One of central London’s most long-awaited hotels finally opens its doors this week on Friday, after a painstaking three-year renovation of an elegant Georgian building in one of the city’s most salubrious postcodes. The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone is the third hotel from the Zetter Group, whose two other hotels are at the heart of the cool, design-focused Clerkenwell scene on the other side of the city.
Despite moving across town to the traditionally upmarket (though unremarkable) Portman Village area, “the character behind this hotel is bit naughty, a bit of a gambler,” says GM Melanie Older, describing Uncle Seymour, the fictional character who has provided inspiration for the new property. To this end, décor in the 24 rooms is a mixture of historical (heritage plaster remnants, swagged curtains) and quirky (walls lined with old maps and comics, bird-shaped room numbers). The refreshing bursts of personality and patina of age extends to the antique four-poster beds and indulgent marble bathrooms.
Although there is no restaurant (yet guests can order from a room service menu), the downstairs bar—a cozy Georgian-style drawing room with a louche classical vibe—will breathe new life into an area bereft of noteworthy bars, thanks to a cocktail menu devised by London’s best bartender, Tony Conigliaro. We recommend the dangerously moreish Turf Club, made with gin, Dubonnet, Peruvian bitters and grass (doubles from $350).
Emily Mathieson is on the U.K. beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in London, you can follow her at @emilymtraveled.