Interior designer and blogger Danielle shares her seven top picks for an artsy break in one of London’s amazing design hotels….
Having lived in London for over a decade, I can say with conviction that the city is full of amazing interiors, with each neighbourhood offering a completely new take on style. You can spend days in each, discovering new quirky cafes, design boutiques and artsy bars, and to end each day, escaping into a head-turning, statement-making design hotel.
Luckily, you don’t have to look hard to find one that makes you want to move in a thousand times over! And with that, here are my seven favourite design hotels in London that will inspire the artist within you…
Central London design hotel with a vintage and local feel
[stars number="4"] Artist Residence London | Pimlico SW1
Set in the neighborhood of Pimlico, Artist Residence is a cosy ten-bedroom boutique hotel tucked away from the hustle and bustle, and that will make you feel like a local. Every room in the hotel is decorated around a specific theme, so no two rooms will ever be the same. I enjoyed discovering the details that were added to the vintage room and knowing that it would be a unique room made it all the more exciting. I stayed in a medium room and it had a mix of unique vintage and craft furniture pieces, a vintage metal locker served as a wardrobe, and an old school desk served as a working space. The appliances also followed the same vintage theme with a black dial phone and a stunning Smeg fridge.
I found that once you visit, you will want to experience each and every one of the rooms, so you may find yourself booking another stay before you have even left.
For great food and drink, you don’t need to go far; Artist Residence London is also home to The Cambridge Street Kitchen restaurant, where you can get everything from your morning coffee to dinner in a stylish setting. Don’t forget to book in advance though as it is well sought after.
Don’t miss… happy hour at The Cambridge Street Kitchen every weekday with cocktails and unlimited nibbles.
Peaceful oasis of a design hotel in London with penthouse jacuzzi
[stars number="5"] The Mandrake | Fitzrovia W1
If you want a stay to awaken all your senses in a luxury setting, this is the right place. The Mandrake is a peaceful oasis located in middle of the hustle and bustle which is central London, just minutes away from Oxford Street. It is eclectic and intriguing, and every piece of furniture has been thoughtfully added to create a unique experience.
There are thirty rooms, as well as three suites and the penthouse. One that deserves a special mention is the penthouse; if you would like to redefine your bedroom goals and idea of a retreat, the penthouse boasts nothing less than an epic Veronese marble bed frame and a spa experience with a jacuzzi that you can enjoy whilst gazing at the stars.
As the name suggests, there is an all encompassing botanical theme weaved throughout the hotel. This becomes clear once you visit the three bars available. One of the bars recreates an outdoor cabana surrounded with cascading jasmine and passionflower and features a glasshouse apothecary, whilst another serves botanical-based plant inspired cocktails. A true oasis in the middle of a sleepless city.
Don’t miss… the in-house restaurant SERGE; food critics have raved about this spot, serving Michelin-starred modern French cuisine.
A minimalist design hotel in London with in-room iPads
[stars number="4"] CitizenM Bankside | Southwark SE1
CitizenM Bankside stands out because of the simplistic and easy experience they offer, mixed with an impressive attention to detail. The rooms are smaller compared to the other hotels I mentioned so far, and the living areas are a contrast to the rooms minimalist design. It is definitely a ‘millennial’ hotel and that is what makes it stand out. The check in and check out process is very simple, almost self-service, and when in your room you can control everything without leaving the bed via an iPad. I enjoyed dimming the lights and even choosing a mood on the iPad that would control all settings in the room, including opening and closing the blinds. Definitely an easy and convenient stay.
The living areas have been carefully designed to please the interior obsessed, featuring iconic Vitra pieces and floor to ceiling bookcases, plus it offers a private garden to enjoy a morning coffee and a glass of wine.
Don’t miss… making the most of the incredible location, ideal for a visit to the Tate Modern followed by a foodie pilgrimage to Borough Market.
A design hotel in London home to interior design events
[stars number="5"] Ham Yard Hotel | Soho W1
Dare I say this is my favorite hotel in London; it certainly is a big statement, but the Ham Yard is on another level. It is part of the Firmdale hotel group owned by Kit Kemp, award-winning interior designer, and her husband Tim; you can see and experience in the Ham Yard the best of British design in her very own witty style.
