Famous the world over for its street market, Camden also attracts a huge clientele for its vibrant food scene and music heritage. But where to stay? Here are the five best hotels in Camden that will put you right at the heart of the action.
The north London borough that gave us Madness and Amy Winehouse is often touted as the capital’s home of rock’n’roll. On any given day you’ll find it swarming with punks, goths and rockers on their way to one iconic music venue or another, or hunting for bargains amid roadside stalls. From studded leather jackets to iterations of the Union Jack, there’s plenty to rummage through. Canalside market stalls, music venues and street food vendors are all here to be discovered at Camden Market.
Situated on the northeast edge of elegant Regent’s Park, the York and Albany Hotel is five minutes’ walk from Camden Town Tube. It sits above the York and Albany gastropub, owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, where guests can enjoy tasty pub grub accompanied by a glass of fine wine, or washed down with a hearty pint. Be sure to check out the animals at ZSL London Zoo, the world’s oldest scientific zoo focusing on conversation.
If Ikea did dream apartments, they might look like this: polished wooden furniture, fluffy beige carpets and Crittall windows that fill each room up with natural light – offset with dusty pink suede seating and industrial elements such as bronzed angular lampshades. Best of all, you’re just a stone’s throw from thriving Camden Market. Famous for its vintage markets, food vendors and antiques stalls, this bargain-hunting ground can take up days of your time. Start your day with a walk down the canal towpath to Angel and follow the aroma of baking to Popham’s for daytime fuel in the way of coffee and freshly made pastries.
This newly renovated hotel, in a building dating back to 1865, gives you the opportunity to experience a slice of London’s prestigious music history. The downstairs pub has hosted numerous musical legends including James Blake and local girl Amy Winehouse, while upstairs the rooms are monochrome in style, with mahogany-toned leather headboards, charcoal grey wallpaper and industrial touches such as metal furnishings and light fixtures. Pop into the pub for a pint of Camden Pale – the local craft beer – before continuing your music-themed adventure at one of Camden’s myriad live music venues such as the Jazz Cafe or Electric Ballroom.
Mid-century furnishings are the defining features of these apartment-style hotel rooms. Upholstered headboards, mirrored tables and geometric rugs combine to give a 1950s-chic vibe. This old-world vibe is juxtaposed with ultra-modern bathrooms – think glass showers and glossy black and white marble – and plenty of greenery to help brighten up the rooms. Kentish Town Tube station is on the doorstep, while Camden Lock village is 10 minutes by foot in one direction and Hampstead Heath 10 minutes in the other.
A striking 1970s Brutalist building in the heart of bustling King’s Cross (minutes on public transport from the centre of Camden), the Standard’s approach to luxury is full of retro design details such as mid-century furnishing and tartan-inspired fabrics. Rooms range from compact singles to expansive terrace suites where you can soak in a bathtub with views of St Pancras station. Core rooms may lack a view but come with plant-filled bathrooms, and you can always get your 360-degree view from the rooftop, along with plates of seasonal seafood at Isla restaurant. From there head down to browse books, cocktail in hand, in the Library Lounge, located in the former Camden Council Library – complete with its own Sound Studio which you can rent out.