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.

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