A Grade II listed building, this former coaching inn dates from 1827 and has a handy location caught between the grassy playground of Regent's Park and the bohemian streets of Camden Town. You can easily walk from here to London Zoo, Primrose Hill, the shops of Marylebone and top performance venues such as the Jazz Cafe and Roundhouse. I'd particularly recommend staying here in summer.
Eight of the nine rooms are set in a handsome three-storey building with a central staircase - there is also a large suite above the old stables with a private entrance, but I find this less appealing. Rooms are categorised as Classic, Superior and Deluxe and come with wooden floors, magnificent armoires and dressers, and individual touches that could be an original fireplace or a deftly inserted bathroom. All mod cons are provided, including blissful beds and super-thick dressing gowns, but there are quirks - rather than provide a minibar, room service menu or tea/coffee facilities, the management prefers you pick up the phone and ask for whatever you need. Here the human touch matters.
The hotel has a dedicated entrance to one side of the main building. The central focus, though, is the bar - a lovely long run of pewter backed up with high stools and a good cocktail list. Graceful sash windows, sumptuous curtains and comfy black sofas create a quietly refined atmosphere.
Eating and drinking
The York & Albany is a joint venture between Michelin-starred Chef Patron Angela Hartnett and Head Chef Colin Buchan. The superb cuisine leans towards the Italian but also champions British seasonal produce. The restaurant is on two levels - I greatly prefer the ground floor dining room which has a large picture window and a terrace for summer use. Don't ignore the bar area, though, which manages to be both cosy and smart. A faultless à la carte breakfast is served here to jazzy sounds, while later on you can enjoy delicious pizzas and platters created in the adjacent Nonna's, a rustic-looking deli housed in the former stables. If you have something to celebrate, the first floor Regency Room is a splendid venue with views to the park.
None - but you can walk or jog in Regent's Park.
Tip-top in the restaurant, responsive in the hotel. Staff wear smart grey uniforms and are on hand 24 hours.
Who stays there
Foodies, families, couples, tourists and visitors seeing friends in the area.
Rates generally exclude VAT. Full English breakfast costs £12.50, excluding service, and WiFi is complimentary. With a popular restaurant and just nine rooms, you'll need to book well ahead.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Families with teenagers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Close to Regent's Park
- Superlative food
- Early booking advised
- Next to a noisy traffic junction