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My (failed) attempt to review the Hart Shoreditch Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton

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This is, sort of, my review of the Hart Shoreditch Hotel London. It is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection of luxury independent hotels which allow you to earn and spend Hilton Honors points.

The hotel website is here.

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

I’ve never heard of the Hart Shoreditch Hotel …..

Neither had I, until recently.

The big hotel chains do a shockingly bad job of informing the media about new openings. They are a bit better when it comes to their own hotels – especially new builds, when we have seen them going up – but not with their affiliated properties.

I didn’t know The Abbey Hotel in Bath had joined Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio until it came up during the recent ‘Week of Wonders’. Similarly, despite the Hart Shoreditch being brand new and having been part of Curio Collection since Day 1, it has almost no profile.

I felt a bit sorry for it. It opened in February and was therefore forced to shut almost immediately. When it re-opened, the buzz had passed. At present hotels in the East End are having a terrible time – the Ace Hotel has just closed for good, for example.

I also have a soft spot for Shoreditch / Hoxton, having spent a decade living in East London. I was there for the dot com peak and the peak of the art movement. Today, the next door neighbour to Hart Shoreditch is a ‘capital allowances specialist’ which tells you all you need to know about how the area has changed.

Where is Hart Shoreditch?

The Hart Shoreditch Hotel is on Great Eastern Street. It is a short walk from Old Street tube station, heading towards Shoreditch. You are just seconds away from the core Shoreditch / Hoxton bars and (post covid) clubs.

If you know where the Nobu Hotel is, the Hart is literally 30 seconds away.

In truth, the typical guest is likely to be someone visiting a City bank who still thinks they are hip.

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

I checked in for the day …..

Regular readers will know that, as most Hilton hotels offer cheap rooms for day use, I have been trying out a few properties as temporary office space. Hart Shoreditch was £63 for the day.

First impressions were good. The lobby is what you’d expect from a luxury hotel dropped into what was (still is, partly) a cutting edge area.

Above is a PR photograph which gives a better impression of the layout.

Here is my photo of the bar, which sits in the lobby:

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

and an interesting integrated bookcase and lift lobby!

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

and the restaurant, which is called Barboun and has an ‘Eastern Mediterranean’ theme:

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

with the compulsory artisan coffee bar for guests and passers-by:

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

My Hilton Honors Diamond status was recognised at check-in, but no upgrade was forthcoming. With the hotel running at low occupancy, this was not encouraging. I cannot recommend this hotel if you have Hilton Honors elite status.

My room at Hart Shoreditch

The room I got was the tiny queen room I had booked. The view was over the rooftops as you can see towards the bottom of the article.

To be fair, despite the lack of space, you could see that quite a bit of money has been spent here. The heavy use of brass coloured metals is perhaps a little dated, but only by a couple of years. See:

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

and

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

The bathroom (shower, no bath) was a bit tight. The shower was a brass coloured rainfall / standard combo. Toiletries came in large – but free standing – bottles so there was nothing to take home unless you were taking the mickey.

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

There was a kettle with rather uncool Nescafe sachets. This seemed an odd piece of cost cutting. Remember that even the Hampton by Hilton in Ealing I reviewed recently had a designer Smeg kettle, and coffee machines are now common at this level.

Having taking my pictures, I went over to the desk. At least it had one – although there were no power sockets nearby. I turned around for the chair …. and realised there wasn’t one.

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

All I had was a felt covered stool – just visible under the desk – and the low pink lounge chair in the corner.

I clearly wasn’t balancing on this for the next nine hours, so I went downstairs to ask for a room with a chair. The staff went off in a huddle, and eventually decided that not a single room in the hotel contained a normal chair.

With remarkable honesty, they pointed out the chairs in the lobby – which were by tables – but said they were remarkably uncomfortable and I wouldn’t want to sit on one all day. In any event, paying for a room to sit in the lobby made no sense.

We then mutually decided that this wasn’t going to work. I asked why Hart Shoreditch was advertising itself as a day use office, when the rooms have no chairs, and got no answer.

On the upside …. I didn’t spend £63, albeit I had to spend the rest of the day jumping between coffee shops as I hadn’t brought my WeWork pass. Amusingly I still got my 1,000 Hilton Honors Diamond amenity points AND two nights of elite stay credit.

Review Hart Shoreditch Hotel London

Conclusion

I wanted to like Hart Shoreditch. I was hoping I could write a positive profile about a little known London Hilton property ….. perhaps proclaim it a hidden gem and be the person responsible for getting it onto the radar.

Instead, I need to tell you that it doesn’t respect core Hilton Honors status benefits (no upgrades here). The base rooms are too small and the lack of chairs – to go with the desks which were installed – is bizarre. It will lose them the corporate guests they need.

Price-wise, it is VERY good value at the moment with typical overnight rates of just £89 for what is arguably a 4.5 star hotel. I just wish I could have liked it more.

The Hart Shoreditch website is here.


