Cosy Chic At Covent Garden Hotel – Review

By Siobhan Grogan

2 weeks ago

A central London bolthole with serious style


Intimate and welcoming, Covent Garden Hotel feels like an inviting country manor dropped straight into the heart of London’s theatre district. With just 58 rooms but bags of personality, it’s no wonder it’s a favourite with Hollywood A-listers. Siobhan Grogan pays a visit.

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Review: Covent Garden Hotel

Covent Garden Hotel lobby, with bold print curtains, armchairs and a rug.

STAY

Covent Garden Hotel is the kind of place where your shoulders relax the moment you walk through the door. Once a 19th century French hospital that has been carefully preserved and restored by Firmdale Hotels, it now seems more like a private home than a boutique hotel. With fresh flowers, an antique rug and dim lamps, even the lobby looks like a living room, with relentlessly cheery concierge Nicky greeting guests by name as they come through the door. 

Upstairs there’s a drawing room where guests can relax over a drink or curl up with a book, with a library and honesty bar on hand. There’s also a treatment room for massages and a popular screening room, which hosts a weekly film club showing new releases. The hotel will also open it up for guests to use, particularly on rainy days, and rustle up fresh popcorn to munch over a movie. Keep your eyes peeled for real-life film stars around the hotel too – everyone from Meryl Streep to Kate Winslet has stayed here, while Dame Judi Dench is a regular in the restaurant.

Kit Kemp-designed hotel bedroom featuring duck egg blue walls and a matching headboard alongside powder blue seats.

The bedrooms are what really make this hotel feel like a home-from-home, though. Each one is overseen by renowned interior designer Kit Kemp, who owns the eleven hotels that are part of the Firmdale Hotels group with her husband Tim. Each one has a quirky, creative and distinctly English feel, with riotous clashing fabrics, springtime pastel colours and restored antique furniture. There are colourful florals, dressmaker mannequins and original paintings throughout, especially in the hotel’s straight-from-a-magazine two-storey loft suite, which has a bookshelf filled with hardbacks, a bone china tea set and a record player paired with a stash of classic vinyl.  

There are more thoughtful touches elsewhere: reusable fabric laundry bags are made from recycled plastic bottles, clothes hangers are produced from reclaimed wood and even the hotel’s soft toys for children are made from off-cuts from Kemp’s design studio. Bathrooms are also stocked with products from Kemp’s own range, RikRak, and come in bottles made from a fully recyclable waste product of sugar cane, eliminating the use of fossil-based raw materials.

Brasserie with dark wooden tables, striped armchairs and chandeliers.

EAT

Brasserie Max is just off the lobby and buzzes all day long, especially during the popular afternoon tea. Even between meals, there’s a menu of comfort food bar snacks perfect for grazing, including mini fish fingers, duck spring rolls and whipped broad beans with grilled flatbread. At dinner, dishes are based around seasonal British produce including risotto with peas, broad beans and asparagus, and cheese from nearby Neal’s Yard Dairy. 

For breakfast, there’s a small buffet of pastries, fruit and granola, but main dishes are cooked to order and include everything from smoked salmon bagels to grilled tofu with chilli baked beans. Grab a window seat if you can, so you can people-watch on the busy street outside while you dine.

Wood-panelled library with red armchairs and a central fireplace.

DO

It’s difficult to imagine a better location in London. The hotel is surrounded by independent boutiques lining cobbled streets, while the famous Monmouth Coffee is directly opposite for possibly the best caffeine hit in the capital. Other must-visit spots include London perfume shop Miller Harris, jewellery shop Tatty Devine (for personalised name necklaces made on the spot) and Seven Dials Market for communal tables and street food vendors including Hash Hut, Little Pudding and Mother Flipper. Don’t miss Pick & Cheese, too – the world’s first cheese conveyor belt. 

The hotel is also within strolling distance to the National Gallery, Soho’s pubs and entertainment, and the Thames for boat rides and big-ticket tourist attractions. If you’ve already ticked off those, check out the list placed in every room (and updated daily) which details the concierge’s current recommendations, from small theatre shows to out-of-the-way restaurants.

THE FINAL WORD

With its make-yourself-at-home atmosphere and never-stuffy décor, Covent Garden Hotel is the next best thing to having your very own central London crash pad. All with one of the world’s most exciting cities outside the front door.

BOOK

Rooms start from £550 per night. firmdalehotels.com


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