“Bright, breezy and popular with a hip crowd, this Victorian converted warehouse hotel makes an ideal city base”
Inside The Zetter, décor is trendy but the ambiance is friendly, so it’s popular with foreigners including families, though best suited to couples. Rooms, some huge, some small, have a distinct boutique style: hot pink or lime detail against white linens and white walls, quirky Rob Ryan artwork, and lots of little luxuries. Guests can dine at Club Zetter and The Atrium, or stroll across the courtyard to the utterly fabulous Zetter Townhouse cocktail bar for pre-dinner sharpeners.
- A pleasingly informal atmosphere, thanks to friendly but excellent staff
- Little extras in the 59 rooms: Ren toiletries, robes and hot-water bottles; Nespresso coffee machines and milk frothers in the Rooftop rooms
- A social wine bar, tasty bar snacks and breakfast was a feast
- Its location: you’re an easy walk from St Paul’s, a bus ride from Hoxton and Brick Lane, and a short walk from the Tube. Or hire bikes from reception to spin all over London
- The Rooftop rooms have amazing views over the London skyline from their balconies
- The dinner situation changes periodically, from pop-up restaurant to tapas bar - you might want to check when enquiring
- Some of the cheaper rooms are small and a bit dark. Fine for a sightseeing base, but if you’re here to relax, you’d want to upgrade
- Breakfast costs extra
- Bathrooms are bijou
- No car park
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast only (+ walk to restaurants)
- 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
- Bicycles Available
- Free gym pass
- Guidebooks to borrow
There are 59 rooms, spread over 4 floors. All are different, but each has a main colour pop - perhaps hot pink, neon orange, sunshine yellow or electric blue. Style is a mix of modern and vintage - Regency armchairs pimped up with vibrant fabrics, leather headboards, whimsical art, and lots of technology.
If you’re here to relax and spoil yourselves generally, book a Rooftop room. We stayed in a Rooftop Deluxe, and it was marvellous, with a terrace we could sit out on, sweeping views of the London skyline including The Gherkin, and loads of in-room space. The very comfy kingsize bed was dressed in crisp white linens, with a hot-pink throw matching a hot-water bottle and a shag rug on the parquet floor. There was a pot of pink orchids, a pile of Penguin books and a gorgeous Rob Ryan print on the wall. We requested an iron; it arrived in minutes, with a big smile. And we loved all the little extras: a Nespresso machine and separate milk frother, handfuls of Ren toiletries, thick robes to pad about in. It was quiet at night, not too hot (the downfall of many a hotel), and to be honest, we’d struggle to fault a thing. There are also Rooftop Studios and Rooftop Superiors, both gorgeous, just a bit smaller.
If you’re here to sightsee and simply want a London base, one of the smaller rooms will be fine. We really liked the Guest rooms, which maximise their space and still feel full of colour and comfort (though some are a little dark). The more expensive (non Rooftop) rooms offer more space and natural light, plus a desk (Superiors) and twin beds on request (Deluxes). Ceilings felt a little low in a couple, but all are lovely rooms in general.
The non-Rooftop rooms have a tea and coffee station on each floor.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Communal drinks facilities for other rooms
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Hot water bottle
- Ipod dock
- Nespressos in Rooftop rooms
- Safe box
- Satellite tv
In the morning, the Atrium's floor-to-ceiling windows are flooded with light for breakfast. A cooked meal is worth splashing out on (we'd recommend the avocado, bacon and mozzarella bagel with a 'Morning Melon' smoothie), and if you're still hungry you can pay a bit extra and indulge in the enormous continental buffet (pastries, homemade granola, fresh juices etc).
This is also where you can get coffee and pastries throughout the morning, as well as light lunches such as salads and sandwiches. In the summer months eat alfresco on St John's courtyard.
Come evening, Club Zetter specialises in wines, craft beers and cocktails. It's probably not the place for a formal meal, but they do tapas-style small plates and tasty charcuterie and cheese boards.
If want a change of scene, we'd recommend Gaucho Smithfields for steak, The Peasant for gastro-pubbery, and tapas bar Morito in Exmouth Market (little sister to the famous Moro). Or you could head across the courtyard to the fabulous Zetter Townhouse for one of their eclectic concoctions; the Rose Gimlets are legendary.
- Organic produce
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Stroll around villagey Clerkenwell, a hotbed of creativity and cool, loft-style living. There are historic local sites (a 12th-century priory, former prisons and a Norman church) and loads of independent shops. Great pubs, too - The Eagle was London's original gastro-pub
- Stroll to nearby Exmouth market for kooky boutiques and pie & mash cafés
- Smithfields meat market is the last surviving wholesale market in central London and well worth a look. Trading hours are 4am til midday. Or have a steak dinner at Gaucho Smithfields
- Hire a bike from reception and head over to Brick Lane for a world-class curry, arty Spittalfields market (daily) or to admire flowers at Columbia Road market (Sundays only). On the fringes, Hoxton is renowned for its cutting-edge vibe
- Cycle or walk to beautiful St Paul's Cathedral
- Watch world-class modern dance or classical ballet at Sadler's Wells
- Night owls should try hip club Fabric, set in an old cold house of Smithfields. Cargo in Shoreditch, a quick cab ride away, is also brilliant
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Live music
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets