The Standard hotel's London outpost aims to turn Seventies council office block into a 'cultural crossroads'

Tom Mulvihill
The Standard London is set to open next July in Kings Cross, opposite St Pancras station

Over the past 20 years, the ‘mischievous’ Standard group has become the party-loving poster hotel for lifestyle hospitality in the US, from the Meatpacking District in New York to Downtown Los Angeles.

Now, the scarlet-liveried hotel company has set its sights on global expansion, and London’s very much in the crosshairs.

An opening is being lined up for July this year, with The Standard London set to take over a prominent (that is to say, popularly reviled) office block in Camden, just across the street from St Pancras International.

The former Camden Town Annex, an austere Seventies Brutalist building which was informally dubbed ‘The Egg Box’ by locals for its grey, lumpy façade, is an unlikely setting for the “new cultural crossroads of London” (as the brand optimistically puts it).

Shawn Hausman Design studio has overseen the interior styling, imbuing the 266 rooms with a colourfully retro look

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But there are encouraging signs that this could become a vibrant addition to the neighbourhood, certainly with the recent announcement that three creatively distinct restaurants will make up the hotel’s food offering.

The first, Isla, will be an all-day dining venue with a menu relying heavily on British-sourced seafood and seasonal produce. Situated partly in the hotel’s lobby, it will also have a garden terrace for summertime al fresco dining.

The second, Double Standard, will combine pub fare with New York bar food, with meals served alongside a range of craft beers, wine and cocktails.

Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, of Casamia and Paco Tapas in Bristol, will run the third concept – a restaurant and bar in a three-storey roof extension, which will be directly accessible from street level via a bright red external lift.

Once open, the hotel will play host to a rolling programme of music performances, art exhibitions and guest talks

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The restaurants have all been designed by architect Shawn Hausman, who has also devised the aesthetic within the 266 bedrooms – all fitted with natural wood and patterned carpets.

The best will come with outdoor terraces overlooking the Gothic Revival edifice of St Pancras station; others, at the centre of the hotel will feature no natural light at all (instead there will be an ambient glow emitted from behind the beds).

Once open, the hotel will also play host to a rolling programme of events, (called ‘happenings’ in Standard speak) including music performances, art exhibitions, guest talks and more.

The hotel is now taking bookings from September 1, 2019. To celebrate the opening, a 20 per cent discount is available via promo code HEYKINGS when booking from now until July 31. Stay dates are from September 1 to March 31, 2020, with a flexible cancellation policy up until 3pm the day before the stay. 

For more information see: standardhotels.com