Nido Spitalfields: A Tour Of London’s New Student Residence Skyscraper

Back in December, we were slightly surprised to find out that some of London’s newest student accommodation costs up to £300 per week. Following our comments, we were contacted by the American developer, Blackstone. They invited us to tour their new student skyscraper, Nido Spitalfields, to see for ourselves what £1,250 a month gets you.

The tallest building in the Square Mile to open this year, Nido (“nest” in Spanish or Italian) is the second student block built by the company in the UK — Nido King’s Cross opened in 2007, and another is planned in Notting Hill. The 105m-tall building will accommodate 1,204 residents in a number of configurations, ranging from single or double studio units up to six-bedroom “clusters”. We’re not talking the insipid showers and unsprung mattresses you probably recall from student digs days — as might be expected, the rooms are filled with modern, designer furniture that doesn’t look like it will withstand the type of use that the 18-21 crowd will subject it to (or maybe that’s just the crowd we hung around with when we were 18-21). The rooms and shared spaces are a little on the small side, but not unduly so — only the kitchen space in the twin studio felt genuinely cramped.

From the top floor, there’s a wonderful panorama of London. Looking west is an unrivalled view of the City and the West End beyond, while Spitalfields and the whole of east London is laid out on the other. The neighbouring skyscrapers feel so close that with a pair of opera specs students will be able to spy on board meetings at the Heron tower and the Pinnacle when they’re built. It’s a residential view matched only by that from the three Barbican towers. The student housing stretches up to the 31st floor: the two floors above that won’t generally be for student use, as the developer is creating a ‘Sky Lounge’ for private functions and parties, which will be served by its own dedicated elevator from the ground floor.

Having taken the tour, does £300 a week still seem extortionate? What the developers are offering is a solution for wealthy parents concerned about the safety of their offspring studying in London. Nido has full-time security, and employs “resident life coordinators” and fellow students who can troubleshoot any problems or issues the residents have. From wireless internet to laundry to dining, to regular community events, it provides everything they need; nobody really need leave their little perch atop the City (apart from to sleep through another seminar on campus, of course). It’s a privilege largely afforded to international students: 90% of the occupants of Nido King’s Cross are from outside Britain. In a city where only 20% of students are offered housing, it’s a big concern: not necessarily one for the developer, but it’s something to think about in the wider question over student debt.

If you’re the scion of a wealth foreign family, Nido Spitalfields will probably be a great place to live. If you’re of more modest means, it might be a source of envy.

Thanks to Gina McMorran at Blackstone, and the staff at Nido Spitalfields and Nido King’s Cross, for arranging the visit.

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  • Mano

    It might be worth paying £300 a week because then you wouldn’t have to look at this eyesore – surely the ugliest, cheapest-looking big new build in London? I’ve been appalled watching it grow outside my windows and wonder how on earth such terrible designs can be allowed in this day and age when there’s some great new architecture that truly inspires. The only consolation is that it doesn’t block my view of the Gherkin (aka the Spirit of London).

  • http://undefined HoosierSands

    A toilet directly off the kitchen?? I believe the building regs have changed to allow this but still……eeewww.

    • http://undefined DeanN

      The shower room is also directly opposite the toilet.

  • Lindsey

    Great views, great pictures but it all looks pretty sterile to me. However, I could do with a ‘resident life coordinator’ please.

  • Tomtiredoflondon

    Just what Spitalfields needs. More students.

  • Modern Furniture

    Living there as a student seems great. The downside is this kind of place is quite expensive.

  • Modern Furniture

    Living there as a student seems great. The downside is this kind of place is quite expensive.

  • Contemporary Furniture

    Hope I could go there someday.

  • Mefisto12

    I have been living in Nido Spitalfields
    for 3 weeks, and I’m quite disappointed. The rooms are ok, but the staff are so
    unpleasant that there is a kind of prison environment really disagreeable. The receptionist to which I have
    the (unfortunately) chance to speak with in several occasions was so rude that
    really made you feel that you was bothering her just because I was a foreigner
    and she should realise an effort that she was not willing to do. Me, as
    many other foreign students, do paid the same as other students, and in any
    case, the reception is a service which must be included and available for everyone.
    I really think that people with this kind of personality should not work face
    to the public. The highly prizes practised by Nido Spitalfields are really in
    discordance with the services they provided.




  • Mmendivil2012

    The rooms are tiny, it is extremely expensive and be prepared to be charged for additional stuff all the time!  The worst thing is no matter what you do they will keep you deposit and give stupid excuses.  The kept my whole deposit for bed stals, 250 pounds.  Of course they were not broken. I spoke to other students and the same thing happened to them so if you are planning to go consider your deposit lost!

  • john

    Very expensive…you can find a better place for less money and the staff are just all stupid and they always keep the deposit like others said..Nido gives a stupid excuse saying that the room was dirty….this is why the price also includes the deposit….

  • Ena

    Worst place ever! seriously dont waste your money
    you can find much better places for much cheaper


    I want to complain on finance department of Nido Spitalfields. It is already a year I am trying to get my money back for my security deposit. NOONE answering my emails! And they do not call back! Most of people whom i know from Nido they also didnt get their deposit for year!
    It is unprofessional and irresponsible!!! DONT CHOOSE NIDO!

  • beatriz

    peor residencia que he conocido… Mi experiencia ha sido PÉSIMA!
    Lo contraté desde España con la agencia Langua4you.. otros
    y cuando llego allí mi sorpresa es que mi habitación eran 4 metros
    cuadrados y dentro
    de ella hacia una temperatura de 20 grados! aquello era inhumano..
    imposible dormir por las
    noches, ataques de ansiedad y claustrofobia.. Al igual que en los
    pasillos.. había que pasar corriendo porq no se aguantaba el calor que
    hacía. Lo contraté para dos meses, y no he podido estar
    ni una semana. Las imágenes que aparecen en las página, no corresponden a
    la realidad.. osea
    un timo de los buenos!! Lo que se suponía que era una residencia de lujo
    a resultado
    ser una carcel.. Los sinverguenzas de ellos no me devuelven el dinero, y
    me siento súper frustrada.
    ESTAFA!! . gracias a ellos mi experiencia en Londres ha sido
    catastrófica y he regresado a casa porq era imposible aguantar en esas
    condiciones durante 2 meses! Ni siquiera aguante 6 días.. Espero que os
    sirva mi testimonio.. Gracias