London, United Kingdom

The Portobello Hotel

Rates from (ex tax)$195.23

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Well-to-do wild child

Setting

A meander from the market

Set in two of Notting Hill’s Victorian townhouses, the Portobello Hotel’s elegant façade promises an old-school London stay. Opulent four-poster beds and blooms of chic chintz are present and correct, but an anarchic undercurrent stems from its star-studded past. Follow suit by sultrily posing in front of your room’s wall-to-wall mural, or fill your antique bath tub with champagne à la a certain celeb couple… When you come up for air, Portobello Market – a treasure trove of antique trinkets, home-made wares and foodie finds – is a mere two-minute walk away.

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Facilities

Photos The Portobello Hotel facilities

Need to know

Rooms

21, including five exceptional rooms and two single rooms.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $195.23 (£150), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

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 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP180.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

The room rate usually includes a Continental breakfast: a spread of yoghurt, fruit, cheeses, cereals and toast with a pastry.

Also

On entering your room snoop around to hunt down the antiques exported from Portobello Market – tin trays, cut-crystal glasses and fabric swatches – then raid your room’s Willy Wonka-esque minibar: Corn Again gourmet popcorn, cranberry and almond nougat, Awfully Posh pork crackling and Moët & Chandon champagne are among the goodies.

At the hotel

Lounge, concierge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, magazines, bottled water, full-size Green & Spring bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The famed Exceptional Room with the gauzily veiled, circular bed (slumbered in by Johnny Depp and Kate Moss) lives up to its name. The Victorian bathing contraption with a steampunk-style rib cage of golden taps and pipes sits amid aesthetically tarnished mirrors; ceilings are gilded and the walls papered with Audubon-style bird illustrations. The huge bay windows overlook the private gardens next door. If the Exceptional Room is booked – as it frequently is – the mural-toting Good Rooms are almost as dramatic.

Packing tips

A fold-up bag for your market finds, and a willfully idiosyncratic vintage ensemble so you’ll fit in with the locals. If arriving during the Notting Hill Carnival, bring something elaborately feathered and an air-horn.

Also

The hotel has a lift to all floors. Staff are very obliging when it comes to requests; in-room spa treatments, personal trainers and more are no problem, and guests can use the nearby Body Works West gym for a reduced fee (first visit is free).

Pet‐friendly

Petite pooches are welcome in one of the hotel's lower ground floor Exceptional Rooms for £25 a night, which includes beds, bowls and treats. See more pet-friendly hotels in London.

Children

Cots are offered for under-fours, but this is the kind of place you come for champagne-soaked debauchery, not purée-splattered playtime.

Food and Drink

Photos The Portobello Hotel food and drink

Top Table

Cosy up in front of the fireplace on the plump sofa in the lounge (from here you can keep a sneaky eye on who's coming and going in reception, too).

Dress Code

Off-duty celeb; slouchy Helmut Lang monochrome or ludicrously expensive denim. Top with a wide-brimmed hat if you’ve overindulged.

Hotel restaurant

Only breakfast is served at the hotel. The sitting room comprises of three window-side tables and two sofas. This inviting artwork-clad space with garden views, mismatched chintz upholstery and Persian rugs is a delightful spot to breakfast in. The Continental breakfast is free, and warm à la carte items – full English breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and porridge – are offered for a very reasonable extra charge; a small menu with paninis and snacks is served here throughout the day, too.

Hotel bar

Help yourself to wine, beer and spirits from the honesty bar in the sitting room; just jot down your tally when you're done (magicking away bottles of champagne to fill your bath tub may be considered a faux pas). Coffee and tea are available throughout the day, too.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 7am to a leisurely 11am.

Room service

Specify your preferred 15-minute delivery slot and hang your breakfast card on the market-sourced doorknob to have breakfast in bed delivered. Peckish for a panini? Light bites, paninis and drinks can be whisked to your room 24 hours a day.

Location

Photos The Portobello Hotel location
Address
The Portobello Hotel
22 Stanley Gardens
London
W11 2NG
London
United Kingdom

Planes

International hub Heathrow Airport (www.heathrowairport.com) is a 30-minute taxi ride from the hotel; London Gatwick (www.gatwickairport.com) or Stansted (www.stanstedairport.com) are an hour’s drive away.

Trains

The Gatwick Express (www.gatwickexpress.com) arrives at Victoria, just a short ride on the Circle Line from Notting Hill Gate Tube station; the Heathrow Express (www.heathrowexpress.com) arrives at Paddington, two Tube stops away on the Circle or District line. Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove and Holland Park Tube stations are all within 10 minutes' walk from the hotel.

