Tucked away off Soho Square lies a discreet little townhouse hotel called Hazlitt’s. Named for William Hazlitt, the essayist and Napoleon biographer who lived and died here in the early 19th century, the hotel has held on to its literary theme, and is today a favorite among writers and publishers, as well as artistic types, theatre patrons and West End antique hunters.
It’s not quite on the same luxe level as some of the new high-end boutiques, but neither are its rates — you’re not getting (but also not paying for) a spa, a big-name chef, plasma-screen TVs, or any of the rest. It may sound a bit grown-up to devotees of the modern nightclub hotel, but for those of us who fancy a late-night browse through the sitting room’s literary collection (many signed copies left behind by visiting authors) rather than another cocktail in a hip hotel bar, this is the place.
And it’s got quiet charms all its own—this place is packed with character, bursting with antiques and period furnishings to match the hotel’s Georgian pedigree, and each of the twenty-three rooms is named after a famous literary guest, from Wordsworth to Jonathan Swift. The floor plans of the listed townhouses hew to the original, meaning still no lifts, and smallish rooms, cozy and expertly decorated. Old-fashioned they may be, but meticulously maintained, with gleaming brass fittings in the Victorian bathrooms (modern plumbing, too) and mahogany furnishings of museum quality.
There’s not much at all in the way of room service, and no restaurant, though Soho’s got a few decent midmarket options (including a really rather good hamburger joint on Dean Street). And with the money you’re saving on the room rate, you can afford to head west, and throw some serious cash around Mayfair.
6 Frith Street, London, England