Arty-smarty English eccentric
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Cocktails for two in the hotel bar
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP215.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Arty-smarty English eccentric
Get this when you book through us:
Cocktails for two in the hotel bar
Fifty-two, including 13 suites.
Noon, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $276.09 (£215), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast. Order hot food from the a la carte menu and take your pick from the buffet breakfast for £26 a person.
Leave plenty of extra space in your suitcase for all that shopping from Oxford Street and Covent Garden. All shopped out, or in need of some last-minute grooming? In-room beauty treatments can be arranged – just ask the concierge.
Private screening room, library, drawing room, gym, library, free WiFi throughout, laundry, valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, Bose Bluetooth iPod dock, Tivoli radio, minibar, Frette bedlinen, Kit Kemp's range of Rik Rak bath products..
Bright, bold decor makes every room a winner, but Mr & Mrs Smith love the split-level Loft Suites. The fifth-floor, open-plan Penthouse Suite has additional TVs in the bathroom, for those who like to watch while they wash. We’d much rather hang out in its walk-in shower/steam room or spend the night gazing out across its incredible city-skyline views, though…
Opera glasses, if you plan on taking in a West End show. A central London street map – there’s a lot to see within walking distance, including Soho Square, theatreland and the British Museum.
Pets unfortunately cannot be accommodated.
Welcome. Most rooms can accommodate a crib (free) and Deluxe Rooms and above can fit an extra bed (£66 a night). Nannies available, from £8 an hour.
Welcome. Most rooms can accommodate a crib (free) and Deluxe Rooms and above can fit an extra bed (£40 a night). Nannies available, from £8 an hour.
Most rooms can accommodate a cot or crib (provided free) or an extra bed (£40 a night), and you can stash milk and snacks in your minibar. Your best bet is a family-friendly Junior Suite; even with the sofabed, there’s still room for an extra bed.
No crèche, but nannies can be booked if you want a little time to yourselves.
London has plenty of family-friendly attractions – take your pick from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, British Museum, Hyde Park, ballet or children’s plays at the theatre, the Tower of London…
There’s no dedicated children’s menu, but if you don’t fancy room service, kids are welcome in the restaurant at any time and there’s plenty to choose from; the kitchen is happy to warm up milk or baby food and high chairs are available. There are family-friendly options nearby, too.
Nannies are available with advance notice, subject to availability (so book ahead if child-free time is a priority). There’s an agency fee of £10 to pay, then it costs £8/ hour for a minimum of four hours (£6 thereafter) plus the sitter's taxi home.
Cots and high chairs are available on site.
Families with older, independent kids will enjoy the film club: every Sunday night at 8pm, the movie of the week (a new release or classic – check the rating) is played in the Charlotte Street Hotel’s state-of-the-art screening room; dinner (or afternoon tea) is served beforehand in Oscar restaurant. The three-course dinner plus cinema ticket costs £35 a head.
Grab a table for two on the tapestry-print banquette beside the bar – one of you gets to admire the cinematically colourful 1910-style mural; the other gets a wide-angle view of the whole restaurant and its open kitchen.
Think Bloomsbury artist and affect an air of casual indifference (while wearing your favourite city-chic outfit, of course).
The Oscar (named for the award-winning films screened in the adjacent private cinema) is Charlotte Street Hotel’s bold, bright bistro restaurant; settle in for Modern British classics such as grilled Dover sole and roast chicken with savoy cabbage, pancetta and chestnuts. Oscar also gives great breakfast.
The buzzy Oscar bar is popular with Bloomsbury’s media crowd for after-work cocktails and sharing plates. Perch atop a multicolour humbug-striped stool and sip an Oscar Limeade (Grey Goose vodka and apricot brandy muddled with fresh lime) with a tapas platter of chorizo, manchego and octopus, or knock back rock oysters with a glass of fizz.
Oscar is open for breakfast (7am–11am), lunch (noon–3pm) and dinner (5pm–11pm); last drinks are mixed at midnight. After that, adjourn to the art-filled drawing room for digestifs from the honesty bar.
A round-the-clock 24-hour room service menu should keep those hunger pangs (or champagne requests) taken care of. You can also take afternoon tea in the drawing room or library.
London Heathrow is 17 miles away and you'll have several options in terms of rail and Tube links to central London.
Charing Cross and Euston are roughly a 10-minute taxi ride away. King's Cross St. Pancras (and the Eurostar) is just a mile from the hotel. Goodge Street (on the Northern line) is your nearest Tube station, less than 5 minutes walk from the front door.
Public parking is available on Clipstone Mews. There is also valet parking should you prefer.
There’s a lot to see within walking distance, including Soho Square, theatreland and the British Museum. Hit the shops on Oxford Street, Bond Street or in Covent Garden; visit department stores Liberty and Selfridges; slope around Soho; go East to Chinatown; take in a West End show… London’s your lobster, as it were.
Hakkasan on Hanway Place (+44 (0)20 7927 7000) has to be the sexiest Chinese restaurant ever designed, and it was the first ever to be awarded a Michelin star. Its glamorous interior boasts a Christian Liaigre-designed bar and staff uniforms created by Hussein Chalayan. Don't expect it to be cheap, though… Other great local options are Modern Japanese restaurant Roka and its downstairs lounge bar, The Shochu Lounge (+44 (0)20 7580 6464). On-trend French and Mediterranean restaurant The Ninth (+44 (0) 20 3019 0880) serves up sharing plates and beautifully presented à la carte options in buzzy Fitrovia. Elegant Indian restaurant The Red Fort (+44 (0) 20 7437 2525) is a can't miss for Mughal court dishes and traditional Italian restaurant Latium (+44 (0) 20 7323 9123) is known for its traditional Lazio pastas; both are an easy stroll away from the hotel.