Automobiles

A (fairly) zippy tube system, plenty of cherry-red buses to hop on and pretty streets for promenading along make a car somewhat redundant, not to mention London’s notoriously frustrating road system. However, the brave do drive in London; if you must, acquire a set of wheels at Heathrow or Gatwick’s Avis car-hire booth. Q Park on Queensway (www.q-park.co.uk) is just a 15-minute walk away, but 24-hour parking is a pricy £26 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

Less stiff-upper-lip than its Chelsea neighbour and home to London’s bougie (and above) bohemians, Notting Hill is much more fascinating than any Richard Curtis film à clef can portray. By turns leafy and lively, this borough of rainbow-hued townhouses and multi-coloured market awnings resists high-street homogenisation; Portobello Market (www.portobelloroad.co.uk) takes place throughout the week (except Sunday), but Saturday from 9am to 7pm is when antique stalls offer weird and wonderful wares. Amble down to 22 Portobello Road to George Orwell’s former abode (yes, the surveillance cameras outside are a myth), dig out vintage treasures at the Retro Clothing Exchange (+44 (0)20 7243 6688) on Pembridge Road or rifle through rare records at Honest Jon’s (+44 (0)20 8969 9822). See if you can spot Wills and Kate picking up their weekly shop when you visit Kensington Palace and Gardens (+44 (0)844 482 7777, www.hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace) and then nose around their ancestors’ stately pile. To the east you can procure a pedalo on the Serpentine Lake or take a moment of reflection in the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion (+44 (0)20 7402 6075, www.serpentinegalleries.org). Holland Park, a 15-minute stroll from the hotel is also a fine picnicking spot; make a pit stop at Mr Christian’s (+44 (0)20 7229 0501, www.mrchristians.co.uk) in Elgin Crescent to pick up freshly made salads and quiches, charcuterie and divine cakes. Book a room early on to be enviably close to the London Notting Hill Carnival (www.thenottinghillcarnival.com) parade route. In August watch feathered headdresses shake to reggae beats and marvel at the riotously coloured, increasingly daring costumes – then after you’ve danced your feet sore, sidestep the crowds and abscond to the serenity of your room.

Local restaurants

On Portobello Road, you’ll often see locals perched on the little tables under the Portobello Gold’s (+44 (0)20 7460 4910, www.portobellogold.com) awning. Swap people watching out front for a seat in the conservatory, where a mini forest of palms and ferns will make you feel like you’re dining in the Med. Unassuming but tasty fusion food is washed down with rare drinks such as Agricole rhum, Moonshine and Perique tobacco liqueur. Portuguese-style tapas bar the Notting Hill Kitchen (+44 (0)20 7313 9526, www.nottinghillkitchen.co.uk), offers fine petiscos (small plates), and decadent fish dishes. The menu offers superlative seafood, such as Berlengas pink swordfish with miso crumble and pan-seared red snapper with cockles custard. The Ledbury’s (+44 (0)20 7792 9090, www.theledbury.com) sombre design – grey chairs, charcoal curtains, pristine white linens – is mere stage dressing for chef Brett Graham’s breathtaking cuisine. Primped up portions of meat and fish are served with arabesques of sauce and avant-garde garnishes.

Local cafés

Japanese minimalist-style café Talkhouse Coffee (+44 (0)20 7221 8992, www.talkhousecoffee.com) – with white walls and wood accents – is a serene space to get your java fix. Coffee is served on bento-style trays alongside a range of sculptural muffins and cakes. Staff are serious about their brew here so ask for a recommendation. There’s also a petite garden.

Local bars

Persian carpets, faux-wood panelling and tiki mugs usually grace batty great aunt’s living rooms rather than hip west London nightspots, but Sixties-style basement bar Trailer Happiness (+44 (0)20 7041 9833, www.trailerhappiness.com) has created a kitsch-stuffed space as cosy as it is cool. Cocktails are globally inspired and the dim-sum menu is small but scrumptious.

Reviews

Photos The Portobello Hotel reviews
Jade Parfitt

Anonymous review

It was with amusement that I accepted the honour of being an anonymous reviewer of the Portobello Hotel – I live 10 minutes’ drive from the iconic Notting Hill boutique hotel. When I was still based in New York, clients would occasionally put me up here during fashion shoots and I have fond memories of its low lighting and comfortable beds after a hard jetlagged day’s work. I knew we’d be mad not to snap up the chance to stay in one of West London’s most sought-after stays for my handsome man’s birthday weekend. Booked in and brownie points were in the bag.

Excitedly we packed our car (although not that much to pack), said goodbye to our cats and son (left in the capable hands of Grandma), and drove down the road to the somewhat nicer W11 environs. Here we were greeted warmly in the beautiful lobby of this handsome neoclassical mansion just a four-minute stroll from Portobello Road. Ours was notorious* Room 16, known for its extraordinary Victorian bath, an eight-foot circular bed and its alumni of A-listers from the worlds of fashion, music and film that has stayed and partied here over the years. (*Cue a reminder of the supermodel and her Hollywood beau who filled this very bath with champagne and rock stars whose pet snakes came along for the ride.)

It was genuinely exciting to be on holiday in our own neighbourhood. The gentle glamour of the room with its Chinese antiques, soft inviting sofa, huge windows with golden drapes glowing in the autumnal light, and a beautiful view onto the lush private square behind. We felt for a moment that we had slipped through a tardis and ended up in Tuscany.

