Bethnal Green, a quintessentially London neighborhood (sari stores, old-fashioned grocers), hasn’t sold out to coolness the way its neighbors Shoreditch and Hoxton have, but being on the wedge’s edge has its benefits. In this case, rooms in a palatial Edwardian Baroque-style former governmental building at moderate rates. Echoing corridors retain more than a touch of bureaucratic architectural aloofness (it may be the only hotel in the world where an intact council meeting hall lies just off the restaurant/lounge area), but everything has been spruced up with attention-catching artwork and a knowing crowd. Spacious loft-style rooms are high-ceilinged and current with shower/deep bathtub combos and bear no resemblance to their mundane origins. “Studios” have kitchens and washer/dryers. A few minor operational glitches (for me: clocks set to the wrong time in the rooms, Wi-Fi that slows down at night when more guests use it) are more than offset by the out-of-the-fray location and nearness to nightlife—and by the indoor lap pool.