A few years back, a grand, Grade II-listed, early 20th-century town hall was transformed into this classy modern aparthotel – despite its unpromising location between a council estate and a scruffy row of shops.
The decor is minimal, retaining many features – walnut panelling and marble for the interior, Portland stone outside, stained glass, and fire hoses on old brass reels scattered about – that would be familiar to the local-government bureaucrats who used to toil here, but jazzed up with contemporary art and a patterned aluminium ‘veil’ that covers the new floor at the top of the building.
The pale-toned, spacious apartments are well equipped for self-catering, but hotel luxuries such as free wireless internet and TV/DVD players are also in place. The De Montfort suite is the size of most houses, stretching over three floors, with a living room as big as a council chamber. The hotel’s new restaurant, the Typing Room, and bar, the Peg & Patriot, are much praised. Under a conservatory roof, there’s a narrow basement swimming pool with sparkly tiles.