London’s Playful New Standard Hotel

The brand's first foray outside the USA puts the focus on public spaces

The Standard‘s first foray outside of the USA, The Standard, London offers quite the visual feast—saturated in countless colors, patterns and textures. With familiar retro-futurism, it feels similar to those in NYC and Miami, and maintains the brand’s focus on bringing locals and guests together in vibrant, dynamic public spaces. The hotel’s 1974 brutalist building (conveniently located just steps from King’s Cross) is wildly different than the fairytale Victorian façade of the St Pancras Renaissance property directly opposite, and the bold design carries through from the lobby to the restaurant to guest rooms. At reception, giant elephant ear plants dot the space, which feels busy but but not cluttered—with various takes on tiling and parquetry.

The interiors were handled by London– and SF-based Shawn Hausman Design, and the studio was given freedom to get wild. From the just-kitsch-enough shag-pile walls in the public spaces; to the retro lighting; to the burgundy, pink and mint bathrooms, every pocket of the hotel is delightfully playful and flamboyant.

The sprawling ground floor is a pleasant blend of a lounge, library, restaurant and bar. With large vintage leather chairs and books organized thematically (from Order to Chaos, to Engineering, and Adult Relationships), the comfortable library/lounge lets visitors settle in—whether they’re waiting for a friend or if check-in time isn’t for a while.

Isla—one of two eateries helmed by London’s Adam Rawson—opens up onto an outdoor deck. Both Isla and the other Rawson space, Double Standard, serve up cuisine imagined in collaboration with Standard International’s creative director of Food and Culture, Angela Dimayuga—formerly of Mission Chinese.

Each of the 266 rooms features windows that carry the retro-future theme—they feel reminiscent of a cruise ship in space. Of course there are amenities galore: incredibly comfortable beds, Bang & Olufsen speakers, free WiFi, fully stocked bar fridge, and robes. Our room also provided a lounge/dining hybrid space in lieu of a desk—a welcome alternative. Typing on your laptop from a couch, looking over at the Victorian building across the street, is much more enjoyable than most hotel versions of a workspace.

It’s the bathrooms that really stand out, though. With bold burgundy and pale pink (or black) tiles, mint-colored industrial-inspired fixtures and plenty of ’70s touches (from the lighting to the mirrors), the design sounds chaotic but is wildly satisfying. Best of all, many rooms have a tub that sits outside the bathroom—many of which have views across King’s Cross.

Back downstairs, an undeniable energy begins around the end of the traditional work day. Whether on the aforementioned outdoor deck or inside the library (where DJs perform in a sound booth), the public spaces fill with people—an apparent mix of locals and guests alike as intended. The sophisticated party vibe continues to escalate—and if it gets too much, there’s a fluffy bed to fall into upstairs.

Images courtesy of The Standard, London