It’s rare you stay in a hotel and don’t want to steal the perfectly plump pillows, Egyptian cotton bedsheets and designer toiletries (OK maybe we’re guilty of the last one) but with no expense spared access to the best interior designers in town they generally succeed in making hotels places we never want to leave. You are spending hundreds of pounds a night so you would hope it’s the comfiest, most luxurious night’s sleep you’ve ever had – and more than just a one-size-fits-all approach to furnishing. Here is our pick of the most stylishly designed hotels in town. Suite dreams indeed.
What: A masterclass in colours and textiles
Why: Kit Kemp is a serious talent. Together with her husband Tim they own the Firmdale Hotel Group which includes Charlotte Street Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel and, our favourite, Ham Yard Hotel – a quick Google search of any will make you want to re-upholster every armchair, headboard and cushion in your house with something bright pink and lime green. Now you can – Kit Kemp has her own range of textiles, Wedgewood China and two books.
Where: One Ham Yard, Piccadilly, W1D 7DT
What: A boutique neighbourhood feel
Why: Boutique townhouse hotel, Artist Residence Pimlico opened only a matter of months ago. Antiques and local art adorns the walls, following on from the owners’ first two projects in Brighton and Penzance. Up the wonky stairs you feel as if you’re in someone’s (very cool) house with personal touches in each of the 10 rooms and a neighbourhood feel. The communal areas have had as much thought go into them – we love the Aztec patterned sofa in the lounge area and the downstairs bar, separately titled Clarendon Cocktail Cellar.
Where: 52 Cambridge Street, Pimlico, SW1V 4QQ
What: The world’s first micro boutique hotel
Why: With just two rooms, a stay at 40 Winks is in high demand. The home of interior designer David Carter, the ‘micro boutique hotel’ is just as you’d expect for somewhere in East London – like a very upscale and achingly cool B&B. Stayed in by movie stars and hired out for photoshoots you’ll feel like you’ll be immersed in another, more magical world. The downside? You won’t want to leave your room and ‘room service’ are two words not mentioned here.
Where: 109 Mile End Road, Stepney Green, E1 4UJ
What: Traditional touches alongside contemporary artworks
Why: Also part of Kit and Tim Kemp’s Firmdale group, Haymarket Hotel is a more classically designed space, with trademark quirky touches including a Shooting Gallery and dog print fabric on dining chairs. We love the calm, nature-inspired conservatory and bold Tony Cragg scupture in the lobby which harmoniously sits alongside antique furniture and modern pieces.
Where: 1 Suffolk Place, London, SW1Y 4BP
What: Tom Dixon's take on 1920s glamour
Why: Located inside the iconic Sea Containers building on Southbank, the Mondrian combines the eclectic feel of the area with 1920s cruise ship glamour and 1980s post-modernism. Designed by Design Research Studio and celebrated designer Tom Dixon, the hotel is an eclectic mix of rich colours and sophisticated finishes. Can’t wait to check in? Pay the hotel’s award-winning Dandelyan bar a visit for a slick preview of Dixon’s handiwork… and more than a few tempting cocktails.
Where: Mondrian London at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD
What: Sleek urban living with high-tech touches
Why: ME London’s Rooftop Bar is one of the most photographed terraces in the city so it’s not surprising that the rest of the hotel follows suit. Sleek and modern with shiny surfaces, plush carpets and lounge music, you may have to remind yourself you’re in a hotel and not a cool bar or club. Rain showers, atmospheric lighting and the best quality bed linen bring you back again.
Where: 336-337 The Strand, London, WC2R 1HA
What: Travel-themed bedrooms
Why: The row of houses in Roland Gardens in Kensington that make up Blakes Hotel have received the expert touch of interior designer Anouska Hempel. With serious attention to detail, no finish has been left untouched and every room is completely different. Go for sumptuous dark grey velvet, opulent black and yellow or, our favourite, the Corfu suite; lush cream fabrics and use of natural materials transport you from SW7 to the Ionian islands.
Where: 33 Roland Gardens, Kensington, London, SW7 3PF
What: Minimal and modern with Sir Terence Conran's input
Why: With Sir Terence Conran’s involvement, you can trust that Boundary is going to be stylish. The 12 bedrooms and 5 suites are individually designed, all equally as fresh, clean and modern and each inspired by different design movements. Other suites have been designed by Lady Conran, Sir David Tang, Benchmark and Priscilla Carluccio.
Where: 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DD
What: English tradition and elegant modern touches
Why: Right opposite South Kensington tube station, the white pillared frontage of The Pelham Hotel hints at the elegant interior. They describe it as English country house meets London town house living; traditional features like the wooden panelled drawing room compliment more contemporary fabrics and colours. Our favourite is the pink and orange floral chairs in Bistro Fifteen, where afternoon tea is served.
Where: 15 Cromwell Place, South Kensington, SW7 2LA