Major corporate chain hotels are rarely very good in London, so what a wonder that this one, opened in the last weeks of 2015, is so worthwhile. Start with a progressive location that's a few hundred yards from the Tate Modern (and consequently the footbridge across the Thames to St Paul's) and a near walk to Borough Market. That's terrific, quieter than the West End, and ideal for early morning jogs along the river, but the hotel is also smartly executed, with a restaurant that aims to draw ingredients from the Market and a bar, the Distillery, that serves artisan gins and cocktails made of aromatics and bitters to honor the essence works that once stood here. All that is modern marketing, of course, but the real test happens overnight. That's quite good, too: All rooms (the standard size is 30 square m/323 square ft., with plenty of outlets) are in cozy modern slates, limes, and brick colors and come with safes, mini-fridges, and bathrobes—"Deluxe" ones are merely on a higher floor, and there's no view to speak of. Beds are fat and bathrooms large, since this building was newly constructed and was not a conversion. There's even an indoor pool (a London rarity) and you'll also find two small supermarkets nearby to keep the minifridge stocked. Everything is still new, and as word spreads, it will surely (deservedly) be a top choice, especially for loyalty points redemption. It may be corporate, but it's not standard-issue.
- Jason Cochran