Right in the middle of bustling Soho, with some of London’s best restaurants spread around it and close to many of the West End theatres. A great bit of town for people-watching from the numerous cafés. Walk here from Tottenham Court Road Underground station through Soho Square to get a flavour of the area.
Consisting of four Georgian townhouses, the hotel has rooms ranging from eccentric grand suites (eagle head tap, special lever to work the shutters, retractable roof over the roof terrace) to dinky little garrets with views out over the roofs of central London. There are exquisite four-poster and half-tester beds, creaky screens, antique furniture and, for those who look to the history of dentistry to prove that the past wasn’t always better, air-conditioning, free internet, triple-glazing and TVs hidden in wall cabinets.
The hotel is named after the 18th-century essayist William Hazlitt, a fiery Romantic writer who fell catastrophically in love with his landlord’s daughter while living here (Hazlitt's account of the affair can be read in Liber Amoris, while his grave can be visited in St Anne’s churchyard at the other end of Old Compton Street). He was to die in abject poverty on the premises. The literary connections are kept alive by a bookcase in a little fireplace room off reception, which contains signed copies of books by former guests, many of them very distinguished.
Eating and drinking
There’s no restaurant (porridge or cold breakfasts and a short menu can be served in your room), but you’re right in the middle of Soho - one of London’s best areas for eating out - and the honesty bar on the ground floor will keep you entertained after hours if needs must.
Calm and unassuming.
Who stays there
Literary romantics, theatrical types and lovers of old London.
Continental breakfast costs £10.95.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
Pros & Cons
- Flamboyant décor
- 'Old London' atmosphere
- Rather dimly lit
- Some small rooms