Looking for something a little different for your stay in London? Here are five out-of-the-box hotels to make your trip one to remember.
Called ‘The most beautiful small hotel in the world’ by German Vogue and featured in numerous magazines, this tiny two-bedroom hotel in Mile End Road is perhaps the most picturesque place to spend a night in London. Built in 1717 (the hotel itself opened in 2009), 40 Winks is a favourite of fashion photographers and celebrities, and it’s easy to see why: the rooms are luxuriously furnished and styled to perfection. In spite of its upmarket clientele, it has a laid-back vibe: the website promising to treat anyone staying there ‘not as a guest, but as a new friend’.
Book the double room (£195 per night) or the single (£125), or have the whole place to yourself for £295.
If you can’t afford to stay there, you can still enjoy the location by going to one of their Bedtime Story Nights for just £30. The dress code is ‘elegant pyjamas’ and the themes include ‘tales of love, passion and lust’ for Valentine’s Day and ‘Stories to make you want to dance like a diva’. Be quick though – these events have been known to sell out around a year in advance, so you’ll need to plan ahead to get a spot.
Originating in Amsterdam and now with branches in major cities across the globe, this stylish and very eco-friendly hotel in Shoreditch offers cube-based rooms with colourful, contemporary decor. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, safe, flat screen TV and rain canopy shower – all in central London and from just £60 per night if you book a few weeks in advance. The cheapest price is for their ‘smart room’ – that is, a room with no windows – but if living without natural light is a deal-breaker, you can get a room with a view for around a tenner more.
If you’re looking for something modern, affordable and environmentally friendly, this might be the one.
The family-run 19th century Georgian House Hotel in Pimlico features both ‘The Wizard Chambers’ and ‘The Enchanted Chambers’: rooms designed for fantasy-lovers (Harry Potter lovers, in the case of the Wizard Chambers which feature Potterlike paraphernalia) who want to step straight into a storybook.
For £279 per night, you can enter through a hidden doorway behind a bookcase and fall asleep in a four-poster bed surrounded by cauldrons, apothecary bottles, stained glass windows and antique books. For the over-18s, there’s also a Wizard Cocktail experience featuring both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions, mixed together from ingredients with suitably magical-sounding names and recipes on ancient scrolls.
Don’t fancy being a wizard? Their other rooms are magic-free, but still beautifully put-together (and cheaper, from £150). The Georgian House Hotel has the advantage of being situated within waking distance of one of London’s largest stations, providing unprecedented access to the rest of of the city in minutes.
Gir Lion Lodge
How about a night surrounded by lions?The London Zoo’s Gir Lion Lodge in Camden offers accommodation in a series of whimsical wooden cabins, metres away from where the big cats roam – behind a fence, naturally, but still within earshot.
It’s more than a place to stay, with three themed tours of the zoo (including a package-exclusive after-dark tour) and complementary breakfast and dinner as part of the deal.
With a one night stay for two setting you back around £375 (with an additional £50 per child), it’s definitely not cheap, but where else will you have the opportunity to wake to the sound of roaring lions without leaving the city?
The Boundary Project in Shoreditch is inspired by famous designers and design movements, from Le Corbusier to Eames. Much of the furniture, prints and soft furnishings are originals, and whilst there are only 12 rooms and 5 suites, the building packs a huge variety of amenities, including a bakery, event space and rooftop bar with panoramic views. You’ll be staying a short walk away from the City of London and at the centre of London’s hipster movement.
Not matter which room you choose you’ll be bathed in light thanks to the unique interior design scheme. For a truly unique find in the middle of Britain, don’t miss Boundary’s heated glass orangery, located on the roof.