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Comments (92)

  • AspirationalFlyer says:

    Is it possible to just ask for an upgrade? I do it regularly in hotels where I have status and normally get given one. Upgrades are subject to availability of course.

    • ChrisW says:

      Yes. This is what most status holders do if the upgrade is not offered and the hotel is not full.

  • ChrisW says:

    Hopeless (the hotel, not you). They come up with this great option of day rates for people looking for some peace and quiet to get some work done remotely (a smart idea with so few tourists and business travelers), and then don’t think the people would want a chair to sit in all day?

    It baffles me how so many UK businesses who were closed for months earlier this year did not spend that time planning for their reopening. My local barbershop for example, now has various health instructions for visiting now (must book in advance, arrive alone, wear masks, don’t shake hands with barber etc) yet when you go to pay its still “cash only”. I pointed out that if they wanted to avoid touch points they should accept credit cards to which they replied “yes we are looking into that”.

    They didn’t think of that during the 4 months they were forced to close?

    • Paul says:

      With card processing fees so low these days, and solution deployment so convenient, I think we all know there is only 1 reason any business only accepts cash.

      • ChrisW says:

        I’ve never been under any illusion as to why they avoid tax I mean credit cards, but if they are making a big song and dance about how clean and safe their business now is, handing over dirty cash at the end of the session makes a mockery of it.

        • Lady London says:

          It’s industry standards barbers and hairdressers have been given.

          I personally prefer to deal in cash both buying and selling to a relatively high amount. During Covid I pay with cards whenever the facility exists but it feels uncomfortable particularly for small amounts.

          • ChrisW says:

            You’ll earn far more points paying with a card wherever possible rather than cash!

        • Anna says:

          Can’t remember the last time I used cash! This morning we plundered the last of our pound coins for the (very old fashioned) car park for OH’s work so I might have to see if I can get change from a shop one day this week!

  • krys_k says:

    “My Hilton Honors Diamond status was recognised at check-in, but no upgrade was forthcoming”
    Do folks tend to push for benefits e.g. upgrade or is the stoic approach the default?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I won’t push but I’ll certainly ask if anything better is available.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    “In truth, the typical guest is likely to be someone visiting a City bank who still thinks they are hip.”
    That’s the kind of irreverent but knowing touch I love in HfP reviews.
    Hiring rooms for work for the day without even one chair and a desk with no plug (just why?) does suggest it’s more aimed at the affair-with-a-colleague market than actual work :D.

  • cinereus says:

    Have to ask why you still aren’t bringing the correct lenses for interior photography for shooting reviews?

  • Douglas Woods says:

    Do they give you (or are they supposed to give you) room upgrades when you’ve booked a room for ‘day use’? Expecting this, seems a bit cheeky to me.

    • Rob says:

      It doesn’t say anywhere that you don’t.

      No idea why you consider it ‘cheeky’. The cost is 80% of the cost of an overnight stay, and once you offset the fact that I’m not getting a free breakfast then the cost to the hotel is the same.

      More importantly, someone booking a day room to work will be in the room for 9 hours. A nice room is important. How often have you been upgraded on an overnight stay where you’ve spent less than an hour awake in the room? I was once given the Presidential Suite at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, which came complete with a fully fitted kitchen and formal dining room, which we spent under 1 hour in awake.

  • RussellH says:

    Since the article mentions ‘Tribute’ as well as ‘Curio’, does anyone know what the real difference (shorn of all marketting speak) between the two is?
    Especially as I believe there are no Hilton standards to be observed for these names.

    • Rob says:

      At Marriott, Autograph is 5-star independent hotels and Tribute is 4-star. It isn’t quite as rigid as this but, basically, a good rule of thumb.

      At Hilton, Curio is 5-star and Tapestry is 4-star.

      A Hilton Curio should therefore be equivalent to a Marriott Autograph.

      • Mike says:

        That’s incorrect. Tapestry is 3-4, mostly 3. Curio is 4-5, mostly 4.

        • Rob says:

          Ibis Styles are 3-star hotels, as are HI Express. The last Tapestry I stayed in (Washington) was a de-facto 5-star including someone who came in every night, turned your lights and bed down and set up some soothing classical music in your room for when you returned. Don’t remember that at the Holiday Inn Express Bodmin when I was there in August 🙂

          There are different variants of 5-star though. A UK five star must have 24-hour room service, for example, which counts out a lot of boutique hotels which may otherwise qualify.

  • Chris says:

    I too think you’ve had an unfortunate experience or you’re being a little harsh. I stayed here 2-3 times earlier this year when the “paint was fresh”. I got an upgrade on one of those occasions as a Diamond member. I thought the room size was fairly typical of Curio – the Canary Wharf one is similarly snug. And I don’t really mind the desk stools – suspect for the majority of us it’s to do an hour of emails in the evening as opposed to full day use. All in all I like this hotel, particularly for the City / East End access, and I would recommend it.