Just off Berner's street, stylish pub Percy & Founders pours seasonal cocktails, beer, craft ales and wines from its carefully curated selection; it does a mean weekend brunch too.
There’s something very decadent about spending the night at a London hotel when you actually live in the city. And, when you’ve got a one-year-old at home, smearing banana into your sofa cushions and pushing fish fingers into your Jimmy Choos, you need to feel decadent from time to time. Our weekend at the Charlotte Street Hotel is all about celebration – Mr Smith is about to become another year older – so we’ve handed the tot over to his grandparents and are planning a night of unbridled hedonism. Well, as unbridled as two sleep-deprived parents can manage these days…
In our eagerness to get the weekend off to a flying start, we arrive too early at the hotel and, despite the reception desk’s best efforts to get us installed, our room isn’t quite ready for us. We pop down the road for a relaxing massage at Walk-in Backrub, followed by a steaming bowl of noodles at a nearby Japanese café. We then stroll down to Covent Garden for a pitstop at the Monmouth Coffee Company, which both Mr Smith and I agree serves the best coffee in London by a mile. We’re loving being toddler-free for the day, and even manage to indulge in a little shopping before Mr Smith starts sticking out his bottom lip and stamping his feet crossly.
Back at the hotel, our room is ready for us, so we head upstairs to settle in. Since we’re celebrating, we’ve gone for a Loft Suite – a split-level chamber in which the bed sits on a mezzanine level above a stylish sitting area and en-suite bathroom – decorated in a wonderful mix of colours. I love that there’s nothing minimal about designer Kit Kemp's styling, and the shocking pinks and reds in the ornate curtains provide the polished and homely room with a splash of real personality. If that weren’t enough, there are also dressmakers’ busts, mood-lighting lamps and orchids dotted around to up the fun factor. A wrought-iron chandelier gives the whole room an air of grandeur.
Mr Smith particularly loves the huge cushioned shelf next to our personal library, and he spends an enjoyable 20 minutes or so lying down on its plush base and leafing through a few of the hundred or so volumes in there. Simple antique mirrors make the room feel bigger than it is, and an enormous painting of a cat on a footstool over the sofa manages to distort the proportions further. It’s bliss. There’s no child screaming for attention, no toys to trip over and no food being flung at me. If I had my way, we’d stay in this peaceful paradise all night.
But it’s Mr Smith’s birthday, so out we go. We’ve booked a table at Hakkasan – I know, I know; it’s been around for ages, but we both really like it – so, after quick showers in the stylish all-granite bathroom and some outfit experimentation, we make our way over to Hanway Place. For an eight-year-old restaurant, Hakkasan still looks and feels great. I love the dark basement feel, and the way it makes you feel in-the-know as you walk downstairs and the buzzing restaurant opens out in front of you. We thoroughly indulge ourselves with big platefuls of crispy chilli squid, super-fresh sea bass and the obligatory lump of meat for my non fish-eating husband. By the time we’ve finished our second bottle of wine, we’re feeling very decadent indeed; and we decide to end the evening at the Club Bar & Dining in Soho. It’s owned by a friend of ours, so we get a big welcome, free glasses of champagne and lots of lively chat. By the time we stagger out into the central London darkness, it’s well into the next day.
When we get back to the Charlotte Street Hotel, we’re surprised to find the lounge full of people. One family have obviously just arrived from abroad, and are sitting on a couple of the sofas eating a full meal. Nothing, it seems, is too much trouble for the staff. Mr Smith and I head straight for the well-stocked honesty bar – a lovely touch – and pour ourselves some seriously stiff drinks. Needless to say, I can’t remember much more about the evening. I don’t recall going back to our room, but that’s certainly where I wake up the next morning. I’d like to say I slept like a baby, but the only baby I’ve got experience of seems to emit blood-curdling screams whenever he’s put near a pillow and duvet.
In a world where hotels are getting overly complicated, and come with gizmos and gadgets, biometric recognition systems, showers you need a PHD to work and TV controls that would baffle a rocket scientist, the Charlotte Street Hotel is a breath of fresh air. It’s got the basics just right. The Frette bed linen is sumptuous and deliciously soft to sleep on, the TV has one simple remote, the bath fills in around two seconds flat and you definitely don’t need to run around to get wet in the shower. Everything is intuitive.
Mr Smith and I have now stayed in three of Kit Kemp’s hotels, and each time we’ve been really impressed. Each one has her personal sense of style ingrained into its make-up – they’re luxurious and comfortable, and the attention to detail is second to none – but each feels utterly unique. If only we could stay here forever. Unfortunately, somewhere in west London, there’s a toddler who’ll soon be wondering where his parents have got to. We’ll have to put the decadence on hold – well, till my birthday at least.
We loved the eye for detail from the moment we arrived. The receptionist casually asked about our visit and in response to discovering it was my wife's birthday she organised a cake with a candle and two glasses of Prosecco to be delivered to our room. Breakfast was a joy, prepared and delivered with care and attention. No wonder the breakfast room was so busy.
Don't expect the mundane.
Beautiful room; excellent bathroom. Superb service and wonderful breakfast. Overall, an extraordinary place to stay.
The ambience. The breakfast. The lobster benedict is amazing.