Hazlitt’s is my new favorite London hotel.
And no, they’re not paying me or giving me any special perks for promoting them. I just really, really love it at Hazlitt’s. With its quirky charm and cozy decor, this quaint boutique hotel is the ultimate balance between budget and luxury. In London, England, I’ve stayed everywhere from the budget-friendly Royal National to the upscale Anthenaeum, but now that I’ve stayed at Hazlitt’s, I won’t stay anyplace else.
Situated across from Soho Square, Hazlitt’s is in the heart of the London action. By day, the area is completely quiet, but by night, it comes alive. Corner cafes, lively pubs, and beautiful bistros line every inch of Frith street, which Hazlitt’s calls home. Just a block or two to the right, and you’ll find yourself walking down the incredible Oxford Street. Walk a few more blocks, and you’ll been standing among hundreds of tourists at Trafalgar Square. Take a left when you exit Hazlitt’s, and after a short five-minute walk, you’ll find yourself in Leicester Square, the heart of London’s entertainment district. Another five minutes from there, and you’ll enter the Covent Garden area.
Within seconds of walking through the front door, I was greeted with the warmest reception. The man behind the desk had been anticipating my arrival and was excited to tell me that I had been upgraded to the finest single room in the hotel. Once I was settled into my suite, I decided to go for a walk and get something to eat before heading to see Cinderella in Soho. There were now several people at reception, and they regaled me with tales of how wonderful the show was when they had gone to see it as part of a work event. They were friendly and kind. I felt like I was among old friends and knew I was safe in their hands. From the night staff to the early morning and mid-day crews, every member of the incredible Hazlitt’s team was incredibly warm and welcoming.
I don’t know that I have ever felt more at home in a hotel room than I did at Hazlitt’s. Since I was the last solo traveler with reservations for the weekend, I had my choice between the cozy (in other words small) room I had originally booked on the fifth floor, or I could take the much larger and more luxurious sweet “downstairs.” Now here’s the catch…downstairs was the basement. Being such an old building, many people are a bit put off by this. So the bellman took me down to see the unit before I made my choice. He had also planned to take me upstairs to see the other room, but there was no need. The Gregory King suite, as it was called, was the most amazing hotel room I had ever seen. In fact, if I were to design my dream bedroom, this would be it.
After walking through the standard wooden hotel room door, there is a second entrance with a glass door. There is a little light you can leave on in the tiny foyer between the two doors, which is handy if you plan to be out late. No one likes to return to a dark room. Opening the second door, you encounter a double bed topped with a soft, fluffy duvet that keeps you just the right temperature all night long. The wall beside the bed has a large opening where a fireplace once stood. It now acts as a bedside table of sorts, complete with vintage editions of hard-cover books. At the far end of the room is a small desk with two large windows that look up toward Frith Street. There is even a decent-sized closet and a fridge with mini bar. The decor is cozy and warm and a tad quirky—just like me. It was obvious every lamp, painting, and other adornment had been picked with true care and attention to detail. As a writer, it felt like the perfect place to write a masterpiece. But the focal point of the room is the stunning claw-foot tub. Two heavy drapes frame the entrance to the pristine bathroom. It was to die for.
Before you’ve even entered the building, you know you’re staying someplace special. Built in the 1700s, the Georgian-style building is reminiscent of a bygone era. Named for the writer and painter who died in the house in 1830, William Hazlitt, you half expect to see him and his friends waxing poetic over a snifter of brandy in the sitting room.
There are two sitting rooms where guests can sit by the fire and relax. In one room, there is an honor bar where you can help yourself to whatever you like. You just write down what you’ve taken in the provided journal and pay when you check out. In most hotels I’ve stayed in, public spaces like there are usually barren. But at Hazlitt’s, they are very popular, especially on cold winter nights.
Despite the hustle on bustle of the surrounding streets at night, you’re completely safe at Hazlitt’s. Day or night, you have to ring reception to gain entry to the building. Once inside, you are promptly greeted by the staff to ensure you do, in fact, belong there. You are never given a key to the building itself, only your suite. And you leave that behind with reception every time you leave the building. You can rest assured that no one is getting into Hazlitt’s who isn’t supposed to. Thanks to very heavy drapery in the suites, you’re shielded from the chatter traffic on the busy streets outside your windows at night.
From its ideal location to its adorable ambiance, Hazlitt’s is the perfect place to set up your home away from home when you’re in London, England. Have a favorite London hotel you’d like to share, tell us all about it on the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook page.