Critics' choice

Four Georgian townhouses make up this absolutely charming place, named after William Hazlitt, the spirited 18th-century essayist who died here in abject poverty. With flamboyance and staggering attention to detail, the rooms evoke the Georgian era, all heavy fabrics, fireplaces, free-standing tubs and exquisitely carved half-testers. Yet modern luxuries – air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TVs in antique cupboards and double-glazed windows – have been subtly attended to as well.

It gets creakier and more crooked the higher you go, culminating in enchanting garret single rooms with rooftop views. Of seven new bedrooms, the main suite is a real knock-out: split-level, with a huge eagle spouting water into the raised bedroom bath and a rooftop terrace with sliding roof, it’s a joyous extravaganza. From the back alley outside, the extension has been made to look like 1700s shopfronts.

Venue name: Hazlitt's
Address: 6 Frith Street
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Road tube
Price: Rates £288-£432 double
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