London, United Kingdom

The Groucho Club

Rates per night from$135.55

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 (GBP111.75), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Cool Britannia

Setting

London’s raffish heart

The darling of artists, eccentrics and fame-fleeing musicians, The Groucho Club has now given Smith the key to its rooms – a golden ticket to cross the threshold and experience its maverick spirit. Founded in 1985 as an alternative to the capital’s stiff-collared gentlemen’s clubs, the Groucho has spent three decades as the enfant terrible of London’s social scene, becoming the haven of choice for creative minds and high-flying hedonists alike. Laced with Cool Britannia lore and decked with works by Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn and Damien Hirst (who once put his entire Turner Prize winnings behind the bar), this West End institution is a monument to British artistry, individualism and – a warning to those in search of R&R – a good knees-up.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of club wine

Facilities

Photos The Groucho Club facilities

Need to know

Rooms

20, including two suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $135.55 (£112), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include access to the club and à la carte breakfast. Stay true to your health kick with options like bircher muesli and avocado on toast, or opt for more decadent dishes like blueberry pancakes or the Ultimate Groucho Breakfast.

Also

Known as a haven for hellraisers, the Groucho is no stranger to a party – particularly on Thursday and Friday nights, when Bernie's Bar is open until 5am. Naturally, the sound of these revels does sometimes travel, so this probably isn't the right place to stage your silent retreat. If you're planning on retiring before the bar closes, it's worth asking for a room on a higher floor to put some extra distance between you and the night owls.

Hotel closed

The Groucho closes over Christmas and New Year, usually from 24 December to 7 January.

At the hotel

Club rooms, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV with Sky; minibar; Nespresso coffee machine; REN bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Every room is different, so they’ve all got their own quirks and charm. The Small Doubles are perfect for young sybarites looking for a crash pad, but we’d recommend one of the Large Doubles if there’s two of you (the king-size bed alone justifies the extra spend).

Packing tips

Your most bohemian self. Everything else you need is here.

Also

All the common areas are wheelchair accessible thanks to the lift and ramps, but there are no specially adapted rooms.

Children

All ages are welcome, but children aren’t allowed in the bar or club rooms and things can get a bit hedonistic after dark. In the club’s own words, ‘there are few distractions for the innocent.’ Some rooms can fit a cot (free) or extra bed (£50 a night).

Food and Drink

Photos The Groucho Club food and drink

Top Table

Aim for one of the half-moon booths; you’ll both get to sit on the supple banquette and have views across the room.

Dress Code

Like an artist who can now command a fair price for his paintings, but still loves his Doc Martens all the same.

Hotel restaurant

The Dining Room is a real treat for the eye, sporting an ornate arched ceiling with a glass roof, a spiral chandelier, blue leather banquettes and a polished parquet floor. It also feels roomy thanks to its unusual layout – the majority of tables hug the walls, leaving the middle of the room free bar an S-shaped booth that snakes through it. The menu mingles the best of British cuisine with a little continental panache: start with the Bloody Mary-cured salmon or English pea and girolle mushroom risotto, follow with the grilled Dover sole or dry-aged Hereford steak frites. The Backroom is more casual, designed to feel like an extension of the main bar. Dine deli-style at the marble counter or order a sharing dish fresh from the wood-fired oven. You’ll be dining in good company no matter who’s at the next table, as the walls are decked with works by some of Britain’s biggest contemporary artists.

Hotel bar

Most bar managers would sell their soul for the sort of atmosphere that pervades Groucho’s bar after dark. It’s the kind of place where things might start innocently, but end with you wrapped around the piano, singing along to Bowie in the company of rock royalty. These things happen here. The drinks themselves are worth singing about, too: each of the signature cocktails reflects the club’s maverick spirit, drawing inspiration from the art on the walls and the characters that frequent the club. Kickstart your evening with Knickers in a Twist, a vodka sour made with bay leaf-infused Black Cow vodka, Cherry Heering liqueur, lime juice, fig syrup, chocolate bitters and egg white. If you’d prefer something classic, just ask. They’re not on the menu because, well, they’re classics.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7.30am to 10.30am (8.30am to 11.30am on weekends). Lunch is from noon to 3pm; dinner from 6pm to 11pm. Sunday brunch runs from 11am to 5pm. The bar stays open (and often busy) 'til 2am (5am on Thursday and Friday).

Room service

You can order anything from any menu while the restaurants and bar are open.

Location

Photos The Groucho Club location
Address
The Groucho Club
45 Dean Street
London
W1D 4QB
United Kingdom

The Groucho Club is in Soho, the louche and liberal heart of London.

