The north side of Sussex Gardens, which runs down nearly as far as Hyde Park, is pretty much just a string of cheap hotels, all set back from a busy road. The nearest Underground station is Edgware Road, but Paddington rail station is hardly any further. Apart from the park, most London attractions are easily accessible - but elsewhere.
Where to start? Most townhouse hotels have different design notes for each room. Here you could be moving into a completely different hotel each time you open a room door. On the 2nd floor, the twin called Honky Tonk Afro thrusts you straight into the psychedelic ’60s, with mirrored love-heart headboards, a disco ball and garish prints of Marc Bolan and John Lennon. The tiny but coddling War & Peace squeezes in a scarlet army tunic, canopied four-poster single bed, writing desk and a wall-mounted crossbow. On the top floor are White Days & Soul Nights (a boudoir done out in cream and whites, with a chandelier) and, my favourite despite the rather functional bathroom, Flower Power. Looking out on the treetops, its turquoise floral décor makes the room feel airy as a conservatory - there’s a fine cast-iron sink with marble top in one corner too. There’s free wireless internet and a TV in each room, although the screens aren’t always helpfully positioned.
I like the amiable clutter of cricket bats, steamer trunks and old black-and-white photos in the reception area, with a couple of leopard-skin chairs facing the desk, but the residents’ lounge in the basement is the real stunner: the Parlour is a cosy and darkly handsome little sitting room full of books, mirrors and neo-classical busts, which opens on to outdoor decking with metal water feature and some geometric modern chairs. I liked the stained-glass in the firedoors too.
Eating and drinking
A breakfast of cereal and pastries is delivered to your room in a sealed plastic tray, or you can spend £5 on a ham, cheese or chicken sandwich or fries. I’d head into Notting Hill for a drink or bite to eat.
Calm, but a bit detached. Do confirm internet bookings by phone before you set off.
Who stays there
Lovers of the eccentric and bohemians with an eye for a bargain.
- High-Speed Internet
- Families with teenagers
Pros & Cons
- Good prices
- Eye-popping kitsch décor
- No lift and few amenities
- Some bathrooms are small and a bit dull