London, United Kingdom

Hazlitt's

Price per night from$246.40

Price information

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 (GBP193.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Discreet, distinctive, historic

Setting

Insiders' Soho

Part of the considerable charm of Hazlitt's hotel is that, despite its central location, its success is based solely on word-of-mouth recommendations. Spread across three historic Georgian houses, it takes its name from William Hazlitt, the 18th-century essayist who lived there. A slice of old-world England in the middle of slick (and sometimes saucy) Soho, Hazlitt’s is popular with creatives for its sumptuous interiors and cheeky, whimsical attitude. Snuggle up with a book (and the resident cat, Sir Godfrey) in the Library; have tea – or something stronger from the honesty bar – in the Wardrobe, or simply spend all day wallowing in your Victorian-inspired roll-top bath tub: whatever it takes to find your own literary inspiration.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of red or white wine if you're staying in a club or superior double, or prosecco if you've booked a deluxe room, junior suite or the Duke of Monmouth.

Facilities

Photos Hazlitt's facilities

Need to know

Rooms

30, including three deluxe doubles, two junior suites and one suite.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible where possible.

Prices

Double rooms from £203.00, including tax at 5 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast. Continental breakfast and freshly baked croissants are available to order.

Also

The hotel has a library where you can pick from a fantastic selection of books (often signed first-editions), before curling up by the fireplace – Sir Godfrey, the resident puss, may deign to join you. There's also the Wardrobe and the Living Room, if you need a little peace and quiet; the Wardrobe can also be used as a meeting room.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout and incredible library. In-room: air-conditioning; a minibar, REN bath products and a flatscreen TV.

Our favourite rooms

Most of the bedrooms have freestanding, clawfoot bath tubs, Victorian bathroom fittings and antique beds. Baron Willoughby, the junior suite, has a carved-oak bed and big roll top bath. Jonathan Swift has a luxurious sofa and a 12-inch shower head. The Duke of Monmouth suite has an outdoor terrace with a retractable roof, and an enormous water-spouting bronze eagle on the edge of the bath.

Packing tips

A volume of William Hazlitt's essays on city life; a quill and pot of ink to write your own.

Also

The hotel are happy to help you sort out flowers and cakes for special occasions.

Children

Extra bed, £30; cots are free. Babysitting on request.

Food and Drink

Photos Hazlitt's food and drink

Dress Code

18th-century finery to match your historic surrounds.

Hotel restaurant

There's no restaurant, but all of Soho's eateries are on your doorstep. For breakfast, order freshly-baked pastries, bacon sandwiches, smoked salmon bagels or berries and granola to you room. You can even have a morning Bucks Fizz (you're on holiday, after all…)

Hotel bar

There's an honesty bar open in the Library all hours, where guests are welcome to entertain friends.

Room service

Order in wholesome British classics like bangers and mash or a hearty pie at any hour of the day.

Location

Photos Hazlitt's location
Address
Hazlitt's
6 Frith Street, Soho Square
London
W1D 3JA
United Kingdom

Planes

Heathrow International is 18 miles away, and trains regularly run into London. The hotel can arrange airport transfers for £85. Gatwick International is 30 miles away; hop on a train into central London or arrange a transfer with the hotel for £135.

Trains

Hazlitt's is in the middle of Soho, with several Tube stations dotted around – the nearest is Tottenham Court Road (on the Central and Northern line), which is two minutes away. Leicester Square, on the Piccadilly line that goes to Heathrow, is a five-minute walk from the hotel. The nearest overground stations are Charing Cross and Paddington.

Automobiles

The hotel's super-central setting makes bringing a car unwise – stick to your legs, black cabs, buses and the Tube.

Worth getting out of bed for

Hazlitt's is truly a treasure chest for lovers of literature; the hotel's library (and bookshelves dotted around the bedrooms and common parts) hold tome upon tome of classic novels. Many of these are pretty special, as writers who stay there often leave signed copies or first-editions for other guests to enjoy. Particularly magical is Hazlitt's fan JK Rowling's gift of two Harry Potter books, both signed first-editions. There are a few ancient copies of Dickens (as well as Hazlitt himself, of course) on the shelves in the Wardrobe, so-called as it was once used to store aristocrats' valuables like armour and jewellery. It's now a space to curl up and chat with other guests, but can also be used as a modern meeting space. Once you've reached the final chapter, London's most bustling neigbourhoods are on your doorstep: Soho's nightlife, Theatreland, Covent Garden's shops, Trafalgar Square's galleries, the British Museum, Picadilly's lights, Mayfair's well-heeled establishments… If you want to cover a lot of ground in one go – this is your starting point.

Local restaurants

Hakkasan on Hanway Place is a dark and seductive place where you can dine on excellent Chinese food and sup very powerful, very good cocktails. Perch on a stool in the tiled former-butcher's interior of Randall & Aubin on Brewer Street for seafood or a grill. Dinner at The Ivy on West Street promises showbiz faces among your fellow diners. The real reason to book well in advance, however, is the surprisingly reasonable classic British dishes, served among oak panelling and stained glass. J Sheekey on St Martin's Court is another favourite, specialising in fish and seafood. For a hat trick of excellent Indian eateries, walk to Maddox Street, along which you'll find Lucknow 49, Bombay Bustle and Kanishka. And Sketch on Conduit Street is celebrated for its extravagant, futuristic design, and offers French-fusion, brasserie fare or delicate patisseries in its tearoom.

Local bars

Salvador & Amanda is a tapas bar with DJ on Fridays and Saturdays. Soho is teeming with bars, so set course for its maze of streets to drink till late. Bar Termini, the creation of cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro, is a good place to start.

