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The Hempel Hotel 4.0

Paddington and Bayswater, London, England

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Review Summary

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  • Minimalist design inspired by the principles of Zen Buddhist philosophy
  • Quiet location near Paddington station, a major transport hub
  • Beautiful Zen Garden was part of the film set for "Notting Hill"
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour room service
  • REN bath products


  • Furnishings and paint showing signs of wear and tear
  • Poor soundproofing in some rooms
  • Some complaints that tubs are not suitably designed for guests with mobility issues

Bottom Line

Created by acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel more than a decade ago, this boutique hotel features a unique, Zen-inspired vibe that incorporates minimalist decor and a neutral color scheme. However, the property looks a bit past its prime, with faded paint and tired furnishings throughout. Rates are fairly reasonable considering the hotel's exclusivity (Michael Jackson once stayed and stars such as Keanu Reeves have reportedly been spotted), but the competitive price point and innovative design may not be enough to make up for the wear and tear.

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Boutique hotel with a soothing design, but signs of wear and tear throughout

The Hempel Hotel features a simple, yet elegant design that is comprised of flowing lines and airy spaces. In the lobby, large panels of natural stone complement neutral-toned suede sofas. The soothing, minimalist vibe carries over into the guest rooms, which are uncluttered and softly lit.

While the Hempel still retains somewhat of a luxurious feel, visible wear and tear make it clear that the property is past its prime. Guest rooms are in need of an update, as tired furnishings and scuffed paint can be found throughout. For some guests, these defects detract greatly from the hotel's unique design and tranquil atmosphere.


A 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, in the popular West End

Situated in a discreet cul-de-sac wedged between the swankier side of Paddington and Hyde Park, this hotel may seem a bit difficult to locate upon first arrival. However, its semi-isolated location makes for a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city's more touristy areas that are actually within walking distance of the property.

While the immediate area doesn’t offer much in terms of shopping, dining, or nightlife, being in the West End means that guests won’t have to go far to find great spots for any of the above. Paddington consists mainly of tourists and business travelers in transit, as well as a good handful of medical staff and patients from St. Mary’s Hospital.

  • 7-minute walk to Hyde Park
  • 15-minute walk to Kensington Gardens
  • 8-minute tube ride to Notting Hill Gate and Portobello Market
  • 9-minute tube ride to West End shopping district, including the swanky Selfridges department store
  • 16-minute tube ride to Picadilly Circus and the theater district
  • 16-minute tube ride to Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Tate Modern, and the South Bank
  • 17-minute tube ride to Sloane Square shopping district
  • 17-minute tube ride to the Saatchi Gallery that features contemporary art
  • 18-minute tube ride to Natural History Museum
  • 18-minute tube ride to the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 19-minute tube ride to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye, and scenic walks along the Thames
  • 22-minute tube ride to Covent Garden
  • 23-minute tube ride to Knightsbridge shopping district including the iconic Harrods department store
  • 23-minute tube ride to Buckingham Palace


Clean, flowing lines and minimalist design -- but tired furnishings

Each room and suite is uniquely designed, but all have a few points in common: airy spaces, clean lines, discretely hidden cupboards and doors, and neutral color schemes. Furnishings, though, are starting to show signs of wear and tear.

Upgrading to the suite category won't get you new furnishings, but it will guarantee separate bedrooms and sitting rooms, deep soaking tubs, and iPod docks.

  • REN luxury toiletries
  • Stocked minibars that include vitamins
  • Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs
  • Some rooms overlook the Zen Garden
  • Suites offer separate bedrooms and sitting rooms, natural stone flooring, iPod docks, and deep soaking tubs.
  • Upgrading to an apartment unit gets you a kitchenette
  • Some furnishings in rooms and suites are starting to show signs of wear and tear.


Beautiful private garden and several stylish event spaces, but few other amenities


Nouvelle cuisine artfully presented in a clean, sophisticated space

  • Named aptly after its own street number, No. 35 offers seasonal menus and designer dinnerware.
  • No. 31 lounge is casual and cool, offering exotic cocktails and a diverse menu of light fare.
  • 24-hour room service

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31-35 Craven Hill Garden Hempel Grden Sq , London, England W2 3EA United Kingdom


440 (207) 298-9000

Room Types

  • Beluga Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Lioness Den Suite
  • One Bedroom Apartment
  • Studio Apartment
  • Superior Room


$306 (Based on average rates)

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