This punchy and exciting, yet deeply comfortable and welcoming, Firmdale hotel is tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of London’s characterful entertainment district, surrounded by some of its best restaurants, bars, cafés, theatre and nightlife. It’s full of bold statements that are typical of founder and creative director Kit Kemp: her eye for beauty, fun and colour starts with the ten foot bronze Fernando Botero cat in the lobby, which has become something of a Firmdale symbol (see also Dorset Square Hotel, Knightsbridge Hotel and Number Sixteen). As well as the drawing room, a quirky take on a private London residence where light floods in and a bartender brings round the gin trolley every afternoon, you’ll find a library, screening room and film club. Plus there’s the Refuel restaurant and bar, with its wonderful motoring mural (the hotel was built on the site of a former NCP car park) and electric atmosphere. The 96 bedrooms, including suites, are blissfully comfortable and full of personality, with floor-to-ceiling warehouse-style windows.

Doubles from £402

+44 (0)20 7559 3000;

The Soho Hotel