Office blocks and commercialism may spring to mind when you think of Fitzrovia, but this Central London neighbourhood also enjoys a thriving arts scene. Close to London’s theatres, shops and museums, it offers a well-rounded location for a first-time stay in the UK capital.
Sitting on the fringe of London’s thriving theatre district and neon-lit Soho, Fitzrovia is a slightly more refined section of Central London’s chaos. Packed with some of the city’s best dining institutions and a fair number of cultural spots to boot – including the Dominion Theatre and the British Museum – it has all the benefits of its neighbouring areas, but its hotels have a particular sheen and sparkle. Stay in its centre for a taste of London’s high life with this pick of the best hotels in Fitzrovia.
Everything about the Mandrake Hotel is attention-grabbing and unique. Its name comes from a hallucinogenic plant, while its lobby has a living wall. Its courtyard is brimming with jasmine, while its atmosphere is more akin to a tropical retreat than a city hotel. Since its opening in September 2017, it has developed a reputation as one of Central London’s best boutique properties. You’ll find art throughout the hotel, and the uniquely styled rooms mean you can choose between cosy or light and polished spaces.
Minimalism is the name of the game at Sanderson London, where futuristic feng shui meets modern luxury. In the lobby, you’ll see outlandish pieces of furniture, such as sofas shaped like lips and gilt-framed pictures hanging from the ceiling. The bedrooms are a little more pared back, with a calming white, grey and cream colour palette and silk drapes adorning the walls. Visit the Long Bar to sip pre-dinner cocktails, or pop into the gym for a workout.
The London EDITION has been on the map for a while thanks to its grand Lobby Bar, not to mention the Jason Atherton-helmed restaurant Berners Tavern, which serves modern British cuisine in a truly breathtaking space decorated with gilt-framed paintings and goblet-like chandeliers. There’s hardly a more extravagant spot in London for dinner, let alone breakfast when the menu includes classics such as a full English or smoked haddock kedgeree, which you can wash down at weekends with a tipple from the bloody mary trolley. The elegance of the 1835 building shines in the intricate stucco ceiling and sweeping staircase, but rooms are much more modern with contemporary furnishings and sleek bathrooms that feature rainforest showers. Luxurious and beautiful, it’s a hub for London’s bright young crowd.
Overlooking Bedford Square, this hotel perfectly reflects its bookish location. The bar’s comfy leather sofas, anglepoise lights and foliage create a perfect working atmosphere for the area’s literati, while the guest rooms offer marble bathrooms, contemporary furniture and vibrant pops of colour. It’s a great spot for romantic getaways, and you can enjoy a room-service breakfast from neighbouring Gail’s Bakery or a facial from Body Kalm before exploring the district.
Hazlitt’s, named after the 18th-century essayist who once lived here, is right in the heart of Fitzrovia and has developed something of a legendary status over the years. Considering it’s in the heart of the city, it’s remarkably calm and quiet inside, with the library and bedrooms providing quiet places to rest and relax. Every nook and cranny has new treasures, and every room pays homage to the building’s old-fashioned charm. Borrow a book from the hotel’s extensive collection of signed first editions, pour yourself a drink from the honesty bar (available to all guests), and take it easy in front of the drawing-room fire with the resident cat, Sir Godfrey.
Taking pride of place on Fitzrovia’s main street, the Charlotte Street Hotel is all about polished countrified comfort. Something of a pit stop for local celebrities, Oscar Bar & Restaurant draws a well-heeled crowd, particularly after 5pm when the corporate suits come out to play. There are enough facilities here for you to never set foot on the street, including a gym, a spa, a library and a private screening room. A winner for cinema buffs, it runs a Film Club featuring cult classics, new releases and art-oriented screenings throughout the year. Up in the rooms – decorated in famed interior designer Kit Kemp’s distinctive modern English style – you’ll find flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and striking granite bathrooms.