A Review of Nobu, London Shoreditch

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Back in January, I headed for my annual tradition of a weekend in London. For this trip we chose to spend our time exploring Shoreditch, East London, in depth. During the trip, we stayed at Nobu, part of the famous restaurant/hotel chain.

Now, I am going to preface this review with moan. We stayed in a lovely room, BUT it was the room type below the one I had booked and paid for in advance. They provided no compensation or refund, and when I emailed to follow up with the central reservations team after my weekend stay, they replied trying to convince me that I had in fact been upgraded (and offering a free breakfast on my next stay by way of apology).

I know that is really not a big problem, but it’s still not great behaviour/service from a 5* hotel. OK moan over, the rest was wonderful.

Nobu is located in the heart of Shoreditch, one of London’s coolest areas. The hotel is in walking distance of a whole host of incredible restaurants, including Dishoom and Gloria. It’s also close to the famous Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market, as well as Colombia Road Flower Market which runs on Sundays.

It’s also easy to reach from central London, being around a 30 minute walk from The City, and on lots of tube/train/bus routes from across town.

Colombia Road Flower Market

The room was large and spacious with a nice big comfy bed, table and 2 chairs and a small sofa area, as well as a huge TV unit at the end of the bed. It was very clean and nicely finished with nice Japanese touches such as a tea set provided in the room.

As a small point, one of our water bottles had a broken seal and was half empty on arrival which meant we didn’t drink it just in case, though of course not the end of the world.

In our room

The bathroom was modern and clean, with a nice powerful shower over a bathtub. The bath was so hard to get out of though as the side was so wide and the bath so deep I had to straddle it like a sumo wrestler and risk it all to a painful slip!

The room was also quite dark. The room looked out on to a street and had 2 layers of sliding wooden shutters. The first against the window was a blackout wooden blind that slid across acting as the curtains. However, the second (in front of the first) was immovable slats covering 2/3rds of the window. The slats block the natural light at all times as you can see in the picture below, and on a dark wintry day it probably felt even worse.

The room was absolutely lovely, please don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful hotel. However for the price paid, compared to other 5* hotels I’ve stayed in, it didn’t make it to the top of my list of accommodation recommendations.

Now, this is where Nobu is special. The food was AMAZING. Nobu as a chain was created by a Japanese chef based in America, and as a result its menu is largely Japanese, with a bit of a South American twist.

Walking down to the bar area in front of the restaurant

Whilst it does serve variety at breakfast, the highlight of staying at Nobu is the weekend Japanese Brunch on offer. All you can eat absolute deliciousness of sushi, curries, salads, rice, tacos, and lots of other treats including a huge dessert buffet with banoffee pie, cheesecake, brownies and pavlovas – heaven.

Even though I didn’t *love* the accommodation (for a 5* hotel), the brunch alone means I would still consider coming back and it was so worth experiencing.

Aside from the incredible bar and restaurant mentioned above, Nobu also offers a really nice café area to sit and relax just by reception with a tea, coffee or drink. Try a miso brownie to go with it and you’ve got yourself a great start to the day!

Nobu also offers a highly rated spa with a range of treatments, making it the perfect destination for a pamper weekend in the capital if you want to splash out. For once I didn’t actually use the spa, as the prices weren’t justifiable. For hubs and I to have a massage would have cost us £300 for the shorter version and over £400 for the longer option which seemed totally extortionate!!

Nobu doesn’t offer a concierge, or any experiences outside of the hotel. The hotel is uniquely designed and I really liked how modern it looked, but it definitely lacks outdoor space (though I suppose to be expected from a city centre hotel). I found there wasn’t a lot to do in the hotel other than to sit and eat/drink, which isn’t all bad of course!

So what did you think of Nobu? It was a beautiful hotel, but I don’t think it provided value for money. I’ve been disappointed recently with hotels in London – I know they charge a premium for location, but I’ve still been underwhelmed. Undoubtedly Sea Containers remains my ‘go to’ in the capital that I’d return to time and time again. Stay safe and happy travelling!

18 responses to “A Review of Nobu, London Shoreditch”

  1. A very honest review of your stay at Nobu Hannah. I wouldn’t have been happy if I’d been downgraded a room type either. The star of the show is obviously the food and the brunch looks outstanding. I can’t believe the extortionate cost of spa treatments either but some people must be prepared to pay that much. An interesting comment about Sea Containers as I haven’t stayed there but my son did for work and he was very disappointed with his room as it was overlooking the back and very dark. I suppose that’s corporate rates for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s so interesting about Sea Containers – I’ve never not had a beautiful room overlooking the Thames and the glow of London’s morning light to wake up to. And yes Nobu was a bit style over substance in the case of accommodation, but not in the case of the food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nobu looks lovely! Although it was a step below what you’ve experienced before with hotels, it’s still a marvelous place to stay at. Refund policies are a pain and not always great, but you did get something back, I suppose! Thanks for sharing this hotel review with us, Han 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes still absolutely a beautiful hotel and the room was definitely not the end of the world, just a minor moan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, I’m not terribly impressed with Nobu; although beautiful, it seems overpriced. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t provide you with the room you booked (and paid for) and then didn’t provide compensation for their error. The food however, looks delicious and the location looks great for exploring the neighborhood. Lovely photos as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree – it feels like it increases prices 20% just because of brand. The food was amazing, and I’d definitely recommend the brunch, but not to fork out for a room!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Downgrading you (without explanation?) and refusing to refund you the difference is unacceptable for any hotel, but especially one like Nobu. Shame on them. You got the last word, though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I was a bit disappointed overall with my stay, and wouldn’t choose to go back or stay with Nobu elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been to the Nobu restaurant in NYC, but it’s a hot spot. That is crazy for a 5* hotel to not provide great customer service after not giving you the right room! They’d have to roll me back to the room after that brunch haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah MTH had to basically carry me back – neither of us could eat another thing, but then I’d booked us a big dinner too – ooops!! Yeah Nobu has got such a reputation now I think they overcharge based on brand


  6. This hotel looks lovely, but not anything spectacular. And for the cost of a massage- you would expect more of the whole place than what they offered. I am however very interested in checking out this part of London with you in a future post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree; it was beautiful don’t get me wrong, but there is better available for the price!! And Shoreditch (and a few London area guides) are on their way shortly 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The tea set will impress me (but not my husband)! And maybe that bath was indeed made for a sumo wrestler. I agree with you about light in a room – if there are heaps of light in a room, I’m a happy girl! We’re not big sushi eaters (though it always look so delicious). But the dessert you mentioned – I’m suddenly much more interested! Nobu might not be our choice … but then, we really like camping 🙂!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree on the light point, it did feel really dark in trying to be cool I think. The dessert table was pretty special and even better they also had a cocktail station 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well, and you know me and cocktails …

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a bit sketchy of the hotel to downgrade your room and then have the audacity to tell you that you were actually upgraded. As if you wouldn’t notice. Besides that, it sounds like you had a comfortable visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The room’s design is beautiful and the food looks divine. But that’s not the service or experience you expect from a five star hotel, you’re paying a premium for a reason. It’s unacceptable to downgrade your room and refuse to refund the difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree, the food was absolute top notch, but the hotel itself wasn’t worth the price tag

      Liked by 1 person

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About the author

Hi! My name is Hannah, I’m a travel blogger from the UK who fits travel around a full time (and full on) job. In this blog I share my adventures around the world and hopefully help you to find some inspiration for destinations, things to do or places to stay. Thanks for stopping by – stay safe and happy travelling.

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