Planes

London Heathrow is the one to aim for – it’s got the most routes and the quickest links into central London. The Heathrow Express will whisk you to Paddington in 15 minutes; a taxi will take you around an hour if the traffic plays nicely.

Trains

If you’re coming from within the UK, all of London’s terminal stations are within easy reach – most are just a few stops away on the Tube. Leicester Square is the closest Tube station; Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road are hot on its heels.

Automobiles

You won’t need a car if you’re staying at the Groucho, which is bang in the centre of central London. The Tube has you covered within the city, and trains will take you further afield should you need them. If you do plan to drive, be aware that the hotel is inside London’s Congestion Charge Zone – expect to pay £11.50 a day if driving between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday. Want to hire anyway? The Smith24 team can arrange it.

Worth getting out of bed for

Once synonymous with red lights and rouge lips, Soho has always taken its role as London’s entertainer seriously. Behind closed doors, x-rated attractions used to draw the crowds; out on the street, it was café culture and the lure of neon lights. For better or worse, it’s lost much of the seediness of its earlier days, but it’s still one of the capital's most lively, diverse and liberal quarters, and staying at the Groucho puts you right in the thick of it. As you wander the streets, keep an eye out for the much-mythologised Seven Noses of Soho. These plaster cast noses were fixed to various walls by artist Rick Buckley, who put them there in 1997 but didn’t tell anyone for more than a decade, allowing dozens of urban myths to take root in the meantime. But if Soho’s got a good nose, she’s also got a first-rate ear. The area is joined at the hip with the music and entertainment industries and home to iconic venues like Ronnie Scott’s, the seminal jazz bar known for hosting the cream of the crop – Earl Hine, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and the like have all taken the stage over the years. Other worthy contenders include legendary gig venue the 100 Club, blues bar Ain’t Nothing But and Live at Zédel, an art deco relic that hosts cabaret shows, drag acts and more.

Local restaurants

Soho has had a French connection for hundreds of years, which has done no end of good for its restaurants. There are plenty to choose from, but few carry more weight than L’Escargot, favoured by everyone from Coco Chanel to Mick Jagger. As the name suggests, snails are the specialty, but you'll also be hard pushed to find a better lobster bisque or chateaubriand anywhere in town. An old favourite of King Edward VII and Oscar Wilde, Soho staple Kettner’s is often credited with bringing French cuisine to London society. A reputation for scandal gave it lashings of raffish charm in its heyday, and although it’s better behaved today, it’s still got the power to transport thanks to its decadent art nouveau interiors. Quo Vadis – which is in a building that Karl Marx once called home – doffs its cap to St George with a menu as English as they come. Enjoy the flavours of this green and pleasant land in dishes like skate wing, pheasant pie or the smoked eel sandwich, which is served with a punchy horseradish cream.

Local cafés

For coffee, try Café Italia, a 1950s relic that wouldn’t look out of place in Brooklyn or a Chicago suburb. The walls are decked with black and white photographs and the till is an old-school manual job, so make sure you’ve got some cash on you.

Local bars

Stop in for a pinot or glass of Breton cider at the French House, a Francophile (and pint-sized) pub down the road from the Groucho. It’s jam-packed most evenings, so you may find the best option is to grab your drinks and decamp to the pavement, where the talk is often lively. 

Reviews

Photos The Groucho Club reviews
Damian Barr

Anonymous review

By Damian Barr, Writer and salonnier

The Groucho is to Soho as long is to lunch, as gin is to tonic, as hangover is to horn. What happens at the Groucho is very much supposed to stay there so sections of this review have been redacted to protect privacy and preserve at least one marriage. Just a few hours of my stay are lost to memory and may they forever remain so. 

Soho brims with private member’s clubs. I’ve frequented all of them at various stages and at various hours. Century is very actory and I’ve blundered in to more than one wrap party and danced with a lighting director who congratulated me on the script. I started my literary salon at Soho House in 2008 so for years was to be found on Greek Street (my Salon is now at the Savoy, where I am their very first literary ambassador). In the intervening decade Soho House has taken over the world and people with laptops have slightly taken over it – still, I love it for a good meeting that rolls into a good drink. Staying on Greek Street there’s the Union which is funky rather than sleek and fun for publishing parties. I don’t know who uses Blacks anymore but they’re sticking to candlelight and small intensely decorated rooms and there’s something to be said for that. Quo Vadis (upstairs) is presided over by the divine Jeremy Lee who cooks up a storm and throws his guests together merrily. Then there’s the Groucho…

‘Membership to the Groucho Club is more exclusive than the SAS and nearly as tough to get; more mysterious than the Masons, with an initiation ceremony that would make a ninja faint’. So says the application form they rather cruelly insert in the room-service menu.  You’re probably not going to get in. The Committee is famously arbitrary and it’s quicker to get a hip replacement on the NHS than it is climb their waiting list. But you’re definitely going to want to join. And if you’re staying in one of the 20 rooms above the club you’re granted temporary membership for the duration. It’s like suddenly being able to sing.

