Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Lavish, traditional period decor complementing more-than-capable staff
The Montague was one of the first hotels acquired by the Red Carnation Group, whose philosophy of premium hospitality and superior service certainly demonstrates itself with this hotel. Staff are trained at exceptionally high standards, resulting in a hotel that’s both efficiently run and always well-presented. The lobby is lavishly swathed in a pleated silk ceiling and black-and-white marbled walls, but the lack of natural daylight might come off as a bit oppressive to some. Overall, the place exudes Victorian luxury, and there are abundant spaces in which to relax, including a breezy outdoor terrace that doubles as a cigar terrace during evenings; an intimate, contemporary styled conservatory; and a traditional oak and plaid-quilted bar. Plenty of lounge facilities and a unique character distinguish this boutique hotel from London’s many others.
Just a three-minute walk to Russell Square tube station, in the literary-famed heart of Bloomsbury
The local neighborhood of Bloomsbury, which stretches from Euston Road at its north border to Holborn at its southern border, is most famed for its strong literary heritage: The Bloomsbury Group, active throughout the 20th century, was an intellectuals’ collective that included notable members such as Virginia Woolf, and together promoted modern attitudes toward feminism, pacifism, the nature of consciousness, and sexuality. Other notable residents of the area included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Bob Marley, and William Butler Yeats. Bloomsbury also houses a lovely array of garden squares, as well as the simultaneously fantastic and odious British Museum, where you can view centuries’ worth of relics from all over the globe -- collected primarily as a result of British colonialism.
Stroll through the area now, and you will notice a vague mixture of academics, doctors, tourists, and businessmen -- a direct consequence of the central location, and the presence of nearby hospitals and esteemed academic institutions such as the London School of Economics. Bloomsbury also conveniently borders Covent Garden and Soho on the south, the West End shopping district on the west, great dining options in Clerkenwell on the east, and national and international rail connections via King’s Cross on the north.
Traditional Victorian furnishings displayed in drastically different decor styles
There are 100 individually designed rooms and suites, and as with all of the Carnation group hotels, charming traditional decor meets comfort and practicality -- but that's the only unifying decor factor. Each room decor varies drastically -- for instance, one room features rosy pink drapery and matching floral linens and wallpaper, while another is decorated in busy black and white with pin-stripe wallpaper and old-Hollywood-style furnishings. For the ultimate upgrade, check out The Guv'nor's Suite, a stunning two-bedroom apartment with luxurious, unique touches such as a lavish copper tub and a dining table handcrafted from a retired pool table.
Cigar terrace, function rooms, and a handful of dining and lounging areas
In evenings the outside terrace transforms into the Cigar Terrace, offering a humidor cabinet from which to select the latest and the exotic from the cigar world. A cognac menu accompanies the selection and ample heating and lighting are provided for cold evenings.
A cosy classic bistro that offers rich, hearty French and English fare, plus a lively bar
The 100-room Montague on the Gardens is a bit larger than some of London's other boutique hotels, but its unique character, abundance of thoughtful extras, and variety of lounge and dining spaces create a distinct appeal. Being a member of the Red Carnation Group means well-trained staff and luxury standards, making the Montague an unsurprisingly solid boutique establishment. There's no pool or spa, though, and the fitness room in painfully small.