24-Hour Room Service: Andaz, Liverpool Street, London

The Great Eastern Hotel, right in the heart of the Square Mile and hinged to London's second busiest commuter rail station, was unequivocally a business hotel. Yet it teetered on the border of the hip inner-east London hangouts of Hoxton and Shoreditch. The cross-pollination of the two demographics didn't sound plausible, but after Terence Conran swept his interiors wand over it in 2000, the hotel diversified its appeal by hosting offbeat comedy, music and literary events and the likes of Stephen Merchant, Will Self and Nick Hornby duly dropped in. Then last year, this grand Victorian railway hotel was bought by the business chain Hyatt. Would it revert to type?

Happily, a sense of cool has been preserved. The Hyatt imprint didn't sit comfortably with the hotel's evolution, so a new brand was conceived. Andaz meaning "personal style" in Hindi will roll out from the London blueprint, which was launched in November, in New York next year and other major cities thereafter.

Its ethos is "casual luxury". On my visit, this relaxed approach was experiencing a few teething problems the new "reception-less" reception where staff check in guests informally at the bar or on the sofas with Tablet PCs, had gone into meltdown. But once up and running, it will mean that the same member of staff who greets you will take you to your room, carry your bags and look after you from the beginning to the end of your stay.

Stylistically, the slick interior has been embellished courtesy of local and Royal College of Art artists here a lipstick-red neon sign, there a series of words working their way up a staircase, legible only in a mirror.

Model-of-the-moment Agyness Deyn has created an iPod playlist, while offbeat modern art is filling up the public spaces. Plenty of the grand, original 1884 architecture remains, mostly in corridors and stairwells, but there is little indication of the hotel's history other than the odd GEH initialling on the stuccowork.

The diversity also continues with the dining the hotel's four restaurants encompass sushi, upmarket seafood, a New York-style brasserie and French haute cuisine. Diners can currently enjoy anything from roast belly of pork with langoustines and fillet of brill with herb risotto in the latter, but this, too will be radically redesigned in the coming months, to bring a more informal dining experience and therefore completing the new design.

LOCATION

Andaz Liverpool Street, 40 Liverpool Street, London (020-7961 1234; www.london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.com). The entrance is just a few paces from the exit of Liverpool Street station, the terminal for most rail services from the East of England. Spitalfields and Brick Lane are just a short walk away.

Time from international airport: the Stansted Express terminates at Liverpool Street, with a journey time of around 45 minutes. From London City airport, the 27-minute journey is more complicated: take the DLR to Bank, and go one stop on the Central Line to Liverpool Street, which is also on the District, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.

COMFORTABLE?

The rooms have a comforting home-from-home appeal and are stylish without being overly fussy. The grey houndstooth check carpet, timber fireplace and muted colour scheme sets an English tone, but with vivid flourishes from bright red armchairs, a low Sixties-style white coffee table and dandelion clock-looking floor lamp. The beds are vast, comfy and draped in Frette linen. My bedroom window also framed a head-on view of the Gherkin, bathed in the light of a pallid winter sun.

The sparkling white tiled bathrooms feature environmentally conscious design, using a vacuum drainage and flushing system similar to an aircraft, with substantially less water used than standard bathrooms.

Freebies: Ren toiletries, Chegworth Valley fruit juices, Belu water, as well as broadband access, laundry service, movies on demand and local phone calls.

Keeping in touch: broadband internet access, direct-dial phones, Bose iPod docking stations and flat screen TVs in the rooms. The rooms also have various electrical adaptors built into the desk and the suites have a study.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Introductory weekend rates for a double room start at 140 per night, including breakfast. Weekday rates jump to 405 per night.

I'm not paying that: The Hoxton Hotel (020-7550 1000; www.hoxtonhotels.com) is a chic, no-frills bolthole in a fashionable corner of the East End. Doubles from 59, room only.

Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Exhibition Content Developer

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn