Warehouses are fantastic spaces. Though they may begin their lives as storage sites for anything from food to furniture, when it’s time for them to move on they have the potential to transform from caterpillars to butterflies. Usually wide, open spaces, they benefit from lofty ceilings and tons of light. It’s no wonder then that several of London’s top hotels are warehouse conversions.
Shoreditch’s The Boundary was originally a late Victorian warehouse and now styles itself as “Restaurant, Rooms and Rooftop”.
Careful to preserve the key features of the original building during renovation, the hotel has beautifully large sash windows (with the corner rooms boasting six), a soaring ceiling in the basement and gorgeous brickwork on display, both inside and out. Making use of the spacious building, they also have four sprawling duplex suites, colour and character filling the once industrial space. There’s even room for three restaurants and bars, a British food shop and a bakery.
North of Soho is the Charlotte Street Hotel, in the heart of a neighbourhood frequented by media types. This building gives a warm welcome to anyone walking through its doors; the exterior a light grey and the interior a mix of wood-panelled drawing rooms and vintage-inspired bedrooms.
Check rates at Charlotte Street Hotel
No longer are the cold and cavernous spaces of the building’s former purpose, as the light lobby and comfortable reception rooms warm you with their French sandstone fireplaces. Of course, in such an adaptable space, there’s also room for one of Firmdale’s private screening rooms and the Oscar bar and restaurant.
Just a stone’s throw from Soho Square, The Nadler Soho again mixes old and new. Part nineteenth-century and part built new for its opening in 2013, before its incarnation as an antique furniture warehouse, the site was a mansion called Carlisle House, which is thought to have inspired a house in Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’.
Check rates at The Nadler Soho
This boutique hotel’s 78 rooms have sleek modern designs, ranging from cosy rooms with four-foot double beds, to a penthouse suite. Though small in places, its bright rooms, with leather furniture and fur throws, are perfectly influenced by the site’s former lives.
Finally, the spectacular Town Hall Hotel, previously featured on this blog, offers more space than you’ll usually find in a London hotel. It was converted from a former town hall building, rather than a warehouse, but has a similar style with its exposed beams, high ceilings and use of light.
Check rates at The Town Hall Hotel
Clearly being a cold and cavernous space for storing wares is no barrier to becoming a lively and welcoming place to stay.
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Photo credits: The Boundary, Charlotte Street Hotel, The Nadler Soho, Town Hall Hotel.