Can business and pleasure mix? It's an age old query with a variety of answers but when Singaporean businessman Loh Lik Peng tried his hand at converting Bethnal Green's town-hall in London into a fashionable and avant-garde hotel, his statement residence may satisfy critics posing this very question.
Employing Rare, a company of architects and researchers, Peng transformed the Edwardian building into a chic critique of minimalist furniture that suggests classy waiting room and future-focused design at the same time. As well as installing art-work such as murals and print-work, the hall's new owner also 'installed' the world famous chef, Nuno Mendes, into the hotel's newly-created restaurant, Viajante, to great acclaim. Based at the end of an subtle-coloured atmospheric corridor, this eaterie boasts haute-cuisine and precision place-setting.
Other top-end features include the original gentlemen's toilets from the town-hall with their original stone setting, a top floor made out of glass and a laser display that provides necessary privacy for the guests' bedrooms.
Town Hall Hotel is located at 8 Patriot Square, E2 (020 7871 0460; www.townhallhotel.com)