There is no shortage of great hotels in London but when asked by stateside friends and readers which ones I’d recommend I tend to offer vague suggestions based on location. The last time I stayed in a London accommodation was in 1996 with my high school’s choir & band during our weeklong England & Wales tour. We spent 3 shady nights at the Generator hostel by King’s Cross where I tried to dye my hair purple but instead only my scalp seemed to take in the color. Needless to say, the Generator is the perfect place to stay for only those under 20 years old.
A few weeks ago I was offered a stay at London’s The Soho Hotel along with a meal at the newly redesigned Refuel Restaurant so I decided to take a quick staycation in one of my favorite parts of the city.
Soho houses my favorite street for dining (Dean Street), a lively nightlife and great cafes making it the perfect place for people watching. Nestled in all the buzz of Soho is the 96 room boutique hotel (you’d have to look for it or you’ll definitely miss it) designed by Kit Kemp, co-owner and interior designer. Playful colors and patterns permeate The Soho Hotel, infusing it with a delightful energy. It woke me up from that haze I sometimes get from traveling too long since I had just returned from two weeks in Vietnam.
I love the creature comforts that the hotel offered. We stayed in a newly refurbished terrace room with heated floor tiles and a mini boombox in the bathroom. The Brit quickly settled in to rest on the bed with his box of welcome chocolates while I went to discover the rest of the hotel. Available to guests is the library, sitting room, gym and screening room/film club – all dressed in different personalities. The sitting room in particular looks to be the perfect place for afternoon tea with the girls. My preference is for the library, that cozy comfort of being surrounded by both silence and words.
Dinner at Refuel, unlike the hotel, was a bit of a mixed bag. The restaurant is in a great open space but could do with more natural light. The atmosphere was subdued as it was a Monday evening drawing contrast to the vibrant colors of the decor. The sea bream ceviche was a great light start to the meal, enlivening my palate with the citrus juices and a very fresh fish. The dressed Dorset crab main I ordered lacked the simplicity & liveliness of a fresh crab which was disappointing but the Brit enjoyed his rare tuna steak and salsa combo. We didn’t have much room left for dessert but our convincing waitress enticed us (which wasn’t hard to do) with the English strawberry and custard tartlet and cold fondant chocolate. Both were sophisticated enough for a refined palate but what I loved was that it drew on our most innate of love for sweets.
After a good, quiet night’s rest the morning was made even better with room service. We lucked out with great London weather that day so enjoyed our french toast & latte out on the room’s terrace. It was a pretty perfect way to start a Tuesday!
Who would I recommend The Soho Hotel to? Personally, I think it makes for the perfect setting for a special girl’s weekend in London with friends, especially in one of their beautifully dressed suites. We also saw families and businessmen enjoying the hotel. For Londoners, this also makes for a great romantic staycation.
The Soho Hotel
4 Richmond Mews
Note: I was a guest of The Soho Hotel, all views are my own.