Best hotels near Theatreland
A block from the theatres of Shaftesbury Avenue, there’s a lot to recommend at the Firmdale Group’s Covent Garden outpost, located on the prettiest street in Covent Garden. The communal areas are typically eye-catching and each of the 58 rooms are similarly luxurious and imaginative: check out the granite bathrooms for film star appeal. Indeed, they often stay here, and if you’re one of them, or here for film rather than theatre, there’s a cinema, too, as well as a quiet private library and drawing room.
If you’re still reeling at how much you spent on those ‘Book of Mormon’ tickets, you might want to console yourself by saving on accommodation. Step forward this funky hostel, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street. There isn’t much in the way of frills, but the dormitory rooms, twins and doubles are some of the best value beds in town. Upstairs you’ll find a guest-only bar and roof garden, plus free wifi throughout and breakfast priced at a keen £5. What’s more, one of the city’s best alternative comedy and cabaret spaces, the Soho Theatre, is just 20 metres away.
For a little more comfort, but without having to shell out too much more, try this neat 78-room, four-star hotel near Soho Square. Rooms are compact and well equipped, and come with Nespresso machines, mini kitchens, air conditioning and free wifi, and while there’s no bar or restaurant (breakfast can be delivered to your room), you’re in the thick of the action and the front desk are adept at recommendations, so popping out is a cinch.
In a similar vein is this branch of budget chain Z, just off Old Compton Street in Soho, which has en suite rooms from £69. Yes, they’re on the small side, if you’re over six foot you’ll be snug, and you won’t have a phone or proper wardrobe, but… really, at this price, for this location, it’s definitely a bargain. Before hitting the bright lights of Soho, you can take advantage of the free wine and cheese on offer in the lobby every evening between 5pm and 7pm.
For something a little more discreet and homely, try this charming, good value hotel in Covent Garden, a short hop from the Royal Opera House and the market, which is just a five minute walk away. Inside, the hotel is small and characterful, with pretty en suite rooms that come with tea- and coffee- making facilities, free wifi and air conditioning. There’s no gym on-site, but guests can take advantage of the free passes to the nearby Nuffield fitness centre.
Located on the northern border of Theatreland, the second branch of the Hoxton chain to open after the original in Shoreditch, follows the same formula of decent-value rooms in good locations, without all the stuff that you pay for and don’t need. Rooms are a little tight but are cleverly designed, and come with free wifi, a morning snack and fresh milk in your fridge. The concept is certainly working: branches in Paris and NYC are set to open this year (2017), with another London one, in Southwark, due in 2018.
The feel throughout this Firmdale hotel is very much low-key celebrity: casual but luxurious, exclusive but not stuffy. And like the other hotels in the Firmdale group, design here is king: check out Colombian artist Fernando Botero’s cat in the lobby or the sumptuous marble bathrooms in the rooms, for example. Given its peach of a location in the heart of Soho, and the two small cinemas on-site, it’s popular with famous film folk.
Right in the heart of Soho and owned by Soho House, Dean Street Townhouse can feel rather fancy, albeit in a trendy media-y sort of way – if it’s celebs you’re after, try the the Groucho Club across the street. It’s a well-considered, stylish place with rooms – albeit small ones – that can be had for as little as £115. Downstairs is great for breakfasts and meetings, while the tables out front are ideal for a coffee and watching the world go by.
The Me Meliá is one of the most convenient places to stay for the capital’s theatres, as it’s almost at the bottom of Drury Lane and so within minutes of many top thespian draws. Inside you’ll find a slick, modern hotel designed by Foster & Partners, with a striking nine-storey central atrium and 157 rooms (starting at £290) that are refined and quiet, though thankfully not too stuffy: pets are welcome. Make sure to check out Radio, the rooftop bar with some of the best views in Theatreland.
Hub is another chain offering central rooms at knockdown prices. And while said rooms may be compact, for the price (from £69), not many guests are likely to complain. This one is the latest branch of the Premier Inn offshoot and continues much in the same vein as the other four in town: rooms are high-tech and sensibly designed, with beds high enough to squeeze a suitcase underneath, and everything, from booking to turning off the lights, controllable via a phone or tablet app, which also interacts with a wall map to offer little area guides.
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