Luxury Vacation Guide 2012: East London

London, a perennial tourist favorite, is no stranger to the luxury travel market. What’s relatively new is the proliferation of luxury hotels and other venues in traditionally working-class East London.

In 2012, East London’s reputation as luxury territory will intensify. Why? The Olympics, mostly. London hosts the Summer Olympics from July 27 through August 13. The Olympic Village along with many Olympics sites are are located in London’s East, far beyond the capital’s traditional tourist sites.

London’s East has seen significant high-end hotel development over the last several years. Luxury hotels like Hoxton Hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street by Hyatt, Boundary, Shoreditch House, and Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel have transformed East London’s hotel scene.

Edgy fashion, weekend markets, and various creative venues will continue to characterize East London, but there are luxury shopping opportunities as well. East London is packed with galleries and specialty shops, with particularly interesting hubs in Shoreditch and Spitalfields.

For dining, there is the outstanding Viajante, a Michelin-starred restaurant, located in the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green. Other Michelin-starred restaurants not far from the East London hubbub include St. John Bar and Restaurant in Clerkenwell (with a less formal outpost, St. John Bread & Wine, in Spitalfields) and Club Gascon, located just inside the City of London, across from Smithfield Market.

[flickr image via Harshil.Shah]