East London’s latest hip hotel hangout, nhow, has an eight-floor social hub, with a boldly designed open-house lobby that looks more like an MTV studio than a place of rest and relaxation. The hotel invites guests to “draw inspiration from eye-catching art as you work on your latest project in the lobby, reinvent the wheel in the thought-provoking work laboratories [and] indulge in a revolutionary dining experience in the innovative restaurant”.
Boutique brand Ormond Group has opened Momo’s, a “social hotel” with micro rooms. It is also home to MoMosita Taco Bar and The Playground, which is how the lobby-cum-“community living room” is named. Designed to feel like an experiential gallery, The Playground is described as “a mash-up of a taqueria, a sidewalk cafe, a performance space and a gallery”.
Formerly the fusty Eaton Hotel, Eaton HK was conceived not simply as a place to stay, but as a place to gather – specifically for artists, activists and those from marginalized communities. Here, even food has an artistic dimension. Foodhall, which has eateries and a signature bar, is an in-house cultural complex that blends dining and creativity with its design inspired by ’90s Wong Kar-wai films.
The one-bedroom TRUNK(HOUSE) – located in a former geisha house in the Kagurazaka neighborhood – is designed to resemble a traditional salon where artists and academics would have once gathered to discuss the cultural issues of the day. Full of bespoke design pieces and original artworks, it can accommodate a party of four overnight, although there’s space for up to 30 guests in the social areas and in a room the team calls “Japan’s smallest disco”. At the hotel, a private butler and a personal culinary team are on hand to prepare authentic Japanese cuisine.