Anything but traditional - London’s coolest new hotels

by Janice Burmaz April 17, 2016

This September sees the biggest sporting event in Great Britain since the 2012 Olympic Games. Yes, England is hosting the Rugby World Cup 2015 – an overdue return of the oval ball code to the land of its birth. Teams from Uruguay to the USA – not to mention the perennial giants of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand – will be heading to the UK to do battle. Joining them will be hundreds of thousands of passionate supporters.

So where will all these fans be staying? The hotel chains of Great Britain are gearing up for an influx, and no doubt the Bed & Breakfast trade is hoping for a windfall too. But for those seeking something a different, we’ve put together a shortlist of some new and distinctly untraditional hotels.

Of course, you don’t have to be a rugby fan to book a UK holiday this year. Some might even suggest going before the tournament kicks off, or after it finishes, in order to avoid the crowds. Whether you’re looking to browse the department stores of Knightsbridge, tour the highlands of Scotland or make a beeline for the Saatchi Gallery, the UK has much to offer this summer. Art or sport, fashion or football – Great Britain has it all. All you have to do is choose a hotel that matches your sense of style.

The Hospital Club
Just what the doctor ordered

Dave Stewart achieved stellar levels of success in the music industry as one half of the Eurythmics. One night in the 1990s, while enjoying a drink in Covent Garden with his friend Paul Allen, he spotted a boarded-up building. “That would make a great club for creative people,” the musician said. And thus was born The Hospital Club.

Fast forward to 2015. The Hospital Club has expanded on Dave and Paul’s original vision by adding 15 unique rooms. Much more than a place to rest your weary head, this boutique hotel offers a bracingly different – and very creative – take on hospitality. Each room features the work of contemporary artists, and hotel guests have full access to the facilities of the club, including the production and screening facilities, comedy nights and mixology classes. There’s a cocktail trolley at 7pm and even something called an erotic mini bar, by Holloway Smith Noir. 

The bedrooms are fitted out with leather, velvets, warm woods and stained glass. The location is unbeatable – in the heart of the West End – and the ambience is arty. This is not your average hotel.

Mondrian London
Thinking inside the box 

London cabbies have traditionally baulked at going “south of the river.” That’s a pity, because one of London’s most stylish new hotels can be found a stone’s throw from the heart of the City, on the southern bank of the Thames. It’s called Mondrian London and you should insist on being taken there. It’s that good.

Situated in the famed Sea Containers building, Mondrian London offers river view balcony suites directly facing the Thames. Working with renowned British Designer Tom Dixon, the Morgan Hotel Group has captured the essence of the original building. It exudes 1920s cruise ship glamour integrated with the modern twists the Mondrian brand is famous for. A giant copper-clad wall, inspired by the hull of a ship, runs from outside the building, through the lobby and onto the river side of the hotel. It’s a stylish feature that somehow contrives to be up-to-date while reflecting the Southbank’s eclectic and historic vibe.

Mondrian London makes the most of its riverside location, with outdoor seating along the river walk and an iconic green marble cocktail bar that offers dramatic views of The Thames. Perhaps the most glamorous space is the rooftop Rumpus Room with its glass box structure and outdoor terrace. What better location in which to enjoy a cocktail or a cold pint after watching the World Cup Final at Twickenham?

The Laslett
Your Notting Hill hideaway

Notting Hill must be the spiritual home of the boutique hotel. The Victorian town-house architecture suggests timeless comfort while the funky influence of bohemia still haunts the local streets. You half expect to bump into Kate Moss or Johnny Depp in the local bars. This is a neighbourhood where cool comes as standard.

Fitting right in, The Laslett Living Rooms take inspiration from Notting Hill’s boho legacy. Set across five handsome Victorian mansions on Pembridge Gardens, The Laslett is less than a minute from Notting Hill Gate tube station, which can whisk you to Oxford Street or Knightsbridge in less than 15-minutes. Portobello Market is a short stroll away, while a tempting array of bars and cutting edge dining establishments are clustered nearby. 

The 51 bedrooms look more like rooms in the house of an impossibly stylish friend than hotel accommodations. Modern British furniture sits alongside more personal belongings, from well-chosen books to curiosities from the local antique dealers. Smart bathrooms are filled with Neal’s Yard Remedies products while the ‘Big Bar’ in the bedroom boasts a selection of snacks, ‘help me’ remedies and drinks.

Not sybaritic enough for you? Head to The Laslett’s atmospheric Henderson Bar, where award-winning chef Sally Clarke provides the comestibles.   

Janice Burmaz
Janice Burmaz


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