Every once in a fair while I stumble upon something in the course of my travels that I prefer to keep to myself, just to preserve that air of mystery that seems to be so rare in many of the offerings in world metropols like London. The Hospital Club is one such thing – if I can call it that.
Location: Discreetly – but not dubiously – within the beating heart of London’s Covent Garden area. Within spitting distance of The Royal Opera House, Seven Dials and the West End.
Rooms: The Hospital Club is actually a £800-a-year membership club for those who work in the creative industries. The 15 rooms that are part of the private club were added last year and are open for all. They come in sizes small, medium, large, and suite and all have free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, a radio and a large TV. The design is an eclectic mix of the psychedelic 70s, modern, post-modern and surrealist themes. Surprisingly it all makes sense, even as you wonder whether you’ve inadvertently walked into The Saatchi Gallery.
Other facilities: Four bars, a restaurant, a screening room, a gallery space and several function rooms. No presence of hospital effects nor memorabilia. (Still seeking answers as to why it’s called The Hospital Club.)
Standout feature: Two things will leave you confidently assured you are not in your run-of-the-mill hotel. One is the fact that at sun-down (7 pm for those who have already started despairing about the length of the summer) a mobile barman rolls along with his trolley of libations to mix you a complimentary cocktail. Every single day. The second is the presence of an erotic minibar containing essentials like tie cuffs and paddles.
Who’ll fit right in: Hip, possibly impossibly quirky creatives. This is definitely a place after an artist’s heart.
The lowdown: The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London WC2, 020-7170 9100, thehospitalclub.com/hotel-rooms. Rooms from £180.