I was looking forward to staying at the Andaz Liverpool Street, the flagship hotel of Hyatt’s hip Ardaz chain, and I was not disappointed. Housed in a beautiful red-brick Victorian building dating back to 1884, the hotel is next door to Liverpool Street station, providing easy access to areas both in and around London, including a direct rail connection to Stansted airport. Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern and Spitalfields Market are all within walking distance, and the shopping hub of Oxford Street is only a seven-minute Tube ride away.
Andaz promises a refreshing take on the boutique-style hotel. In the cool lobby, arriving guests are checked in by black-clad staff at laptop computers (there is no reception desk), all while enjoying a complimentary drink. The general feel is vibrant yet relaxed, with bright, contemporary art on the walls. The hotel is thoroughly tapped into the local cultural scene – it is a sponsor of this month’s London Design Festival – and provides a meeting point for creatives and city workers alike.
Despite the sleek exterior, there’s no mistaking that this is a business hotel. My suite included a fully stocked desk, complete with Post-it notes, Sellotape and paper clips. Andaz rates are inclusive of Wi-Fi internet access, local landline phone calls and a ‘health bar’ comprising Japanese rice crackers, yoghurt-covered nuts, water, organic apple juice, etc – little things that can really add up at other hotels. I should also mention my suite’s separate sitting room, which could have easily accommodated six, and two magnificent, black-and-white tiled bathrooms in the Art Deco style. The bed was deliciously comfortable – I had a blissful night’s sleep.
Andaz Liverpool Street offers a range of dining options, with five restaurants to choose from including a brasserie, Japanese restaurant and seafood bar, all of which attract local residents as well as in-house guests. We ate at 1901, the hotel’s modern British offering, where our meal showcased fine ingredients such as king prawns from Shetland (served with a Bloody Mary, avocado and mozzarella foam), salmon from Loch Duart and Venison from Yorkshire. The grand proportions of the room, with its huge domed atrium, make it a good spot to take guests from out of town. And the following morning, my Eggs Benedict – a good benchmark for a hotel kitchen – were cooked to perfection.
For business or social needs, the hotel has 14 private dining and event rooms, including a converted Masonic temple and a loft-style ‘studio’ with an open-plan kitchen. This certainly isn’t old-school, or even particularly British accommodation – rather, Andaz Liverpool Street is an urban, functional haven for city-slickers, and a great place to stay at that.