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September 28, 2022

Exterior of nobu hotel london shoreditch

Since its conception in the early nineties, Nobu has been synonymous with glamour, style and slick Japanese aesthetics. Starting as a restaurant in New York (backed by the one and only Robert de Niro), it swiftly made a name for itself, with word of Nobu’s chic Japanese dishes – particularly the famous black miso cod – quickly spreading beyond the Big Apple. 

It is no wonder that now, almost thirty years later, Nobu has become an empire of fine dining and luxury hotels with outposts in LA, Mexico City, Marrakech and Kuala Lumpur (to name but a few). One of the latest additions is Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch – an oasis of calm in one of the city’s most happening spots. 

Why stay here?

This impressive 164-bedroom hotel is a mere ten minutes from Old Street tube station, located within a converted multi-storey car park. From the moment you enter the building, it is clear that its brutalist exterior and bustling location are in high contrast to the luxurious calm found inside. The lobby features dark wood and gold, with guests greeted with a warm towel and a bottle of water. After a remarkably easy check-in process guided by the highly knowledgeable and friendly front desk team, it’s a quick trip in the lift to the rooms above. 

Living room at nobu hotel london shoreditch

To put it simply, these rooms are chic. Like the lobby, they feature plenty of dark wood and gilded surfaces, but here these components are combined with khaki, grey and navy blue hues, creating an almost tropical feel. I settle in quickly with a long bath in the enormous free-standing tub in the bedroom. It’s a dreamy setup – complete with complimentary bath salts and a huge Apple TV that can be angled towards the tub. Then, wrapped in a silky kimono-style bathrobe, I head to the spacious balcony with a pot of green tea and my book. Other than the odd car horn, I could be a million miles from home. 

Bedroom with free-standing bath at nobu hotel london shoreditch

The terraces and large windows mean that rooms benefit from floods of natural light during the day, but at night – although stylish – the atmospheric room lights are a little too moody and remarkably difficult to turn off. Switches seem to either turn off the light in another room or simply do nothing at all. For all the slick decor, the technology here is surprisingly complicated to decipher. 

View from the penthouse suite

Guests are able to book various spa treatments during their stay, from classic facials and body scrubs to a “diamond cocoon experience” which claims to purify, fortify and repair. If total calm isn’t what you’re after, there’s also a fully equipped gym, found via an exceptionally dark corridor that felt for me, a natural gym-avoider, as though it was leading towards impending doom. The changing rooms are spotlessly clean and equipped with a steam room for a post-workout relaxation session.

Eating and drinking

Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch’s real draw is the food, with dining at the heart and soul of the hotel group. The main Nobu restaurant is shut on Sundays, the day of my visit, so I dine in Nami, the hotel’s bar. While smaller, the menu here is by no means limited, with a choice of sashimi, kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and classic Nobu hot dishes

Black miso cod

My waitress is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but not overbearing – an impressive service style that is notable throughout the whole hotel. The food is exceptional, particularly the more classically Japanese-influenced dishes (a Peruvian-style steak is the only slightly disappointing component of the meal).

The sashimi is fresher than most that’s on offer in London and extraordinarily tasty. I try the “new-style”, which is flavoured with fresh yuzu, and the yellowtail spiked with jalapeño. The miso cod that succeeds the raw fish is definitely worth the hype: it’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, with the fish crumbling into large, translucent flakes as I stick my fork in. 

Selection of sashimi

The cocktail list at Nami matches both the restaurant and the hotel itself; it’s stylish and refined, with a couple of innovative twists. I sample the yuzu and apple martini, which goes down very smoothly. There is also an extensive whiskey list, including several varieties of delicious Japanese Nikka to suit all tastes. 

For a more casual Nobu experience, with the same high food standards, Nami certainly delivers. This hidden gem of a bar will certainly be on my list of top Shoreditch recommendations. 

Breakfast is a classic buffet with both continental options and traditional hot items (eggs, bacon and slightly watery mushrooms). It’s perfectly fine but nothing to write home about, which is a little disappointing from a chain so focused on food. Given the hotel’s location, this is hardly a problem; with central Shoreditch on the doorstep, some of London’s top cafes and restaurants are only a stone’s throw away.


Other than eating and drinking exceptionally well (which, of course, is nothing to be sniffed at), there isn’t much else to do here – but who needs a hotel packed with activities when you are right in the middle of the action, in one of the most exciting cities in the world? 

Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch is perfect for a city break. It’s decadent and luxurious – and exactly the kind of relaxing space you’ll want to tumble into after a long day seeing the sights. 

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