As with the nearby [node:167961], the location’s perfect for shoppers: you’re only a block away from the charming and fashionable boutiques of Marylebone, and close to Selfridges and the mainstream chains along Oxford Street. Sightseers do well too, with Regent’s Park and Madame Tussauds to the north, and the exquisite art of the unsung Wallace Collection museum to the east. Traffic-choked Baker Street has little to recommend it except the well-connected Underground station, a cinema and some decent restaurants (quality chains like Canteen, for example, and the excellent Galvin Bistrot de Luxe).
The bedrooms are done up in dark, rather masculine colours - deep browns, magenta and so forth. Most are standard (‘Comfy’) doubles (some with ziplock beds that can be divided into twins), but there are also half a dozen larger rooms - street-facing, with nos.12 and 14 (both ‘Fancy’ or executive size) both having incredibly narrow little balconies with pot plants. The deluxe (‘Swanky’) rooms have impressive bathrooms, with free-standing bathtubs. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, bottled water, tea- and coffee-maker, and flatscreen TV; you can borrow a DVD player from reception.
The outside is a typical Georgian brick-terraced house front, prettied up a little with potted trees on the front balconies - but I find the interior unexpectedly well decorated. The dark brown colour scheme is handsome rather than gloomy, with twinkly discs suspended from the lights in the front lounge and Oriental touches such as pharaoh and Buddha heads on the mantelpieces. The hotel was converted from a pair of houses, so there are two front lounges. The one on the left, with the bar-reception to the rear, is much cosier, with settees and armchairs. The one on the right is sleeker - better for a business chat. As a listed building, the hotel couldn’t be converted to accommodate a lift, but the two original staircases remain.
Eating and drinking
The reception desk at the back of the left-hand lounge doubles as a rather handsome little bar, where a short range of cocktails (£10) are mixed for drinking in the lounge or at a handful of zebra-pattern bar stools. A breakfast buffet (a selection of cheese and cold cuts in addition to the usual pastries, cereal and fruit) plus boiled or scrambled eggs is served in the rather sober room at the back of the right-hand half of the hotel, but you can also get a continental breakfast delivered to your room; either way, service times are 7-10am or 8-11am on Saturday and Sunday. Although there’s no kitchen, room service is provided daily from noon-11pm by an external Thai restaurant called Two Point, and there’s a very short list of sandwiches, cheese and meat available from 11pm to 7am.
There’s no gym on site, but Montagu Place does have a deal with a nearby branch of LA Fitness, which has a gym, swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Day passes cost £12.
Smartly dressed, professional staff, remaining friendly under pressure.
Who stays there
Largely favoured by business travellers, but the good location and competitive prices (especially at weekends) pull in plenty of leisure custom too.
The rooms are called ‘Comfy’, ‘Fancy’ and ‘Swanky’ for standard, executive and deluxe. Friday evenings are often less heavily booked than weekdays, so it’s worth checking for bargains. Not everyone will be happy with a room on the lower ground floor, but - if a slightly darker room doesn’t bother you - opt for one of these to get a substantially bigger bathroom in the ‘Comfy’ price range. If there’s no availability at Montagu Place, try the larger but less characterful [node:167966], nearby on Baker Street itself.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
Pros & Cons
- Excellent service
- Central, but not busy, location
- Stylish décor
- No lift