The Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch (Old Street) London

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  • MartynSinclair

    I recently stayed in the Courthouse in Shoreditch for a conference. It’s not often I get excited about staying in new hotels, especially when they are not part of my usual hotel profile, but this occasion was different. I understand the hotel is a converted courthouse and I was looking forward to perhaps some originality or quirkiness about/within the hotel.

    I arrived by tube, Old Street on the northern line and it was a quick 5-minute walk. Staff at check in were extremely polite, despite having a prepaid room with breakfast I was still relieved of £100 deposit via a credit card hold, despite the hotel knowing my time was full of pre-arranged meetings as part of the seminar. “standard hotel procedure”. Concierge staff were also very polite and smartly dressed.

    I was on floor 3. Looking for my room, I could have been in Asia. There were 2 or 3 people, sitting cross legged on the floor, next to the service trolleys playing on their mobile phones. I must assume these were hotel staff – pretty harmless, but it didn’t look right.

    The room itself, was a standard size. Not big, not small, just right. Cleanly finished, plush carpets, expensive looking bathroom, shower not bath – that was fine.

    2 things stood out.

    1. The room overlooked a courtyard with presumably other bedroom of the hotel or another building looking into my room. The room had thick curtains, but no net curtains. This meant I either have no sunlight or no privacy. I thought this was strange

    2. All the wood surfaces, were cracked and warped, looked very cheap.
    The bed was very comfortable, but I didn’t sleep as I was worried I would over sleep – always like to be woken by the sunlight.

    Breakfast – I originally was trying to find the thread from a couple of years ago about how much would you pay for breakfast. My rate included breakfast, but I thought it was very poor in terms of non-cooked. The cooked section looked comprehensive, but the non-cooked looked spartan. I would always expect as a minimum for continental breakfast, a good selection of freshly cut vegetables/salad and fruit, freshly squeezed juices, not processed rubbish. Was very surprised there was not water, “sir can have bottled water, but it will be extra”. I can’t think of any other hotel of this standard that has such a poor breakfast service. No extra offerings via a menu.

    I was trying work out the dress code for the waiters. One had his shirt tuck in, the other ¼ in and ¾ out. Impressions do count.

    However, the best part of this hotel though is the position. How many times have we stayed at hotels and gone out looking for somewhere decent to eat/drink & end up walking for hours. Do not make the mistake of asking the concierge for a recommendation. You will either miss it or find an alternative along the way. Turn left, turn right, the side streets, what a fabulous area. The nearest I can compare to is Amsterdam, OK, without the canals. Go back 10 years to the days when there were hundreds of windows, in AMS. Just change what is being sold behind the windows. So many choices of bars, restaurants and fast food. Found an amazing corner shop with a liquor selection that beats any hotel bar I have ever been to. Bought a single malt from Sweden of all places. ( – they may be the supplier to the shop, but that’s the address on the bag & no I do not have any interest in the business, except purchasing the drinks 😊. Lots of characters in the area, saw no police, but I felt very safe.

    The night before I checked in, I did check the price of the room, but presume the £350 quoted was a flex price, due to occupancy.

    I was slightly disappointed with the hotel. Did not find it anything other than a standard B & B. Admittedly, I did not have time to fully explore the hotel, but for the price someone paid for the room and breakfast, yes I was expecting more.

    Would I recommend – Yes

    Would I stay again – Yes

    Would I stay if it was a personal expense – Absolutely NO.


    MartynS: given the price I think you are very forgiving


    I attended a conference there last year where the organisers made a huge deal about the “story” of the building – the fact that the Kray twins and various other east end characters were regular “Guests” – that our conference break-out sessions were going to be held in THE actual cells that held the criminals. One session was conducted in the cinema in the hotel, at which we were given bags of pop-corn instead of the usual mints/sweets.

    All in an effort to inspire us to connect with our environment – that this was more than just an ordinary conference venue – this was a conference venue that came with a history and heritage that we were now actually being part of.

    Well their blarney worked…I can tell you all about the hotel but can’t remember a single thing from the conference.

    Have a great weekend.

    Becky Ambury

    We reviewed this property in January, should anyone be interested in further details.
    It is indeed a fantastic area, with no shortage of lively places for food and drink.

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    I believe it’s one of those parts of London that used to be seriously dodgy, now renovated and moved upmarket. Something to bear in mind next time I go to London.


    Interesting Martyn. I have never been there and looking at recent reviews on Tripadvisor I probably won’t.


    I remember when this hotel was indeed Old Street Magistrates’ Court and as a junior barrister I appeared there regularly. In those days it certainly was a less than salubrious area. I had lunch there in the bar area last year. I was very underwhelmed. The service was almost non-existent, even on a sunny August day it felt gloomy in the bar, the food was mediocre and poor value for money.

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