Historic Town House Hotels
Hazlitt’s Hotel was built in 1718. Home to the prolific essayist and literary critic William Hazlitt in the 19th century, this atmospheric hotel in the West End is still a sought-after retreat for writers and editors. Relax in authentic Georgian surroundings, amongst the original masterpieces and period features that adorn each of the twenty-three guest rooms. Devoid of flashy facilities, Hazlitt’s is a private, low-key hotel where guests can sip on a nightcap from the honesty bar while scanning the impressive shelves of the private library. From £205.
Further towards the East End, the same owners of Hazlitt’s propose a second hotel, The Rookery, that also offers an escape from the modern world. Nestled in a 19th-century town house on a small lane next to the historic Smithfield’s Market, this small hotel full of warmth and character is furnished with elegant antiques, rich brocades and quality artwork. From £145.
Located in the smart neighbourhood of Kensington, The Gore is one of London’s finest luxury hotels, yet it is much more discreet about its charms than many of its famous counterparts. Behind the ornate façade of this Victorian residence lies a boutique hotel that demonstrates pure old-fashioned British elegance at its best. Guests lucky enough to stay in one of the fifty tastefully decorated rooms are treated to service fit for royalty, as well as modern features including flat-screen TVs and wifi. From £110.
Fantastically Eccentric Interiors
Opened in the 1970s, Blakes is a reference in the domain of flamboyant design. Vivid styles are played out in a fanciful mix of themes, all of which are executed with taste and elegance. The unique decors set the scene for a vast collection of antiques, fabrics and exotic props from all over the world – each guest room is a world of its own, with suites inspired by Japan, India, Egypte, China, Venice, Napoleon’s France or Tudor England. The fusion restaurant in the basement is also a popular spot with swanky locals.
Another hotel that has opted for an extreme design is the Rough Luxe Hotel at King’s Cross, which mixes Berlin-esque shabby-chic with plenty of raw materials to achieve its original interior. Sanded-back wood, exposed brickwork, flaking paint and torn wallpaper all contribute to the thoroughly post-modern concept, which is set off by a collection of contemporary art. From £200.
Home from Home
If you feel more comfortable in a homely environment, a cosy B&B or a slick serviced apartment are good options. Two such addresses appear to lead the pack, receiving near-unanimous endorsement from those that have stayed there: the luxurious Mayfair 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments at No.5 Maddox Street (from £225) and the more classic Lord Milner B&B in Belgravia with its pure Victorian-style interiors (from £110).
Last but not least, the B&B Belgravia, located in close proximity to Victoria station, is showered with compliments by happy travellers who thoroughly appreciated the breakfast and the helpful owners, as well as the modern décor. There is also a small terrace – a rarity in central London – for catching an (equally rare) ray of sunshine. From £110.