The Groucho opened in 1985 to men – and women – as an antidote to the stuffy single-sex nonsense of Clubland down the road in St James. It was started by publishing folk including Carmen Callil, Ed Victor and Liz Calder and Michael Sissons in the glorious era of the long lunch. It’s now owned by some private consortium but don’t let that bother you – the guests are still greeted with their first name by the staff, all of whom are charming without fail. 

For years Bernie Katz – tiny, loud, naughty beyond – was front of house. He’s the one who didn’t let the Spice Girls in. He’s also the one who put me into a cab and gave me the money for it one night. When he died in 2017 all Soho went into mourning. The staff are actors and this is their set, yet they make you feel like a star.

Who goes there? Well, you’re not supposed to say. And the staff certainly keep your secrets (right, Liam?). As I signed in I saw Her From That Big Netflix Thing and Him From The Guardian a few signatures above me. Over the desk is the artwork for Peter Blake’s 80th birthday party featuring hundreds of Names including (at opposite ends of the same feathery spectrum) Shirley Bassey and Grayson Perry. You can barely see the walls for all the art. It started with the YBAs – Hirst, Turk, Emin – who made their names and the Groucho’s reputation with their creativity and decadence in the 1990s. Artists often donate work in lieu of membership fees. After staggering in from the Man Booker Prize I ran into two of the best, and brightest, visual artists working in London today. I also bumped into one of my favourite editors who was happily too drunk to ask after my latest column (on its way, promise).

We’re almost at the rooms. But first, the lift. I want membership of the lift. It’s lined with padded burgundy leather and has some mesmerising video art of clouds or something on the wall. It’s so dark and sexy I willed it to get stuck. 

Right, the rooms. I opted for a Bigger Double. There are smaller ones and even singles and apparently also a whole flat. One entire wall of my room was windows so thank goodness for blinds.  The ceiling was high enough to hang a sling. Pink was the leitmotif with shocking pink velvet armchairs and a vast canvas of candy splodges that could have been Howard Hodgkin on a sugar high. The bed was big enough for any combination of Smiths. The bathroom was a bit of a squeeze and the door is glass so forget privacy.

It’s noisy. You can hear the party downstairs (until 2am) and the unique symphony of 45 Dean Street – camera shutters from paps, lapdancers arguing outside Sunset Strip, the plaintive cry of the Big Issue seller and about a hundred tuk-tuks and cabs. There are ear-plugs by your bed but you’re not here to rest are you? That’s what brunch is for.

I have honestly never had anything so delicious or restorative as brunch the morning after the very late night before with the artists and my editor. It was a deep-fried duck egg coated in breadcrumbs swimming in some kind of frothy cheese topped with shaved truffles. On the side were fingers of toast with melted brie atop and yet more truffles. I actually groaned with pleasure which wasn’t attractive but there we have it.

Dinner in the Italian restaurant at the back – some brilliant Shrigleys on the wall – was an endless parade of small but not meagre plates: unctuous carbonara; sharp melty Roquefort with caramelized onions; some drunken cherries that were actually sozzled. All washed down with a bottle of white burgundy that didn’t make feel ripped off for once. Flickering flames from the pizza oven cast a romantic/hellish glow depending on your mood. I dined with A Very Clever Famous Comedian who also happens to be vegetarian and she was as delighted by the fare as me. 

Eventually you have to sign out. I stumbled on to Dean Street smiling. In a spirit of great optimism, I may have taken the membership form with me. Let’s hope there’s no CCTV in that lift.  

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Groucho Club’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location  right in the heart of Soho and perfect for a night out in central London. The staff was very friendly and the place was lively and fun.