But it was West London – at its very best too – and we had friends to meet later in honour of my Mr Smith’s birthday drinks. The bath proved impossible to resist, and my boyfriend enjoyed five minutes figuring out the huge tub with all its wonderful brass pipes and six taps, before he filled it up, noticing with glee that this bath would actually accommodate him. As is the nature of a 6’6 man, he’s more of a shower guy, so this enormous bath was a delight indeed. I busied myself opening a bottle of champagne, and a happy hour was spent luxuriating with bubbles in the bubble bath. Already a million mental miles from our usual Saturday-afternoon routine, we made a pact to staycation more often.

Having prised ourselves from our beautiful room, we mooched hand in hand down Portobello Road discussing where to eat, and we felt truly as though we were on holiday. Room service at the hotel might be a little limited, but one thing Notting Hill is superb at is providing a huge array of eateries. Essenza and Osteria Basilico are tried-and-tested favourites, with Granger and Co and Tom’s Kitchen just along on Westbourne Grove, and The Cow and The Ladbroke Arms but a short walk away. Guests of the Portobello Hotel couldn’t demand a better choice of dining and drinking spots at their fingertips.

Nama is a vegan raw food place that I’ve been keen to try, but as it was birthday night for the boy, he got to choose. We pitched up at Honest Burger and got stuck in with one ‘honest’ and one ‘veggie’ number, before rolling up Portobello to meet friends. The Electric, now a Notting Hill institution, had us drinking Aperol cocktails and dancing and chatting until 2am in its members club. At this hour we were especially delighted to realise that no taxi was needed and we’d only need to sway up the hill to that giant round bed back in Room 16.

Fuzzy heads were soothed in the morning with the pleasant realisation that breakfast on room service was an option. Several croissants and cups of coffee later we were ready to take on a beautiful autumnal day. Strolling in the bright fresh air over to Kensington Gardens, we were soon at the Serpentine Gallery, and sitting on a bench in the sunshine. After a little art in the park, we wend our way back north to The Cow on Westbourne Park Road. A Guinness and bloody Mary straightened our heads but we weren’t quite up to the fresh crabs and oysters on offer, and decided instead to make the most of our last evening’s stay in Room 16. In our cosy hideaway we wolfed down paninis and piping tea, watched movies and wondered if we could squeeze a round bed into our spare room at home…

It was with a heavy heart that Mr Smith got up and left for work at 8am; rather thrilled with his birthday weekend, he was wishing it wasn’t over… In the name of research I indulged in another long bath and a croissant or two before packing up and heading off on the 10-minute journey back home, admiring Notting Hill with fresh rose-tinted touristy eyes. The mark of a fabulous hotel must surely be that it makes you see your own neighbourhood in a new light, leaving you wanting more?

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Portobello Hotel’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The location, home from home feel and the great staff.

Don’t expect

Sleek decor and furniture. This is "shabby chic" kind of boutique house hotel.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Jul 2017

We loved

Got a surprise upgrade (thanks to Mr & Mrs Smith!) to an incredible suite (almost an apartment) overlooking the castle and the hills.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Feb 2017

We loved

Room was super cute! Also recommend breakfasting in the lounge, old school in the best possible way.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Nov 2016

We loved

The Green Suite #2 in the Basement. Had a victorian tub, a small outdoor area, and there was plenty of space. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. We loved Farm Girl - a beautiful cafe to stop into up before or after shopping Portobello market.

Don’t expect

Each room is unique, so my friend envied my room and was not as excited to have the 'modern' bath, which wasn't luxurious and didn't quite fit into the aesthetic of this traditional English guest house.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Oct 2016

We loved

The sweetest hotel located in the heart of Notting Hill. We loved the bed - it was beyond comfortable with the most luxurious sheets. The shower products were also really great. We loved the breakfast in the formal tea room with french pressed coffee and fresh breads. I believe the famous restaurant The Ledbury is really close by.

Don’t expect

A little bit of a walk to the metro.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2016

We loved

The staff were so helpful and lovely - the room was gorgeous! And the bed like a princess bed! We felt really looked after. Locally, we'd recommend electric house

Don’t expect

it was perfect - beyond expectations

Rating

Stayed on 9 Apr 2016

We loved

The staff 

Don’t expect

Large food choices. In my opinion the rooms were odd – we were shown to one in the basement which I found disappointing.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Feb 2016

We loved

The friendliness of the staff, the honesty bar, the dining room and closeness to Portobello Road.

Don’t expect

Formality, but we liked the informality!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Dec 2015

We loved

The quirky decor and furniture; especially the huge four poster bed in room 13.

Don’t expect

Large bathrooms – but the shower, albeit tiny, was brilliant!

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

the roll top bath in the room. Nearby, The Electric Cinema is fab place to see a movie. Book a double sofa at the back for best romantic experience. Café attached ain't half bad either. Good burgers.

Don’t expect

a big bathroom, the bath is in the room

Rating

Stayed on 10 Oct 2015

We loved

The exceptional room. Stunning garden view and Jack and the Beanstalk sized bed!

Don’t expect

We didnt get offered our Smith's extra--- and forgot to ask.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2015

We loved

The location - right in the heart of Notting Hill.

Don’t expect

To fit more than one person and luggage in the elevator, it's tiny.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Jul 2015

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