The Bloomsbury’s in the heart of, believe it or not, Bloomsbury, in Central London.
If you’re coming from further afield, you might touch down at Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport; it’ll take the better part of an hour to reach the hotel by car, or longer via the Underground. Other options include London City Airport, Gatwick and Stansted.
Two of the metropolis’ busiest rail hubs are nearby: King’s Cross St Pancras, with trains to Paris as well as around the UK, and Waterloo.
Driving through London’s traffic-laden winding streets isn’t the most fun thing to do in town. Grab a black cab to let someone else watch the road while you relax in the back, or ditch the traffic altogether and join the locals on the tube (the London Underground), which is usually faster. If you do decide to drive, there’s nearby parking (£45 a day, or £30 with validation from the Bloomsbury).
The Bloomsbury’s just a few minutes’ walk from several London Underground stations – Tottenham Court Road’s the closest. And black cabs are plentiful.
Worth getting out of bed for
There's plenty to stay in for: the choose-your-own-adventure pleasures of the three eating and imbibing options. Then there's the tranquil library, packed with first editions and vintage reads still bearing the stamp of the YWCA Central Club Library that once stood on the site; it's dedicated to Nobel laureate poet and one-time regular guest Seamus Heaney. Even just exploring the art adorning every wall, everywhere, could happily pass a few hours in the hotel, and there are even rumours that the original swimming pool, dating back to when the building started life as the YWCA, may make a reemergence in future, at which point we'll forgive you if you never cross back over the threshold after checking in. But for now, you're in an almost impossibly central spot with the best of London on your doorstep, so it's worth dragging yourself from the Bloomsbury's Art Deco delights at least occasionally.
Once you're out, may we suggest a game of Bloomsbury Group Blue Plaque Bingo? Start on Gordon Square, where the gang's first meetings were held in 1905, and head on to Fitzroy Square: keep your eyes peeled as you stroll the leafy side streets, note down whose former homes and hangouts you spot… then head back to the Bloomsbury Club bar and knock back their eponymous cocktails in tribute. Prefer to browse shelves instead of streets? Bloomsbury's bookshops are myriad. London Review Bookshop on Bury Place is the spot for serious readers (the café's good, too); Gay's the Word on Marchmont Street is the UK's oldest LGBT-specialist bookshop, and often hosts events; The School of Life's Bloomsbury outpost, also on Marchmont, will see you heading back to your hotel even happier than when you left. If you're a first-timer in London, the British Museum is a must-visit wonder, packed with ancient treasures from around the globe.
Still hungry after brunch at Dalloway Terrace and lunch at the Coral Room? Dine in style: there are an impressive seven Michelin stars within a 10-minute stroll of the Bloomsbury (more if you're a speed walker), with the likes of Hakkasan Hanway Place and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon practically on your doorstep. Hit similarly star-adorned Lima Fitzrovia on Rathbone Place for Peruvian dishes as jaw-droppingly beautiful as they are delicious: chez Virgilio Martinez Véliz and his team take the culinary arts to Van Gogh-like levels. Another Michelin favourite is Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs on Charlotte Street, the not-so-secret secret hot-dogs-and-champagne bolthole behind the no-bookings-taken main eatery (Kitchen Table does, thankfully, take reservations, so you can avoid the perma-queue out front).
If you feel like a change of sipping scene, equally first-class cocktails await at a trio of neighbouring Smith favourites: Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel and The Soho Hotel.