True luxury hunters don’t want soulless mega hotels with rows and rows of identikit rooms. Instead, the new mark of a taste is a stay in a small, quirky boutique, or — better yet — a townhouse so welcoming and discreet that it almost, just almost, feels like home.
Never not ahead of a trend, London has seen a wave of new townhouse openings over the past twelve months. From a romantic hidden hideaway to a foodie mecca serving up 20-course tasting menus, here’s our pick of the best (including a few golden oldies).
Beaverbrook Townhouse, Sloane Street
A treat for lovers of the original and exquisite sprawling Surrey spa hotel, the Beaverbrook Townhouse has recently opened its doors metres from Sloane Square and Knightsbridge. Ultra-luxurious and playful, it’s the ideal base for a weekend of glamour in the capital. Start proceedings off by sipping on one of the flamboyant theatre-themed cocktails in Sir Frank’s bar (think Romeo & Juliet, Kinky Boots and My Fair Lady) before shimmying into The Fuji Grill for some of London’s top Japanese food. Sushi devotees should splash out on the 20-course Omakase tasting menu. Interiors have been masterfully curated by Nicola Harding and bedrooms are dazzling.
Beaverbrook Town House’s rates start from £400 on a room only basis; beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk/
Mayfair Townhouse, Green Park
Another city outpost by one of the UK’s top country hotels. This time, from the team behind the much-loved Cliveden House and Chewton Glen. A design feat, the hotel is made up of 15 converted Georgian townhouses - seven of which are Grade II listed. Positioned grandly on Half Moon Street, the hotel pays homage to one of its most famous former residents, Oscar Wilde. From the art deco Dandy Bar (where the Mr Bosie cocktail named after Wilde’s lover is a must) to the surprising artwork which tells the story of an eccentric fictitious family called the Renards, it’s a celebration of all things dandyism. Ask head concierge Dianna Bera for an art tour of the property - or, anything at all! As one of the very few women in the Clefs d’Ors (Golden Keys) association, she is the best of the best. Rooms come in all shapes and sizes, from the compact cabin perfect for solo travellers to the garden suites complete with a taste of the English countryside in the centre of the city.
Classic rooms from £312; themayfairtownhouse.com.
The Lost Poet, Notting Hill
This newly opened four-bedroom Victorian townhouse on Portobello Road is a love letter to Notting Hill. If you can, splash out on The Muse, a two-level suite with its own private roof terrace overlooking West London. The brushed metal freestanding bathtub will soak away the city stresses (and look excellent on the grid). The complimentary breakfast bag comes in two options: opt for ‘naughty’ and you’ll wake up to Ottolenghi pastries with jam and butter, pick ‘nice’ for coconut milk with chia seeds and blueberries.
Discounts are available for neighbourhood wine bars, pubs and shops. Nearby, Gold, Orosay and Haya are essential restaurants to bookmark. Our tip? Gather your nearest and dearest (or just your most debaucherous) and book the entire townhouse for a weekend to remember.
From £200 per night and from £1,370 for the four rooms exclusively; thelostpoet.co.uk
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Henrietta, Covent Garden
It doesn’t get more in the thick of the action than Henrietta. Metres from Covent Garden’s famed piazza and with Soho, and all its world class restaurants and gloriously grubby pubs, within walking distance, it can’t be beaten on location. The 40 rooms are set across two Victorian townhouses with interiors by award-winning designer Dorothée Meilichzon, whose maximalist style and clever use of clashing patterns and contrasting shapes have seen her work magic on several other Experimental hotels, including the Il Palazzo Experimental in Venice and the Menorca Experimental. The top-floor Grand London Eye Suite is particularly special with a private balcony with views of the iconic wheel. Food at the restaurant, Da Henrietta, is courtesy of Italian Supper Club and goes big on flavours from the West coast of Italy.
Rooms from £250 including breakfast; henriettahotel.com/
The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens
Alongside the already super-chic hotel, six newly renovated apartments have opened at 11 Cadogan Gardens. Taking over an entire floor of one of Chelsea’s most salubrious Victorian townhouses, the one, two and three-bedroom apartments are ideal for a family break in the city or for commuters who have perhaps relocated outside of London during the pandemic but still need (want) a luxurious base in the capital from time-to-time. Hans’ Bar & Grill is the one-stop spot for healthy breakfasts and lunches or decadent dinners and cocktails once the sun sets.
Rooms from £350 per night for a one-bedroom apartment; 11cadogangardens.com
Zetter Townhouse Hotel, Clerkenwell
When you just can’t think of where to go for a quietly impressive date or a keep-the-evening-rolling night cap, Wilhelmina’s Lounge, the bar at the Zetter Townhouse, is where to head. Its cosy corners, roaring fireplaces and cabinets of curiosities will start conversations and love affairs. If it’s really going well, head upstairs to one of the rooms, suites or apartments. A few miles away, in Marylebone, the newest Zetter Townhouse awaits with its 24 luxurious rooms and sexy The Seymour’s Parlour lounge.
From £189 for a deluxe room per night; thezetter.com
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