The hotel features several living areas, such as the library with a handpicked selection of books, a drawing room with rich fabric walls, and a leafy terrace.
It’s no wonder this hotel is home to major events in the interior design and blogging industries such as the Amara Interior Blog Awards which have taken place in the Ham Year over the last two years with renowned interior designers and stylists like Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson attending.
I also have to mention the soholistic spa and the summertime yoga and brunch, which takes place on their roof terrace. Located in Soho, it is perfect for those who want to explore London by day and night.
Don’t miss… checking out all of the hotel facilities; there are not many hotels that offer a complimentary session at their hypoxic studio, or have its own bowling alley!
A design hotel in central London with 52 individually styled rooms
[stars number="5"] Charlotte Street Hotel | Fitzrova W1
Another hotel from the Firmdale Hotel Group, each one of the 52 rooms in Charlotte Street Hotel has been individually designed. Kit and Tim Kemp have paid special attention to the colours and textures in each room and the headboards specially deserve to be admired, each one is custom made in its very grand design and upholstered with carefully curated patterned fabrics to become a work of art and the focal point in each room.
Aside from the amazing design, the Oscar Bar & Restaurant makes this hotel stand out from the crowd. The healthy options on the breakfast and afternoon tea menus are delicious, and the Bar & Restaurant are also very well frequented. Or if you are looking for a quieter place to read a book though and escape the buzz of the city, there are log burning French sandstone fireplaces in both the library and drawing room, with sumptuous decor and original art by period British artists such as Duncan Grant and Roger Fry.
For the film lovers, there is a screening room offering viewing experiences including a three-course meal and a champagne viewing.
Don’t miss… the afternoon tea in the hotel restaurant. It is well worth booking in advance.
A design hotel in Kensington perfect for foodies
[stars number="5"] Blakes Hotel | Kensington SW7
Quirky, cool, and unique luxury rooms. This is the best way to describe Blakes Hotel. My favorite room is suite 505, the Corfu room featuring white on white layering of textures and a four-poster bed; it creates effortless romance and you’ll wake up feeling like you are in the middle of a Provencal hill.
And as you step outside, you couldn’t be in a more privileged location in the Chelsea neighborhood with easy access to Sloane Square and South Kensington.
Don’t miss… the amazing food options. Their best kept secret is the Courtyard, which serves an amazing weekend brunch. And the setting is incredible; you can have tea in a Birdcage in true bohemian style!
An edgy design hotel in Shoreditch with a rooftop pool
[stars number="5"] The Curtain Hotel | Shoreditch EC2
I couldn’t leave out über trendy Shoreditch, and The Curtain Hotel perfectly epitomises the quirky and edgy vibe of the neighbourhood. The hotel décor features an industrial setting and Manhattan vibe, with its dark walls, exposed brick and abundance of textures.
The Curtain Hotel has a real focus on health & wellbeing, offering morning yoga sessions, a 24-hour gym and healthy menu options across its restaurants. The rooftop restaurant, Lido, offers fresh food all day, whilst you can enjoy live music seven days a week at its South American influenced restaurant, Red Rooster.
My favorite part however has to be the Green Room, the hotel’s very own cocktail bar. A feast for the eyes and the palate, it’s hard to decide what is best, the décor or the menu. Think peacock tones within an industrial setting, there is a mixture of rough concrete and plush velvet, a green tiled bar popping against the pink walls, and an abundance of brass and greenery. As for the palate, try MaBelle, a floral infused cocktail inspired by the rose garden in Victoria Park alongside the delicious deep-fried truffle mac’n’cheese.
Don’t miss… the heated rooftop pool with stunning views across the city: a great way to end a busy day in town.
Danielle is a proud mum and home interiors guru. Her site, The Room Alive, is a blend of practical family living and home inspiration. Stylish both home and away, she has a great eye for beautiful hotels and knows all the tips and tricks in travelling with the little ones!