The city hotel of the future
A Victorian-era building brought back to life as a “reinterpretation” of the traditional hotel. All the frills have been stripped back so you’re left with simple, but considered, hallmarks: a smooth check-in, meticulous design, a world-class cocktail menu and decent coffee in the mornings. In short, it’s the future of city hoteliering.
In the thick of Paddington, from the outside this hotel looks like a coffee shop. Ask for a room higher up or at the back of the property to avoid street noise. Excellent transport connections include Lancaster Gate underground station.
It has been a labour of love for the trio behind The Pilgrm, one-third of which is Jason Catifeoglou (an ex-partner of Zetter Townhouse), who has overseen the painstaking restoration of the Victorian building back to its full glory. The original mahogany staircase – which took 300 hours to restore – dominates the downstairs, and is the only suggestion that there might be something else to this otherwise neighbourhood coffee shop. It’s a paean to British craftsmanship – think souped-up British boarding school. Interiors were either meticulously sourced or custom-made to fit the style: the lapis lazuli tiles at the entrance are as close to the originals as they could find; the hallway lights were sourced from a hospital; and the parquet floors are from a former army gym. Come here if you want a hands-off stay; don’t if you want white-gloved bellhops. There’s not even a reception desk: guests check in and out online, and pay before they arrive, so all they need to do is pick up their room key from a 24-hour host stationed in the downstairs café. Though the hotel’s style is laissez-faire, the staff are anything but. Jason hand-picked people he’s encountered over the past 20 years of working in the industry and it shows, with attentive and friendly staff. Facilities, as expected, are limited, though the hotel has links with a local dry cleaner and gym.
Seventy-three rooms are set across three “wings”, categorised into Small, Medium and Large. They are compact, with the emphasis on the bespoke beds, backed by parquet panelling and topped with handmade mattresses. Dinky, white metro-tiled bathrooms
hold Victorian-style lavatories (but not plumbing), decent showers and an enamel sink. No phones (you can text) or room service – each floor has its own 24-hour pantry with snacks and hot drinks.
The bar has a selection of drinks cherry-picked from the world’s best cocktail menus. Highlights include
Cots are available but no extra beds can be added. There’s one bunk room (£99), which is suitable for teens. For more luxury hotels in London, see: telegraph.co.uk/ tt-luxurylondon