Don’t expect

Luxury  the rooms are clean and get the job done but are extremely loud (which we expected). The bathrooms are small with glass doors and ours didnt have a proper shower so we were excited to get home and take a real shower.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jun 2019

We loved

I loved the attention to detail from the staff. The club atmosphere and limited number of rooms meant that they recognized me when I walked down from my room or in from outside. Everyone was eager to answer inquiries and the front desk staff went out of their way to help me find places to eat and introduce me to club members that I had common interests with. The members themselves were very welcoming to me and, as a solo traveler, I found it easy to find people to talk to- sometimes late into the night! The central Soho location is also amazing. I barely used the Underground at all as I was within walking distance to everywhere I needed to be in the West End. The food in the club was lovely as well and well priced for London. I particularly enjoyed breakfast, which was included with my stay.

Don’t expect

This is a lively members club in central Soho- not somewhere to go to decompress and relax. The rooms are small, but well appointed, and in close proximity to the restaurants and bars that stay open until 2AM, particularly on weekends. The street outside is lively at all times and you're likely to hear the sounds of a bustling urban center regardless of what floor you're on.

Rating

Stayed on 11 May 2019

We loved

The Negronis are to die for! Laying low in the bar and spotting the vast number of bohemian media types. The lovely house Pinot Grigio. 

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet, spacious rooms or to be able to take photos (stricly not allowed). 

Rating

Stayed on 16 Apr 2019

We loved

The breakfast was perfect!! We liked the furniture in the rooms as well. The hotel has a very nice and cool vibe.

Don’t expect

Peace and quiet... we were in London to go shopping, not clubbing. The first night we couldn't sleep because of the music from the hotel club (don't book a room on the second floor). Mr & Mrs. Smith arranged a new room for us (excellent service!) which was much better but we could still hear the music coming from the club.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Apr 2019

We loved

Fantastic location, right in the centre of soho. Fantastic food and a divine atmosphere. I can't wait to go back. It was the perfect start to our honeymoon. Thank you, Groucho. Love, Mr and Mrs Johns. 

Don’t expect

A quiet night. Or to blend in – everyone feels special at the Groucho. 

Rating

Stayed on 9 Mar 2019

We loved

The club itself is very unique and a fun atmosphere to be in. All of the staff were very welcoming and friendly - it felt like you were in someone's (very glamorous, art filled) living room rather than a hotel. The artwork and decor is amazing and the atmosphere couldn't be better. Our room was also clean and spacious and we very much appreciated the bottle of champagne to celebrate my husband's birthday. The location of the hotel is very central and just around the corner from Ronnie Scott's jazz club where we spent the evening. The choice and quality of the breakfast was outstanding too - much needed after a night out!

Don’t expect

The bathroom didn't have a shower (although there was a shower head in the bath but you had to sit down to shower due to the ceiling height / lack of shower screen or curtain). There is a real party atmosphere at the club and this means that it's not best suited for an early night - although they do supply ear plugs in the bedroom!

Rating

Stayed on 2 Mar 2019

We loved

The room, the bar, the atmosphere was incredible. The bed was super comfortable, and the room was a great size for a weekend escape. The location was amazing!

Don’t expect

Unfortunately our room had a bath but no shower. There was a hand held one, but I would have much preferred a proper shower especially as we were going out to the theatre.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Feb 2019

We loved

The wonderful, helpful staff, the bars, the pool room and our gorgeous room (406)!

Rating

Stayed on 22 Feb 2019

We loved

The location – central, accessible, perfect. The people – fantastic team and impeccable service. The bar – awesome atmosphere. The breakfast – beautiful setting and delicious.

Don’t expect

Much space in your room! But it is Soho and you can snuggle up…

Rating

Stayed on 27 Oct 2018

We loved

The ideal location to be able to enter in the Club facilities.

Don’t expect

A very nice and updated room, in fact they were quite tired and in need of renewal!

Rating

Stayed on 19 Oct 2018

We loved

The Groucho is legendary and the staff are primed in remembering names, which I think is lovely! The atmosphere is always chilled and late on – loud and fun; no one is afraid to chat and pass the time so you meet some great characters. Dominic behind the bar is epic at his job – personable, fun and makes the best Cosmo I've had so far! The lights are normally super low, so be prepared for the brightness of the outside. Grouch members have always been very pedantic about mobile phones; having stayed on/off for 20 years I knew this but a regular guest might not be aware. You can text but they still don't like phone to ear talking (go into reception for that) and no sound and most definitely NO PICTURES. To be honest, I appreciate this and members demand it. Rooms are small and functional, but don't expect Firmdale quality. They're conformable and your're located in the heart of Soho so location is perfect if you're a theatre enthusiast! Breakfast was fabulous.

Don’t expect

Fast room service.… they do it but it was very, very slow. This could be for many reasons but I can only go on my own experience. I can only imagine this will improve and I was at the top of the building!

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2018

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