Named not for any Shakespearean connection but for its up-and-coming neighborhood in far East London, the Stratford occupies an ultra-modern tower adjacent to the Stratford International rail station. And it’s inspired not by Elizabethan England but by present-day New York, with loft-style rooms and modernist-inspired furniture and décor; the penthouse is in fact called the Manhattan Studio. There’s a fitness center with an impressive selection of classes, and a handful of restaurants and bars, including the much-in-demand Allegra, whose creators and designers are veterans of establishments like Noma and Chiltern Firehouse.
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We’ve been talking up East London for a long time now, but this is still a couple of stops beyond Hackney and Bethnal Green, on the far side of Olympic Park. At the moment the Stratford is something of an attraction unto itself; with design by Space Copenhagen, it’s the most stylish thing for miles, and both Allegra and the Brasserie are worth the trip. Best of all might be the extra space and sunlight afforded to the rooms and studios; the largest, the Manhattan Studio, spans some 65 square meters and feels more like a penthouse apartment than an ordinary hotel room.