Location, location, location – rarely does this overused adage apply more than when choosing a hotel for your next trip to the UK capital. Enter: Henrietta Hotel, a new boutique hotel that is located in the heart of Covent Garden, yet feels like a secret that only you are privy to.
Having opened in May of this year, the property is the first London venture in the portfolio of Experimental Club (of Grand Pigalle Hotel fame). Boasting a friendly vibe that somehow feels palpable, it comprises two adjacent Victorian townhouses on the quiet Henrietta Street, where painter Samuel Scott, actress Kitty Clive, and novelist Jane Austen were once residents.
Need to Know
With only 17 guestrooms and one suite, the Henrietta Hotel comes with a side of intimacy, a quality you’ll appreciate after a long and frenzied day out in central London. I stayed in the rather straightforwardly named ‘Henrietta’ room that featured a little seating area and plenty of space – a welcome change from the city’s norm.
It also offered the plush extras you’d expect of any upscale hotel: daily turndown service, a super king-size bed with satin bed linens, a generously packed minibar, and more. However, if a true splurge is what you’re seeking, book the top-floor ‘Grand Henrietta’ suite, which boasts a balcony with a view of the iconic London Eye and a bathroom fitted with a claw-foot bathtub. Win-win.
What You'll Like
The hotel’s décor is instantly appealing, drawing inspiration from both the 1970s and its British architectural heritage. Renowned interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon – who was named Designer of the Year at Maison & Objet in 2015 – is the talent behind it, making this her fourth project in London with the Experimental Group.
Her genius is evident in everything from the handmade Art Deco headboards that mix mirror with fabric to the brass bedside lights, retro armchairs with brushed aluminium (inspired by Pierre Paulin’s designs), terrazzo-patterned carpets, and light Carrara marble skirting – all representative of Henrietta Hotel’s nod to Italian design.
What You'll Love
Well, if you’re anything like me, let’s start with that adorable bathroom, which opens via cupboard-like doors with the word “bath” written in gold lettering. Next come the deliciously girly details – think: pastel-pink walls, monochrome tiled flooring, plush monogrammed robes, retro fittings, his-and-hers sinks, and travel-size toiletries by the likes of Grown Alchemist and John Masters Organics tucked away in a linen pouch.
The hotel may not offer amenities such as an in-house gym or spa, but I took an instant liking to the little details and services interspersed throughout the property. A gleaming gold knocker in the shape of a pineapple greets you at your room door, you can request a yoga kit if you’re feeling bendy, and a shoe shine at the nearby Joseph Cheaney & Sons is on the house – even calls to UK mobiles and landlines are complimentary. You’ll also stumble upon a copy of The Beef Club, in case perusing a selection of meaty recipes sounds appealing.
While Covent Garden is brimming with culinary options to satiate any and every palate, you’ll want to stay in for at least one meal at the hotel’s eponymous restaurant, where Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous runs the show. The menu at Henrietta is simple and seasonal, with just a hint of French gastronomy – steak tartare is served with nasturtium leaves and rye, spring vegetables are paired with Graceburn cheese in a lamb broth, and barbecued quail is accompanied by toasted wheat and clover. Regardless of what you order, though, you’re guaranteed to feast on a highly Insta-worthy dish – as evidenced by the vegetarian-friendly ricotta dumplings.
In terms of design, you’ll see glass roofs and Charlotte Perriand-inspired modular tables offset by more organic design elements, like succulents and oak flooring. The pièce de résistance, however, has to be the impossible-to-miss mural of a tiger that’s painted across the entire ceiling. Henrietta is situated across the ground and mezzanine floors of the hotel and, like the rest of the property, is designed by Meilichzon. My advice? Grab a spot by the open kitchen to watch Dabbous’ talented team at work, and enjoy a generously sized portion of the freshly baked madeleines while you’re at it.
Step a few paces away from the comfort of the Henrietta Hotel, and you’ll be reminded precisely why you chose it. Covent Garden Market is situated a stone’s throw away, while Southbank Centre is easily accessible via Waterloo Bridge. Must-visit venues such as National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House, and Sir John Soane’s Museum are also in the vicinity. Culture vultures will delight in the nearby Cambridge Theatre, which is currently hosting Matilda The Musical.
The Ivy Market Grill is located just a few doors down, and romantic eatery Clos Maggiore can be found one street over. While you’re around, be sure to give Monmouth Coffee Company a try for the best of London’s coffee scene, and indulge your cocoa cravings at the decadently stocked Hotel Chocolat. Also in the neighborhood? Contemporary Peruvian fare at Lima Floral, crowd-pleasing Indian food at Dishoom, and traditional British cuisine at 1798-established Rules.
A pitstop to a colorful courtyard by the name of Neal’s Yard also comes highly recommended. Contained within are the flagship store of Neal’s Yard Remedies, an outpost of the immensely popular Homeslice Pizza, and wholesome vegan treats at Wild Food Café – all conveniently located a mere seven-minute walk away from the Henrietta’s doorstep. What more could you want?
For more information or to book a stay at Henrietta Hotel, click here.