We Tried Shoreditch's Award-Winning Spa And Hotel That's Hidden In Plain Sight

We’re all guilty of seeing something interesting and then never actually going to the effort of finding out what is. Cue the Squire & Partners diamond-shaped building on City Road. This trippy-looking building (that if you stare at it too long you might go cock-eyed) is actually home to Montcalm East, a five-star hotel that went under a large renovation in late 2021 for the Marriot’s Autograph Collection. Being based in Shoreditch - one of the biggest ‘hipster’ pockets of London - it comes as no surprise that the renovation brought with it plenty of quirks, including a collaboration with Proud Galleries for a sexy rotation of prints.

Montcalm East Review

Montcalm East has a large selection of rooms, some coming with spectacular views of the city.  

We all love an Insta moment and if you tell me otherwise, you’re only lying to yourself. No matter what entrance you enter Montcalm East (there’s two), you’ll automatically see the instant glow of their illuminated walk way, where many before you have maxed out their iCloud storage. The downstairs is decorated with loud-coloured couches, geometric patterned rugs and a mini library, home to all sorts of books and several hanging plants. Unless you’re staying at Montcalm East for a couple of nights, it’s hard to make use of all the amenities but on this occasion I managed to get good use of the library due to my reservation not being on the system. The situation was quickly rectified after a bartender handed me a rather strong Tommy’s Margarita while I waited and of course, my reservation being located after a rather unentertaining game of hide and seek.

Room key finally in hand, I zipped up to the 7th floor to my 'Feeling Superior' bedroom. The room was large and airy, with everything you’d expect from a hotel room: a desk to work from, a good-sized TV, couches to lounge on but it’s the bathroom that I was most impressed with. It came with a rainfall shower AND a bath and it had underground heating that you could control with the touch of a few buttons. The bed itself was king-sized with a dark frame and a few pops of colour coming in from the decorative cushions and throws. Modern with flecks of personality, my hotel room expertly toed the line between being smart, tech-savvy and cosy.

Montcalm East Review Shoreditch

The deep-fried chicken at Moor & Mead is the only way to start your meal.

A rain shower and a couple of chapters of my book later, I begrudgingly made my way down to the ground floor restaurant for some food. Begrudgingly not because I wasn’t excited to visit Moor & Mead but because I had to get out of the fluffiest dressing gown I’ve ever slipped my freckled arms into. Whatever their secret is, it’s not Comfort and I want in.

Out of my gown and into a less comfortable blown leather skirt, I took the elevator down to Moor & Mead which was buzzing with chatter and large groups. Impressed enough with the Tommy’s Margarita (£12.50) from earlier, I ordered another one to help wash down my crispy fried Korean chicken (£8.50) starter. Large chunks of chicken came out piping hot, gleaming in a fiery hot sauce with a satisfying crunch from the batter underneath. Comfort rating here was a solid 10/10.

For the wrong reasons I’ve had some memorable steaks in hotel restaurants but I can confirm that the steak at Moor & Mead will be remembered for all the right reasons. A large chunk of sirloin (£28.50), cooked medium rare, had plenty of upfront flavour. The only downfall? You couldn’t order any of the traditional sauces, like bernaise. The melting cube of chophouse butter did a job but not to the level of the traditional pour of a fiery peppercorn sauce. Served with thin, golden chips and a side salad, it was however, filling enough to ensure I only had room for a bowl of creamy and nutty pistachio ice-cream (£7.50) from the popular Hackney Gelato brand.

Montcalm East Review Shoreditch Hotel

Bokeh, the award-winning spa, is not to be missed.

Montcalm East has plenty of quirks and I saved exploring a handful of them until the morning I checked out (the dressing gown may or may not have been one of the reasons why I didn’t get around to this when I checked in). After a champions breakfast where you can have your eggs cooked whatever way you want and the daily newspapers are at your disposal, I made my way to Bokeh. The underground award-winning spa is complimentary for all guests to visit and I was lucky enough to have all the facilities to myself when I popped down. They have a jacuzzi, steam, sauna and chill room, not too mention a 12-metre sized pool where you can float or do a set of lengths if it’s quiet enough.

The DesignMyNight Digest

I’m not sure who had a better time, me or the pads of my feet, but one thing’s for sure and it’s that we’re both in agreement that Montcalm East is a winner. The hotel has a lot going for it, from their casual restaurant that plates up British classics and comfort food and the award-winning spa Bokeh, to the gorgeous communal spaces and the spacious bedrooms that come with bamboo de tail kits and the fluffiest dressing gowns known to man (or atleast me). The only thing I’d argue is that there’s not enough hours in the day to enjoy it all in a one-night stay. The hotel even has a photo lab where you can order Polaroid-themed cocktails and print Polaroid pictures straight from your phone which I didn’t get around to visiting. So, the moral of the story? We’re all guilty of passing by buildings that make us stop and stare, so next time something grabs your attention, let curiosity get the better of you because you never know what you’ll find inside.

  💰 The damage: £390 for hotel stay with breakfast plus dinner and drinks.

  📍  The location: a stone's throw from Old Street Station.

  👌 Perfect for: a relaxing weekend sleepover or a business trip.

 ⭐ Need to know: visiting the spa is free so make sure you pack your swimming suit. 


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