This iconic Notting Hill hotel is a place of rock ‘n’ roll legend: Alice Cooper kept his boa constrictor in the bath here, and Jonny Depp and Kate Moss filled their tub with champagne and hid away for several days.
Whether you’re planning a party-filled getaway or something more sedate, the unpretentious atmosphere, beautiful antique-filled rooms, 24/7 honesty bar and unrivalled West London location (right next to Portobello Market) are seriously tempting.
Rooms: Chinese antiques, Persian rugs, button-back leather chairs… the 21 rooms are all different but all beautifully styled. Size-wise, even the small Good rooms with their mural-ed walls feel spacious in city hotel terms, while several of the larger rooms face out onto leafy Stanley Gardens. We loved our Exceptional room, especially the dreamy four-poster bed (so high we had to climb up steps to get in!) and the Tardis-like bathroom. Room 16 has a wonderfully romantic round bed wrapped in gauze curtains. In all rooms, you’re spoilt with Green & Spring spa products, Nespresso machines, and decadent French chocs at turndown.
Food: A Continental breakfast is included in the rates and served on delicate vintage china, and there are cooked options for a charge – we loved the scrambled eggs and delicious smoked salmon. There’s a short snack menu available all day, but we’d recommend heading out to one of the many excellent restaurants in the neighbourhood (armed with a recommendation from the helpful reception team if needed). We grabbed a table at Granger & Co for some healthy Sydney-style food, but also had our eyes on Beach Blanket Babylon (for chic modern European dishes) and The Electric Diner (for American classics).
Author’s tip: Pick up a pre-loved designer bargain in the charity shops on Westbourne Grove; the Oxfam and Save the Children shops are loaded with high-fashion brands.
Press review: “The Portobello is a hotel with nearly half a century of celebrity status … but a more civilised demeanour than its legend might suggest. There is now a lift to help rockers who are feeling their age up the five floors, but there’s still a 24-hour guest-only bar downstairs for those who don’t yet feel past it.”
Time Out, April 2015
i-escape gift: a full-size Green & Spring spa product