Ah, London. Packed with the unexpected, always exciting and constantly reinventing itself, this city has our hearts.
And for those looking for somewhere a little different in the city’s well-established hospitality scene, Battersea might just be it. The area is rapidly establishing itself as a hidden gem: a perfect place, in other words, for the Radisson Group to open its latest hotel, art’otel, earlier this year.
Packed with unusual designs, a bold colour scheme and a truly top-notch restaurant, art’otel is the place that London’s hip young things come to hang out and sip cocktails by the jaw-dropping infinity pool. Come along; make sure you’ve packed your swimwear.
Battersea is a place on the up: the multi-billion pound redesign of the Battersea Power Station should attest to that.
Whereas before the area felt slightly forgotten, now it buzzes with immaculately dressed influencers on the way to the best restaurants in town, bankers heading for a quick drink after work in one of the many top-notch bars and culture vultures seeking to soak up the latest play at the Turbine Theatre. art’otel itself is located right next to the Power Station, giving you prime views of those iconic chimneys and easy access to the entire complex.
Every square inch of art’otel Battersea screams trendy – not a surprise, when you consider it was designed by the award-winning Spanish artist and interior designer, Jaime Hayon. Hayon has gone bold: there are statement walls in every bedroom, smooth curves everywhere, bizarre artwork on most of surfaces and stripped-back minimalist furniture everywhere else.
The end result is like wandering into a retro-futurist 1960s paradise: the entire hotel feels like one complete piece of art. Take a few minutes to wander through the gym, conference rooms and ground floor, if you have the time, and feel like an extra in a Wes Anderson film.
Food & drink
Come for the décor, stay for the dinners. art’otel offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to in-house dining. There’s TOZI Grand Café, where guests gather for the indulgent brunch menu, but more excitingly, there’s JOIA, the Portuguese-themed restaurant curated by Michelin-star winning chef Henrique Sa Pessoa.
Spread across three floors – the bar, restaurant and rooftop – the design is all plush seats, soft pastel tones and huge windows, with a buzzing kitchen at one end and a fully-stocked bar at the other. A perfect setting, in other words, for feasting on equally decadent food: we devoured the tasting menu, which included octopus salad, a melt in the mouth steak and a rice and seafood stew so good it may have ruined paella for ever. And that's without mentioning the extensive wine menu, which includes selections from across Spain and Portugal, and the slow-roasted leek with hazelnuts and romesco sauce... the list goes on. Everything is delicious.
We did also manage to check out the rooftop, which is nestled behind a series of curved wooden screens at the top of the building and buzzes with trendy young things drinking cocktails.
In addition to the aforementioned cocktails (we’d recommend the beautifully indulgent tequila-and-elderflower Safira Rosa), the rooftop serves tapas-style dishes that had us salivating. Think Iberico ham platters, a melt-in-the-mouth tuna tartare and patatas bravas so crispy we almost ordered seconds. With views of the Battersea Power Station’s immense chimneys, there’s literally nowhere better to be on a warm summer night.
You’re in London, baby! The Battersea Power Station area is better-connected to the rest of the city than ever before, thanks to the brand-new Northern line station stop a mere five-minute walk away. Make the most of it by visiting London Bridge, Leicester Square and Southbank: all these tourist hotspots are around a fifteen minute tube ride away.
With the newly-renovated Battersea Power Station so close by, it would also be a crime not to explore it a little better: the building is chock-a-block with new cafes, restaurants and shops to wander through, all of which have been designed to complement the building’s art deco aesthetic. Particular highlights here are the buzzy Turbine Theatre, set up by award-winning director Paul Taylor-Mills, as well as Lift 109, which takes visitors up the north-west chimney for a 360-degree view of the city.
Keep an eye open for the Arcade Food Hall, too: slated to open this month, it’ll offer a luxurious dining experience in the heart of the Power Station building, featuring food stalls from all over the world.
Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. Fortunately, art’otel can help with that: the hotel features the requisite gym (packed with all the latest equipment, if a tad small), as well as a spa that comprises a sauna, relaxation room (yes, please) and steam room. Head here for treatments that include massages, facials, mani/pedis and even waxing: everything you need to keep looking your best.
If you’re really into your fitness, then the hotel does also offer a personal trainer, who will be around in the gym from 7am until the evening.
All the rooms are laid out in a fairly similar way: apart from the suites, none are huge, but the colourful design, funky spectacles-shaped mirrors and excellent in-room coffee machines make them a surprisingly easy place to relax.
In terms of view, the best option would probably be an Art Room Skyline View. Situated towards the top of the hotel, the room features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and looks out over Battersea Park to the London skyline – a view that gives strong New York vibes.
When to go
It really would be a crime not to make full use of that gorgeous rooftop terrace. With that in mind, we’d recommend going in the summer months – between May and September – when the chances of blue skies are good and the views of Battersea Power Station are at their best.
Couples with a taste for bold art and excellent food.
Double rooms start from £224.50 per night, artotellondonbattersea.com