Every hotel in London has something unique to offer, but there are a handful that really stand out. From an old-world boutique bolthole where a legendary writer used to live to bedrooms designed to make you feel like you’ve been transported straight to Hogwarts, here’s our article about our favourite quirky hotels in London that are worth a stay if you want something a little different.
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Image Courtesy of Artist Residence
First on our list of quirky hotels in London is Artist Residence, located down a quiet street in Pimlico. This eccentric boutique hotel houses only ten bedrooms, each filled with limited edition vibrant artwork and furnishings like Roberts Radios, vintage furniture and shabby-chic interiors. There’s also a Loft bedroom that’s got a luxurious bathtub that’s big enough for two to slink into. Their bar, café and kitchen, Cambridge Street Kitchen, a former Victorian boozer, is the perfect hangout from morning until night, serving coffee, cocktails, brunches and more throughout the day.
Image Courtesy of Batty Langley’s
A stay at Batty Langley’s, a Georgian hotel on a stoney Spitalfields street, means you’ll not only be based within walking distance of some of the city’s best restaurants (Smoking Goat, St John, Gunpowder, Hawksmoor, we could go on.) but it also feels like you’ve taken a giant leap back in time. There are 29 rooms, each named after a prominent person from the 18th century, and each is reminiscent of a period drama, decked out with vintage furniture, huge portraits and roomy bathrooms with (mostly) freestanding bathtubs. There isn’t any restaurant here, but you can treat yourself to room service and we recommend venturing outside of your four walls to explore some of the city’s top dining spots, which are, as we mentioned, right on your doorstep. We highlight the best locally-loved restaurants and things to do in the area in The Casual Tourist Guide to East London.
Image Courtesy of Treehouse Hotel
This quirky hotel has been built to evoke the excitement you feel when you climb a tree as a youngster; it’s the perfect place to stay to release your inner child. Treehouse Hotel is whimsical and fun despite being unassuming from the outside, thanks to its setting in a weathered 1960s office block. Although there’s a theme throughout the hotel, it’s quite understated and subtle, adding to the air of luxury here. You can expect bare concrete and plenty of wood paired with lush potted plants and vibrant pops of colour. The rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows with epic city views and bright marble bathrooms with luxurious walk-in showers. You might even have a record player in your bedroom. The restaurant, Madera, boasts 360-degree city views and serves a menu of contemporary Mexican cuisine with highlights like zesty ceviche and crispy corn tostadas. If pizza is more your thing, you’ve also got Pizzeria Mozza.
Image Courtesy of Zetter Townhouse
The Zetter, Clerkenwell
All three of the Zetter Hotels in London are set in old buildings with an exciting history and heritage. The Clerkenwell Zeter Townhouse branch is located on one of London’s oldest squares inside a historic townhouse. This boutique base is fun and creative, kitted out with things like jazzy chandeliers and colourful accents throughout. The rooms are also bold, claiming to offer a ‘quirky and very British home from home’, with leafy patterns, Marshall speakers and hand-picked Penguin books. Opt for The Apartment for the height of luxury, with plenty of room and exceptional cityscape views stretching all the way to The Shard. There’s a laid-back lounge, The Parlour, where you can sip on drinks curated by award-winning mixologists while nibbling on small plates.
Image Courtesy of Georgian House Hotel
Georgian House Hotel
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll love this fun hotel in a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse in Pimlico. Georgian House Hotel houses a Wizard Chamber on the lower ground floor, where you can channel your inner Potter inside the gothic-style bedroom decked out with trunks, cauldrons, four-poster beds and heavy velvet curtains. There are also regular rooms, including those suitable for solo travellers. They also host a range of wizarding experiences, like potion making (cocktail making) and wizard afternoon tea. There’s even a cosy retro cinema where you can either log into your own Netflix or enjoy a classic movie showing with bubbles and snacks.
Image Courtesy of The Standard Hotel
Imagine a hotel decorated in a retro seventies style with sprawling potted plants and vibrant retro tiles, and you might’ve conjured up an image of The Standard Hotel in King’s Cross. This kitsch hotel is set inside an old Brutalist building, but the bright red bubble lift (elevator) is a clue to the funky interior that awaits inside. Rooms come in three styles, but all have pink and black bathrooms, geometric patterns and electric blue carpets. The funky bedding is even designed by those responsible for the fabrics you’ll find on Transport for London trains. Choose a suite if you want floor-to-ceiling windows with excellent views. There are a few restaurants and bars here: Isla, which serves seasonal small plates; Double Standard, where you can enjoy comforting fare; Decimo, for modern Mexican; and Sweeties, which is a cocktail bar, late-night lounge and discotheque enhanced by an ever-changing DJ line-up. There’s also a rooftop bar with stunning views of King’s Cross station and beyond which is open during the warmer months. You can enjoy small plates here as well as a top-notch Spicy Tommy’s Margarita.
Image Courtesy of Portobello Hotel
The Portobello Hotel
If you want to stay in the same room that Johnny Depp and Kate Moss (supposedly) had a Champagne bath in, opt for The Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill – it’s room 16, by the way. This quirky hotel is set inside two neo-classical mansions, where none of the 21 rooms are the same. Each one varies in size, ranging from small and cosy to large with deep Victorian tubs. Each is individually designed with eccentric touches; one of the rooms even has a bed with stairs leading up to it. You’ll also find various books scattered around each of the rooms. You can sip on local spirits and brews in the Honesty Bar, with drinks in crystal glasses and old antiques.
Image Courtesy of Hazlitt’s
Last on our list of quirky hotels in London is Hazlitt’s in Soho, named after William Hazlitt, an 18th-century writer who once actually lived here. This boutique hotel is located across four magnificent Georgian townhouses with only 30 bedrooms, each named after William’s friends who used to visit. They all ooze old-world character with old oil paintings, antique furniture, freestanding baths and original sloped walls and floors. Rickety staircases lead downstairs to the wood-clad library stacked with first-edition prints. There’s no restaurant here, but trust us, there doesn’t need to be; you’re just moments from Soho, which is chock full of incredible wining and dining spots.
Struggling to make your itinerary for your London trip? We’ve done it for you. Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 days and you’ll get a plan that makes the most of your limited time while bringing you to the major sites and the can’t-miss hidden gems. Check out our ULTIMATE London itinerary.