Dean Street Townhouse
Can Soho House supremo Nick Jones do no wrong (or leave no stone unturned)? His latest venture in terms of London hotels, opened in 2009, is a 39-room hotel/bar/restaurant/media magnet back at his starting point, Soho. And appropriately, the two genteel Georgian townhouses it inhabits come loaded with soul and stories dating back to the 1730s. The aristocrats, artists, drunkards have come and gone, but its most famous incarnation was as the legendary Gargoyle Club, founded in 1928 and the hangout of politicians, libertines and artists such as Henri Matisse who dreamt up some of the lavish interiors. A little of that old-time decadence has been recaptured in the all-day dining room (think 21st-century gentlemen’s club) where the in-crowd indulges in English comfort food or chatters by the bar. The decor in the guestrooms is in keeping with the building’s history (hand-painted wallpaper, four-poster beds, rich upholstery), but there are also luxurious concessions to modernity (Sony flatscreen TVs, free WiFi, and bathrooms stocked with Cowshed lotions, Jones’ spa; see Play). Rates start at just £90 for the ‘broom cupboard’-sized room, and all beds are either king-size or super king-size. Though one would hope that, in true Soho tradition, guests don’t retire aware of such minutiae.