Housed in a 19th-century French hospital, the Covent Garden Hotel is the oldest and most historic of Tim and Kit Kemp’s celebrated Firmdale hotels portfolio. Opened in 1996 by the husband-and-wife team, it bears a staid style that reflects its early position in the cannon of hotels, which have since become far more exuberant and quirky. The hotel’s muted, pared-back look will undoubtedly appeal to those who crave discretion. It’s not unusual to spot venerable British actors tucked away in a corner, quietly conducting a meeting. This is, after all, the heart of Theatreland—or London’s West End—where a recognizable clientele comes with the territory. However, the Covent Garden Hotel is by no means the see-and-be-seen spot of its media-magnet sister properties, including Charlotte Street Hotel, the Soho Hotel, and Ham Yard. Instead, go here to sequester yourself with a book in the upstairs drawing room, which, with its crackling stone fireplace and wood-paneled walls, resembles the traditional lounge of an English country house.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
One of London’s loveliest intersections is right outside the door. Seven Dials—comprised of seven interlinking streets—is draped in bunting and lined with charming boutiques. On Monmouth Street itself, you’ll find French jewelry designer Les Néréides, gentlemen’s grooming salon Murdock of London, and perfumer Miller Harris. Restaurants include authentic Neapolitan pizza parlor Rossopomodoro, Italian deli La Bottega, and British eatery Scoff & Banter. There’s also the Monmouth Coffee Co. for your morning brew and the Crown pub for an evening tipple. To take in a play, check out what’s on in the West End.
Need to Know
Rooms: 58 rooms, including two suites. From $617. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Brasserie Max is the all-day dining restaurant downstairs. Decked out in dusky colors, with comfy seating and antique-style oil paintings, it makes for a warm and inviting centerpiece. Upstairs, the handsome Drawing Room and Library are reserved for guests only. Spa and gym details: The hotel offers one treatment room, in-room spa services, and a compact gym.
Who's it for: Theater buffs in town to soak up the West End’s shows. Shoppers who favor small boutiques over big-name brands. Our favorite rooms: The Four Poster Room has a hint of old English grandeur, but the snug Loft Suite is also a winner, thanks to its location up in the eaves, complete with exposed wooden beams. Movie night: Check out the Saturday evening Film Club in the hotel’s 43-seat screening room, which shows recently released flicks. Book tickets, along with a two-course lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea, for $57 per person.