The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

LON­DON may be awash with new five-star ho­tels but few have gue­strooms as quirky as those just opened at the Hos­pi­tal Club in Covent Gar­den.

Es­tab­lished by Mi­crosoft co-founder Paul Allen and mu­si­cian David Ste­wart (one half of the Eury­th­mics) in 2004 to pro­vide a cre­ative home away from home for artists, de­sign­ers, mu­si­cians and me­dia types, the Hos­pi­tal Club is open­ing its doors to non­mem­bers for the first time.

Fif­teen new gue­strooms have been un­veiled on the third floor of this 18th-cen­tury for­mer hos­pi­tal build­ing, each fea­tur­ing works by lo­cal artists.

Lon­don de­sign out­fit Rus­sell Sage Stu­dio has fo­cused on the 1970s, deck­ing out each room with retro fur­ni­ture and fix­tures that in­clude wood pan­elling and be­spoke ter­rar­i­ums cour­tesy of artist Alyson Mowat. (The whole look is like Can­berra’s very groovy Ho­tel Ho­tel.)

Gue­strooms come in four sizes, rang­ing from cosy crash pads to suites fea­tur­ing pri­vate ter­races and sep­a­rate lounge ar­eas, and while the feel may be retro, all the lat­est gad­getry is here, in­clud­ing iPod docks, Roberts ra­dios, large flat-screen tele­vi­sions and free WiFi.

The usual five-star ho­tel ac­cou­trements — room ser­vice and fancy unguents, in this case, cov­etable Bri­tish brand REN — are com­ple­mented by more cre­ative ac­ces­sories such as “brain power tool kits”, quirky turn­down mes­sages, even an “erotic” mini­bar stocked by bur­lesque cos­tu­miers Holloway Smith Noir.

Guests have ac­cess to Club fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing the TV stu­dio, screen­ing room, gallery and live per­for­mance space, and are in­vited to at­tend sched­uled mem­ber events such as com­edy nights and in­dus­try net­work­ing drinks par­ties.

But be aware that as a non-mem­ber you are al­lowed to sign in only one guest and cam­eras are a def­i­nite no-no.

The 7pm cock­tail trol­ley that roams from room to room.

The sec­ond floor Club restau­rant is popular with lo­cal food­ies given its fo­cus on sea­sonal Bri­tish fare and sus­tain­able pro­duce.

MEAT­mar­ket, for great burg­ers and hot dogs (Ju­bilee Mar­ket Hall); Simp­sons-in-theS­trand — it’s hard to go past this leg­endary in­sti­tu­tion for a full English break­fast or tra­di­tional roast carved and served from a sil­ver trol­ley.

own in-room bar­tender.

Book a suite and get your

Rooms from £180 ($350) but spot deals of £124 or $240 are avail­able most weeks (see web­site). A de­posit is re­quired to se­cure reser­va­tions. More: the­hos­pi­tal­

Soho House Ber­lin; Crosby Street Ho­tel, New York; Ho­tel Ho­tel, Can­berra.


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