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Travel review: The Curtain, London

By Liam Keen | Travel | Published:

For the hostel-hoppers or those on a budget - it's not for you - but for people after some luxury in their life then look no further.

In the heart of London's plush district of Shoreditch sits the latest project from renowned New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum - five star hotel, The Curtain.

The six-storey red-brick building boasts 120 rooms and suites, a restaurant, several bars, a spa, gym, cinema room and co-working areas - all within a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street railway and underground station.

The show-stopper is the members club bar and restaurant, Lido, that sits on the roof of the impressive building with its own heated pool.

After lugging our cases from the station to the hotel, guests are first greeted by an open reception area, friendly staff, and free refreshments - after the arduous 10-minute walk.

As the room was ready ahead of schedule we checked in early at midday - to find out we had been upgraded to a terrace suite.

After taking the lift up to the fifth floor we found room 603 at the end of a long, dark corridor.

If the beautiful decor in the reception and throughout the building wasn't a clue as to the quality of the room, then it was confirmed once we stepped foot inside.

A huge king-size bed was found in front of a brick-layered wall in the beautiful and bright room.

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The modern bathroom offered a walk-in shower with a waterfall-style shower - which doubles up as a steam shower.

The room extends back into a small seating area, wardrobe and impressive mini bar that boasts an array of drinks and snacks, including a selection of premium spirits.

But the thrills come from the large terrace that had a number of seats and deck chairs and looked out onto the high-rise buildings of London.

The small details are what makes this room special, such as the outdoor hamper that offers blankets, scarves, candles and a remote control for an outdoor heater, allowing guests to make use of the terrace at any time of the day.

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Once we ventured out of the room we were treated to a champagne afternoon tea at the Green Room bar.

Tea enthusiasts would be in tea-infused heaven with a selection of interesting and peculiar blends on offer, including an Earl Grey flavoured with orange and bergamot oils.

Savoury sandwiches, including classics such as ham and cheese, were joined by gin-infused cucumber sandwiches and boiled eggs topped with caviar.

The scones and sweet treats were the highlight of the afternoon, with a generous selection of cakes - from lemon curd to Victoria sponge.

From first glance the building looks easy and straight forward to traverse, and that's certainly the case for the hotel rooms - until guests unearth the subterranean rooms on offer.

A tour of the hotel unlocked some of its hidden gems - and gave us a chance to walk off the afternoon tea.

Heading into the lift from the ground floor to minus three we were shown around the spa, that has a steam room, pedicure and massage facilities, and a 24-hour gym.

A 30-minute neck, back and shoulders massage was a welcome retreat in a quiet and peaceful environment - giving guests an escape from the hussle and bustle of busy city centre London.

The maze that is the lower floors of the building unlocked several working and meeting rooms available for hire, as well as the members only bars and billiard rooms that are a tranquil escape from the bars and clubs.

The jewel in the crown is the Red Rooster restaurant, offering a selective menu inspired by a mixture of American and British food.

The name suggests a focus on fried chicken, which is certainly where the menu starts, but it also caters for vegetarians and vegans, and those for a taste of the sea.

Fried chicken on a waffle offered a bizarrely appealing starter, before a huge beef burger proved a classic main course.

The highlight for me was the strawberry tart dessert - a sweet, fresh and delicious finish to a gorgeous meal.

Live music throughout the evening proved the perfect tonic to an already excellent evening.

The main thing to take away from my stay, is that if you had the money to book at The Curtain, then everything you need is in touching distance.

The ideal location of the hotel, which is surrounded by excellent bars, restaurants and clubs, adds to those already on the hotel site - while any couples or families looking for a break have a pool, spa and gym to keep them entertained.

It caters to the member's club market, and also the hotel guests - who are given access to all member's areas during their stay.

Compared to other five star hotels, The Curtain is an inclusive, relaxed and friendly place that offers the very best service and facilities.

Factbox:

Rooms start from around £430 a night, depending on the notice given for booking.

The terrace suite starts at around £880 a night, which can rise to more than £1,000 if booking is on short notice.

Afternoon tea starts at £30 per person, which rises to £40 with champagne included.

A 30-minute massage costs £35 per person.

At Red Rooster, the chosen starter was £13, the main was £17 (rising to £19 with added bacon, while the dessert was £7.

The cheapest starter is £10, while the cheapest main is £16 - all desserts are £7.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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