Chic hotel situated inside a charming converted Victorian warehouse
Rooms have minibars, flat-screen TVs, and funky, stylish details
Rooftop studios have private decks with views
Near two tube stations and surrounded by restaurants
Swank restaurant and wine bar on-site
Free use of Brompton bikes
Breakfast (fee) and 24-hour room service available
Free tea and coffee on every floor
In-room spa treatments on request
Family-friendly features such as kids' menus and coloring books
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Far from major tourist sights
Neighborhood can be deserted on weekends
No fitness center
No on-site or valet parking
Located in fashionable Clerkenwell, the four-pearl Zetter Hotel occupies a converted Victorian warehouse situated next to historic St. John's Square. The boutique property's 59 rooms are a contemporary mix of funky retro and modish decor and have minibars, flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with high-end toiletries. Rooftop studios add Nespresso machines and private decks with views. Hotel freebies include Wi-Fi throughout, coffee and tea on every floor, and use of Brompton bikes. While the hotel's neighborhood has hip restaurants and bars and a central tube stop, the area can empty out on weekends, and it's far from tourist sights. Travelers looking to be closer to the sights and the action could consider The Montague on the Gardens in nearby Bloomsbury.
Understated reception area opening to a swank lobby lounge, bar, and restaurant
The Zetter Hotel makes a bold statement standing on a wide, curved corner block in Clerkenwell. Its reception area has attractive high ceilings, a sleek, curved dark wood reception desk, and a whimsical flora mural on the elevators' wall. The entrance has a few details that detract from the design, however, such as run-of-the-mill ceramic floor tile and an awkward circular staircase leading up to the restaurant, bar, and lounge. Luckily, this curtain-raiser doesn't accurately represent the rest of The Zetter's overall style-conscious, punchy look. The floral motif continues in the lounge where there's ample plush velvet seating done in platinum with bright orange blooms. The nod to traditional English furnishings pairs well with groovy white chairs and an eye-catching black-and white abstract rug. Set in the middle of the wood-paneled wall is a counter bar that serves espresso drinks and cocktails. Just below, there's a row of pegs holding newspaper sticks. The lobby is flooded with light thanks to a skylighted, horseshoe-shaped atrium above that runs to the hotel's top floor. Beyond the lounge is Club Zetter, a co-working space by day that becomes a casual wine bar in the evening. The Zetter attracts business travelers who want to be close to area startups and the city's financial district and leisure travelers alike. It may be a good choice for visitors who've been to London before and want a break from the West End's hustle and bustle.
Buzzy on weekdays but weekends are quiet; near tube but far from sights
Clerkenwell is a hub for design firms and startups that occupy converted warehouses. Its central location on a busy thoroughfare offers good transportation options -- it's within a 10-minute walk of two tube stations (Farringdon and Barbican) -- but the area can be deserted on weekends. The Zetter Hotel isn't within walking distance of major sights with the exception of St. Paul's Cathedral.
10-minute walk to tube stations
15-minute walk to St. Paul's Cathedral
11 minutes to Tower of London via tube
16 minutes to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre via tube
17 minutes to Tate Modern via tube
19 minutes to British Museum via tube
19 minutes to Buckingham Palace via tube
22 minutes to London Eye via tube
23 minutes to Westminster Abbey via tube
42-minute drive to Heathrow Airport (60 minutes via tube)
67-minute drive to Gatwick Airport (72 minutes via tube)
Stylish with sweet details; minibars, flat-screen TVs, and high-end bath products
Funky retro and modish decor dress up The Zetter Hotel's rooms, with sleek built-in furniture, exposed whitewashed brick, and shag carpeting. Set against a neutral backdrop, vintage-style chairs in bold, whimsical floral fabrics are a focal point. Pops of high-octane accent colors such as hot pink and Kelly green are used for blankets and hand-knitted hot water bottle cozies. In some rooms color coordination is taken to the next level with the same hue covering spines of vintage paperbacks stacked on bedside shelves. Dark wood desks with ample workspace and deep drawers are set against walls and the large warehouse windows keep spaces bright. Rooms have minibars, free Wi-Fi, smart flat-screen TVs, individually controlled air-conditioning, safes, free flat and sparkling water in old-fashioned swing-top glass bottles, and BOSE or Marshall speakers. Bathrooms are streamline and feature walk-in showers with rainfall shower heads, high-end REN bath products, fluffy terrycloth robes, and slippers housed inside adorable drawstring cloth bags with a smoking pipe printed on the front. Rooftop studios have hardwood floors and decks with sweet neighborhood views, seating, and potted plants. Added extras in these rooms include Nespresso machines, electric kettles, and the same snack and drink minibars in standard rooms plus refrigerated minibars packed with wine, liquors, and other beverages. Rooftop studios' bathrooms are snazzed up a bit with attractive floor and wall tile and two added REN products (day and night cream). Rooms start at an average 170 square feet and studios start at roughly 250 square feet.
Restaurant and bar, plus free loaner Brompton bikes -- but no spa or fitness center
As a smaller boutique hotel, The Zetter doesn't have all the features one might expect at an urban four-pearl property but offers next-best alternatives to address guests' needs. There isn't a fitness center but discounts are available at area gyms. While there's no spa, the hotel's concierge can arrange in-room treatments from nearby spas and salons. The Zetter lacks a formal business center but during the day there's dedicated co-working space at Club Zetter, a seating area located just off the lobby that becomes a wine bar at night. The hotel is hip to eco-conscious practices: water from a 1,500-foot borehole beneath the property helps make the building self-sustainable, and guests can borrow Brompton bikes for free. There's free Wi-Fi throughout, 24-hour room service, free tea and coffee on every floor, and an on-site restaurant and bar. Breakfast choices include a buffet (for a fee) offering standard continental fare and an a la carte menu with items like baked potted egg with beans and smoked salmon. Lunch and dinner share the same menu, with small plates such as roasted tiger prawns and chorizo and mains that run the gamut from burgers and fries to sirloin steak with béarnaise. The Zetter's wine bar has plenty of by-the-glass options, and the restaurant's weekend brunch includes bottomless Bloody Marys and prosecco. The hotel provides lots of perks for children, too, such as a kid's menu with plenty of entree choices, pint-sized bathrobes, and coloring books with crayons. Guest driving into town should note there's no on-site or valet parking.