London, United Kingdom

The Groucho Club

Rates per night from$302.14

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 (GBP232.50), 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 good old knees-up.

Smith Extra

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A bottle of club wine

Facilities

Photos The Groucho Club facilities

Need to know

Rooms

22, including two suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $302.14 (£233), 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

The Groucho is enmeshed with London’s modern art scene, particularly the YBA (Young British Artists) movement. Entrepreneurial and willing to challenge the status quo, artists like Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Michael Fairhurst were the perfect fit for the club, and many gifted works in return for membership – one of the reasons the Groucho's collection is so impressive.

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.

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

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 industry 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 lively and often literary in its lean. 

Reviews

Photos The Groucho Club reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this iconic members club in Soho and unpacked their vinyl from Reckless Records on Berwick Street, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside The Groucho Club in London... 

The Groucho Club is many things. One thing it isn’t is a place that plays by the rules. Founded by media types who wouldn’t have been accepted into the stuffy, men-only clubs that dominated before the 1980s, it was an outsider, indeed an upstart, from the off. Even its name is delightfully self-referential in this respect, inspired by the oft-quoted Groucho Marx quip about not wanting to belong to any club that would accept him as a member. That’s the Groucho – witty and easy-going, with a dash of self-deprecating humour thrown into the mix. It’s been the famed hangout of the Young British Artists, and was renowned for pictures of Kate Moss emerging from the doorway and Blur bassist Alex James sleeping off the night’s revelry under the snooker table (that was the Nineties, however – we wouldn’t recommend following suit). It’s long been a creative lightning rod, too, attracting the cream of the crop from London’s literati. But most of all – for its members and, perhaps, you – it’s an iconic home-from-home in the heart of liberal London.

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 – 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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