Sabi Phagura experiences the Portobello Hotel, a delightful and iconic boutique property in the heart of London’s trendy Notting Hill
The trendy streets of Notting Hill are abuzz with cafes, restaurants, its famous markets – namely Portobello – and many pubs and bars. It has so much to offer in the way of entertainment from shopping and dining to clubbing and drinking yet still holds so much uniqueness so it’s no wonder people flock to this popular hub in West London. But if you’re looking for a little bit of peace and quiet amidst all this hustle and bustle, then the iconic The Portobello Hotel is the perfect sanctuary.
Located on a quiet street in the centre of this popular place famed for its eclectic spirit and eccentric charm, the hotel consists of two converted neo-classical mansions with 21 bedrooms. One of London’s most well-known boutique hotels, it was founded in 1971 and ever since has been the hotel for those in the know from the world of music, show business and fashion. It has hosted many famous faces over the years including Helena Bonham Carter. Model Kate Moss is also said to have holed up here a few years ago with her then beau Johnny Depp.
From the moment you enter the Portobello Hotel, it’s easy to understand why. The sense of calm you feel from the reception is on equal par to putting your key in the front door and stepping in. You really do feel you’ve come home although mine definitely doesn’t come with the impressive grandfather clock stood in the lobby I feast my eyes on. There is no awkward fussy check-in process either and the staff welcomes you like a friend.
And as my friend Mandy and I took ourselves through several flights of stairs (we were both on a health mission) to our bedroom, we realised this place has both character and personality throughout. We were housed in the attic which has to be one of the most gorgeous, chic and elegant attics I have ever seen. Old and new blended perfectly in this shapely but spacious room. Antique furniture was dotted around with mod cons which somehow worked beautifully. The elegant lighting in the form of lamps gave it that extra cosy feel. The bathroom, albeit small, was stocked with full-size Green & Spring bath and body products – a great way to refresh ourselves after pounding the streets of Notting Hill earlier.
The rest of the bedrooms vary in shapes and sizes. Each of them individually designed reflect the spirit and charm of the local area. Again, the old and new theme is presented throughout and tailor-made sofas are made to fit the rooms. Sharing the space are antique wardrobes and writing bureaus. Some of the rooms even have huge indulgent four-poster beds and Victorian style bath tubs.
Beyond the bedrooms – and perhaps the hub of the house – is a small but perfectly laid out drawing room. This is where you can literally pop your feet up on the sofa as you would do at home or at a friend’s house and gossip from noon to night.
An ‘honesty’ bar in the corner is full of an arm-long list of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. You can also order from a small snack menu should you not wish to venture out to dine. Trust me – lingering around here for no reason is not hard at all.
In the morning, the same drawing room transformed into breakfast room where you could enjoy buttery toast, warm croissants complete with various condiments all washed down with tea, coffee or juice. You can even indulge in reading the newspapers while you wait for your cooked breakfast. As they say, one should breakfast like a king – and here at the lovely Portobello hotel you really can.
The Portobello Hotel – Where and How?
The Portobello Hotel is situated at 22 Stanley Gardens, London, United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.portobellohotel.com
Expect to pay from £175 for a double occupancy in a Good Room.
By Sabi Phagura