“Brash and brave, this designer hotel has gone from car park to über-cool London haunt for celebs and fashion icons”
This is the largest Firmdale hotel in London - there are several reception and party rooms, a drawing room (with honesty bar) and library, 2 cinemas and a gym for guests’ use. Its Refuel restaurant is open to the public and guests may have breakfast there or in their room (room service is 24 hours). It’s also Soho’s first deluxe hotel and it has fitted, without fuss, into the trendy neighbourhood of bars, restaurants and late-night street life.
- Spacious bedrooms in contemporary English mode - all have floor-to-ceiling windows and sitting areas; fifth-floor suites have terraces and lounge
- Plush library and drawing room with honesty bar; Refuel bar has excellent selection of wines by the glass, the restaurant serves modern European cuisine till midnight
- Great location in the heart of buzzy Soho; walking distance to West End theatres and Oxford Circus or Covent Garden shops
- It's expensive - mini or honesty, the bar prices are shocking and breakfast costs extra
- The hotel will take your credit card and pin number when you check in to ensure drinks and dinner tabs are not forgotten
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
The Soho Hotel has kept some of the grand, gutsy features from its previous incarnation as a city car park. There are pebbled pillars dotted about the restaurant and reception areas, and all bedrooms and suites feature distinctive floor-to-ceiling leaded glass windows facing traffic-free mews. Owner Kit Kemp’s trademark padded headboards, fabric wallpaper and matching mannequins are here; and she has decorated every room with a different print-and-tint scheme. The results are some of the classiest sanctuaries in the city.
Rooms ascend through the categories according to size and bed type. All have sitting areas with patterned upholstered chairs; one Luxury Room particularly caught our eye with its pinstriped black felt wallpaper and cerise silk bedspreads. Deluxe Terrace Rooms add a breath of fresh air.
We stayed in one of the airy Luxury Junior Suites with pastel-green walls and flower-printed linen drapes that framed a wall of windows. We couldn’t decide which was more comfortable - the squishy sofa with polished cotton cushions, or the lofty bed stacked with puffy feather pillows and clothed in fine Frette linen. The Deluxe Junior Suites are slightly more spacious, but all Junior Suites have double basins, Kit Kemp toiletries and walk-in showers in the oak and granite bathrooms.
The wow-factor really kicks in when you head up to the fifth floor. This houses the 2 terraced Penthouse Suites, one in warm caramel tones, the other in vibrant green. We were struck by the sophisticated One-Bedroom Soho Suite with its grey-and-taupe tones, retro cast-iron fireplace and canopied bedroom with a balcony where you can see over Soho rooftops to the London Eye. Equally impressive are the views from the Two-Bedroom Terrace Suite, the largest of all, with a living room in pink hues and a remarkably deep bathtub for 2.
All rooms are well-kitted with modern technology from flatscreen LCD TVs to Tivoli radios, plus high-speed WiFi and telephone voice mail for those who don’t use a hotel room to hide away from the world.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Safe box
With its long colourful mural depicting, in a nod to Soho Hotel’s former life, the history of the automobile, the ground-floor Refuel bar draws the evening cocktail crowd; its adjoining restaurant keeps them there, with a kitchen serving modern European cuisine until midnight.
We were early diners so there were some empty tables but that meant the young waiting staff were attentive - they let us try several rosés before we settled on a fruity South African to accompany our supper. Seafood starters were tasty: smoked salmon blinis with caperberries and Sevruga caviar and seared scallops with marinated beets. There were appealing meaty mains such as fillet mignon, braised oxtail and roast Suffolk chicken with gorgonzola cream (and some vegetarian dishes), but we opted for more ocean fare: chargrilled monkfish and tuna steak with salsa verde.
At breakfast a big spread of seasonal fruit, yogurt, cereals and pastries is laid out on one of the tables. You can also order a hearty cooked English breakfast or go Scottish with raspberry and heather honey porridge laced with Glenmorangie whiskey.
You're in Soho's restaurant hub so there are plenty of other eateries to choose from for lunch or dinner. Round the corner is Marco Pierre White's former flagship, Quo Vadis, with its superb 1920s stained glass windows and leather banquettes, in keeping with its clubby trad Brit menu. Designer Japanese can be found at Aaya; Café Boheme is a perennial French bistro fave. Check the frequently updated folder in your room for more recommendations.
- Children's meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Grab a stool at Refuel's long bar and order a coffee martini or other cool cocktail; the bar is open to the public so it can get busy
- For quieter tête-à-têtes, sink into a sofa in the book-lined library - like the drawing room, the room is guest-only and there is waiter service for drinks and nibbles
- Watch your favourite movie in either of the 2 cinemas; there's a Sunday afternoon film club offering a screening of the latest releases in conjunction with either a 3-course lunch or champagne afternoon tea or dinner
- Tone up in the Soholistic gym, fully equipped with various cardio-vascular machines, free weights, exercise mats and on-site personal trainer
- Indulge in a full body massage, reflexology or aromatherapy in one of 2 treatment rooms; facials, manicures and pedicures plus special jet lag remedies can also be booked
- Don’t miss the legendary Bar Italia on Frith Street, open all night for the best espressos in town
- Check out the fabulous jewellery at Jess James and the many quirky boutiques in Kingsley Court
- Ask the concierge to book theatre tickets; the hotel is walking distance to West End shows and there will be a comprehensive list of what's playing in your room
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children are very welcome - mini-bathrobes and kids toiletries are supplied, and milk & cookies are provided at bedtime. The concierge can arrrange tickets for kid-friendly shows.
Family friendly accommodation:
All rooms can take a baby cot (apart from Superior and Luxury Room), and many of the suites can host a family of four. Interconnecting rooms are also available
Available by arrangement
- Baby cots available on request
- High chairs
- Children's cutlery
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Children are welcome in Refuel, the hotel restaurant
Kids Activities on site:
- Children's film club on Saturdays in season
- Children receive a fun welcome pack, often tailored for the age and gender of the child
- Books and board games
- DVDs & Sky TV
- Shops: 1 minute