I’ve stayed in some strange hotels and hostels around the world. From the unique (a Turkish hotel built inside of a cave and a hostel whose rooms are tree houses) to the downright bizarre (a German circus tent converted into a massive hostel where hundreds of backpackers sleep on the slatted wooden floor). I’ve come across lots of unique hotels in my travels, so when the good folks at OneFineStay asked me to pen a post for them, I thought I’d share some of the most interesting and unique hotels in London.
[This post is brought to you with support from OneFineStay Vacation Rentals]
This elegant hotel is the handiwork of the internationally acclaimed interior designer, David Carter. The hotel is housed in a historic 4 story Queen Anne Townhouse in East London, built in 1717. There are only 2 rooms, both elegantly and uniquely appointed, with quirky, curved nightstands and gilded bathrooms.
Despite the luxury appeal, the rate is only £105 per night (including breakfast) – A good deal for a hotel in London. And with only two rooms, we’d encourage you to book early. www.40winks.org
Like the Luxury appeal, but looking for something a bit more rough around the edges? Rough Luxe is probably right up your alley. The rooms are decorated with traditional English styling, but with a more shabby chic approach. Think Buckingham Palace meets Home on the Range, with a splash of dilapidation. That means walls that look like they’ve just had the paper torn off and chandeliers made from deer antlers. Mix in a bit of classical art on the walls and some high thread count sheets, and you’ve got Rough Luxe! Rooms from £140 per night. www.roughluxe.co.uk
The Lancaster London
A hotel with swarms of bees on the roof may not sound like the best place to stay, but it’s actually part of the allure. They have an active colony of bees located on their roof, complete with a “Bee Team” that harvests the sustainable honey from the colony. This hotel isn’t just for eco hippies and bee keepers — it’s a 4 star joing with plush rooms, a spectacular view, and a great location near Hyde Park – and they get extra points in my book for being eco-friendly. Still not convinced? They won a Gold Award from London’s Green Tourism board and were elected Eco Hotel of the Year in 2011 – that’s some serious recognition! Rooms start at about £140 per night. www.lancasterlondon.com
The Old Railway Station
The Old Railway Station is actually located in Chichester, about 50 miles south of Central London, but it makes the of London’s most interesting hotels, if only for its quirk and charm. If the name didn’t give it away, the rooms are made from converted train compartments, each split into two unique suites. If you prefer, you can stay in the actual Petworth Railway Station, originally built in 1892. It has since been converted into a hotel with modern amenities. The result is a bit kitschy, a bit nostalgic, and the place has a great historic vibe. It’s a must-sleep for any train enthusiast. Rooms start at about £140 per night. www.old-station.co.uk
The Pavilion Hotel
The Pavilion pure rock and roll. It’s a 30 room townhouse in central London and every room is expertly decorated in eclectic and strange style ranging from rock star chic to gaudy antique and every shade of freak in between. The minds behind this crazed design experiment are the brother and sister team of Danny and Noshi Karne, who wanted to push the limits of boring hotels and try something different. Don’t let the horrific website fool you (it’s one of the worst websites I’ve seen since the mid 90’s), but the rooms are spectacular and have become popular for photo shoots, TV shows, and music videos and the guest list is star studded as well. Rooms start at £60 per night. www.pavilionhoteluk.com
There are lots of other options for unique and interesting hotels in London, and the best place to start your search for a hotel or a onefinestay vacation apartment is the internet. Let me know what you find and I’ll start another list of awesome places to stay in London!