The Portobello Hotel
What We Love
- It’s an A-Lister’s haunt: celeb guests have included Robbie Williams, U2, and the late George Michael
- Full-size Green & Spring bath products in all bathrooms
- Vintage treasures from nearby Portobello Market in every room
- The cozy fireplace in the hotel lounge—a perfect perch for star gazing
What To Know
- The only full meal served here is breakfast (the Continental option is free), though light snacks are available through room service
- There’s no gym on site, but guests can use a nearby facility for a discount
- Portobello Market is just a two-minute walk away
- There’s a 24-hour “guests only” bar
- Free WiFi
There’s something about the bathtubs at this 40-year-old bohemian celebrity haunt, one of London’s first boutique sleeps: back in the day, rocker Alice Cooper kept his boa constrictor there; director Tim Burton shuttled between his tub and four-poster bed so many times, he managed to flood the floor below him. Then, Johnny Depp, in a grand gesture for his then-girlfriend Kate Moss, filled it with champagne. One look at the extravagant, claw-foot marvels—golden fixtures and all—and you might be tempted to try some anarchic antics of your own. But resist the urge and snap a selfie with your in-room fresco instead. Each of the 21 rooms, whose names range from Good to Better to Exceptional, is individually designed; most have Stanley Garden views. Though the common sitting room is just as free-spirited, with gilt-framed paintings, deep sofas, and mahogany tables ringed by antique furniture, its more hideaway than hangout. That there’s no lunch or dinner service here (though the Full English Breakfast here is a thing of beauty) means you’ll just have to leave the whimsical premises for a proper tourist experience.
In the Area
As a nod to its celeb guests, this Notting Hill hotel is discreetly folded into a side street off Portobello Road. The eponymous market displays its quirky relics nearly every day. Though there’s no restaurant onsite, you’re close to many top-notch cafés, like Negozio Classica, known for tasty Tuscan fare. For an afternoon picnic, pick up pastries from nearby Gail’s Bakery, which offers treats like black truffle croissants and chewy cinnamon buns, and tote them to Holland Park, a 15-minute walk away.
How to Get There
We spent the last two nights at The Portobello Hotel of a honeymoon that spanned Barcelona and Morocco, and this hotel was exactly what we wanted: a warm welcome, free honeymoon drinks in the salon, a sumptuous bed and a deep long bathtub, an elegant stay in a quirky eclectic establishment. More home than hotel, the hotel treated us like returning prodigals even though—or perhaps because—this was our first stay. Alex at the desk was genuinely excited about our honeymoon, and every sever who brought us our lavish breakfasts was warm, funny and happy. The decorating pleased us, the location was ideal. We will return; you should too.
My Cambridge son recommended this small exclusive reasonably priced hometel. If you can get Room 306 you’ll be in the lap of luxury with wonderful views of the park behind. Close to youngish hip and at times scary youth, the portabello street market is a good way to find new antiques. The two receptionists, one from Poland, could not be more exquisitely professional.
I love London, and flying in from NYC is fast and affordable, needless to say, I visit often. Over the years, I've learned that Notting Hill is the best area to stay in, very quiet, pretty, cool people, and central enough for wherever you want to go. This trip was my first in this particular hotel, and I had a great time.
Small hotel, 21 rooms total, there is an elevator, or a "lift" that is a big slow, but thats part of the charm (for those complaining). The reservation includes breakfast, you can have it in the breakfast room, great presentation, or have it delivered to your room for free. Attentive service.
I will consider staying here again in the future.