For eating, drinking and grown-up nightlife, Soho is a great part of London to be in, with Dean Street one its busier central thoroughfares - classy Indian restaurant Red Fort and classic pub the French House are both also on Dean Street.
The listing of historic properties places major restrictions on redevelopment, so the 39 rooms vary in size and shape, but all have at least an en suite shower and the same quality in-room facilities: flatscreen TVs, free wireless internet, Roberts radios, charming metal ‘Treats’ tins (biscuits, tea, coffee), large bottles of Soho House's own Cowshed smellies and lotions in the bathroom. If noise is a problem for you, request a room at the back. Some guests have had problems with the rooms looking on to Dean Street, although personally I wasn’t disturbed at all when I stayed in the lovely Room 10, with its freestanding bedroom tub and half-tester bed. The aptly named ‘Broom Cupboard’ and ‘Tiny’ rooms (which cost from £95 a night, including tax but not breakfast) are barely larger than their double beds, but the other rooms that I saw were all a good size for central London.
The feel of the place is gentlemen’s club calm, with a couple of easy chairs by the books and hearth fire at the reception counter. The small drawing room with its honesty bar and newspapers is set back far enough from the street to feel exclusive. It’s book-lined, quiet and dimly lit, an enjoyable contrast to the bustle outside.
Eating and drinking
The Dean Street’s bar-restaurant has been a roaring success, delivering well-crafted comfort food (does anyone not like the mince and potatoes?) in a lively room that is smart enough for an occasion but - with a touch of boudoir decadence - far from stuffy. The door staff can be a little sniffy if you don’t have a booking, but soon perk up when they find out you’re staying in the hotel. Like most of Soho House’s establishments, the Dining Room strikes a great balance between the business suits on expenses and hipsters, who drop in to slouch at the counter.
No gym or out-of-room entertainments - just the happening bar-restaurant and that pleasantly sleepy ground-floor room.
Unfussy, straightforward and unobtrusive.
Who stays there
Clientele are a typically Soho mix of relaxed business types (especially media) and reasonably well-heeled bohemians, but families and older guests also seem to feel comfortable.
The ‘Tiny’ rooms are great value if you’re happy living pretty much on your double bed. Breakfast costs from £6.50 for a basket of breads and pastries to £7 for a big bacon and egg roll or £12.50 for a Full English, all served in your room under a cloche if you prefer.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
Pros & Cons
- Well thought-out details
- Quietly luxurious décor
- Great atmosphere
- Small size of bargain rooms
- Some street noise