Reviews

Photos Hazlitt's reviews
Scott Manson

Anonymous review

By Scott Manson, Rock-star writer

London’s black-cab drivers are the best in the world: honest, courteous, and trained for five years to know pretty much every street in the Big Smoke. The only trouble with this is that they refuse to admit defeat. In that respect, Hazlitt’s is the cabbie’s nemesis. A small door with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sign means a navigational headache for London’s finest.

‘Hazlitt’s – er, right you are, fella,’ said our cabbie, scratching his head. After a couple of random right and left turns he started the give-us-a-clue game that every driver plays on the rare occasions that they’re stumped by an address. You could almost hear the mental filing-cabinet doors opening and closing. Finally, after a circle of Soho Square and a perfunctory probe down Greek Street, we found Frith Street and the understated entrance to Hazlitt’s. You could see the cabbie studying the sign carefully, burning the boutique hotel’s location into his memory bank.

To be fair to him, few people know of Hazlitt’s. Part of its considerable charm is that, despite its central location, the hotel’s success is based solely on word-of-mouth recommendations. Spread across three historic houses in the heart of Soho, it takes its name from William Hazlitt, the 18th-century essayist who lived there. If few people know the hotel’s address, then fewer still know of its namesake. Mrs Smith and I compared our scant literary knowledge, and decided we really must find out more about this writer sometime – it's only polite seeing as we're staying in his house.

When Hazlitt was scribbling here, there were no lifts, of course. There still aren’t but, fortunately, the plumbing and heating have been recently updated. Despite some necessary modern functionality (including satellite TV and broadband access), the whole place still retains an olde-world charm. From the creaky stairs up to our room to a wonky landing at the top, its tilt the result of 300 years of slowly shifting woodwork, Hazlitt’s offers comfortable, stylish accommodation with an air of quirky elegance.

All the rooms are named after famous writers or famous residents, which, in any other hotel, might be unbearably twee. This place pulls it off. Our room, Jonathan Swift, is named after the writer of Gulliver’s Travels and, true to form, the vast bed made us feel positively Lilliputian when we climbed onto it. The hotel’s owners had the good sense to retain much of the original panelling, and the good taste to furnish it with antiques and period furniture in line with its Georgian grandeur. A beautiful old writing desk sits against one wall, with a bookshelf of yellowing hardbacks adding further literary flourish. Heavy curtains and secondary glazing keep out the bright lights and noise of Soho, but I’d encourage you to keep them open so you can soak up the atmosphere of London’s most vibrant neighbourhood.

A squeal from the bathroom suggested that my lady had just discovered the generous selection of Aveda goodies that was awaiting her. In fact, it was the bathtub that had tickled her fancy – deep enough for two, and fed by brass pipes that looked as though they’d be equally at home in the pump room of a Victorian bathing house. For those less inclined to wallow, an oversized rainfall showerhead provides an eminently satisfying drench.

After our bit of sport with the taxi driver, we thought we’d give the front-desk staff a little work-out too. We wanted a recommendation for a pre-dinner drink, and reservations for two at Hakkasan, London’s hippest restaurant. ‘There’s no way that they’ll sort that out,’ said my partner. In my heart, I had to agree, since there’s usually a week-long waiting list but, hey, what’s the point of reviewing a hotel if you can’t be a little bit difficult? Ten minutes later, the phone rings. It’s the front-desk girl confirming, with just a touch of pride in her voice, that the reservation is secured.

Armed with the knowledge that we’d soon be tucking into Michelin-starred Chinese food, we struck out for a stroll across Soho. Its ‘den of vice’ incarnation firmly in the past, it’s still unpolished enough to have an edge, but generally filled with nice people eating in nice restaurants and being nice to each other.

There’s an overwhelming choice of fine drinking spots, from cute old pubs to spendy cocktail bars and secret members’ clubs. Most of the latter are closed to the casual visitor, but a bit of inside knowledge from our hotel concierge let us know that there was one place that we’d get into: the ever-so-cool Milk and Honey on Poland Street. As we were ushered in and our names crossed off a list (we’re not members but rang beforehand) we had a brief moment of nervous giggling as our eyes adjusted to the low lighting. Once inside, you can see why previous visitors have compared it to an American speakeasy. Jazz plays in the background, the service is fast, and the whole place is just outrageously decadent, from the discreet banquettes to the well-chosen cocktail list.

Several martinis later, we found our way to Hakkasan. It’s another sexy subterranean joint, crammed with beautiful people (and us) eating high-end Oriental cuisine. Think about the best Chinese restaurant you’ve ever eaten at, and then forget it, because it can’t touch this place. We stuck to dim sum and, it has to be said, over-ordered hugely. The giveaway was when we asked the waitress if we’d ordered enough and she started giggling. Space doesn’t permit me to list the lot but you have to try the soft-shell crab, the fried crispy-duck rolls and any of the steamed dim sum dishes. We had every one of the latter, so I can safely recommend all of them.

Back at the hotel, the massive bed gave us a memorable night’s sleep. Perhaps the greatest pleasure came first thing in the morning as we sat by the window and watched Soho awake. It’s a curious thing to see a city come alive from an historic room like this one – the experience wouldn’t have been the same had we been looking out from the window of some centrally located chain hotel. With our first-floor sash window open, we could hear the sound of shop traders exchanging banter, and smell the first coffees of the day being brewed down the street at Bar Italia. We felt part of the city, rather than simply tourists. And that is surely the mark of a special hotel.

Price per night from $246.40

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