stratford Lofts residences are fully furnished apartments with one, two or three bedrooms, all the comforts of home, and, might we add, some of the best views of London you can get. We challenge you to find a better vista! Some apartments have unique features, such as exposed concrete structures that lend an industrial-style feel, and all have access to breathtaking sky gardens, which give the residences a genuine sense of community.
There are two restaurants on site. The Stratford Brasserie in the lobby caters to all taste buds and dietary requirements, from the vegan cauliflower burger to the flavoursome bone-in rib-eye steak to the red prawn spaghetti, which is a big hit with locals. Desserts are always worth saving room for and our favourite highlights are the baked Alaska with peach melba and the cheese board that offers the best of British.
The seventh floor is where you’ll find the latest opening, Allegra, which brings fine dining to east London, headed by head chef Patrick Powell, with Scandinavian design influences throughout. The menu is focused on produce from the hotel’s organic farm, located 40 minutes away. Powell serves up offerings such as crudités from the farm accompanied by miso and lemon, roast suckling pig and a tart of hand-picked crab. There is an extensive wine list, and guests are encouraged to taste and choose their own wines inside the glass-enclosed walk-in wine room, an experience in itself that sets Allegra apart from any other London restaurant right now.
And the experience doesn’t stop there. The Mezzanine bar’s creations have also made a serious impact. Think of it like a cool New York cocktail bar, with mood lighting and upbeat music. The Mezzanine team transforms classic cocktails with a modern edge, bringing together new techniques and ingredients – the perfect pitstop both pre and post dinner, might we add? The cocktails here are hands down the best we’ve sampled in London and the overall experience is uniquely akin to a science lab, as the bartenders prepare their extraordinary creations using micro-scales. Some cocktails are finished with a perfume-style spritz of flavour infusion applied direct to the drink. Nothing is wasted here: surplus fruit and vegetable garnishes are all repurposed.
The Stratford is the whole package, from its ultra-comfortable beds to its outstanding food and drink to its friendly staff. We can’t think of a better reason to head east.
The Stratford, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD, +44 (0)20 3961 3333