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Red upholstered booth in The Mandrake Hotel

These gorgeous London hotels have been designed with creatives in mind

From an art-filled historic courthouse to a former haunt of The Rolling Stones, these capital city addresses are bursting with creative inspiration

Lobby at The Mandrake hotel

The Mandrake

Minutes from the bustling throng of Oxford Street, The Mandrake is a refuge of low lighting and dramatic décor – the kind of tantalising space that the creatively minded long for after a tedious day of travel. Public spaces here are furnished with artwork produced by the hotel’s Artists in Residence programme, which has hosted urban artist Olaolu Slawn in collaboration with regular Mandrake guest A$AP Rocky, and ‘perfumer to the stars’ Azzi Glasser. The hotel’s South American-inspired restaurant Yopo is more flamboyant still, festooned with lush foliage, plus earthy tones and sumptuous textures, and an ostentatious ostrich sculpture as its centrepiece. The bold design continues in the hotel’s individually styled rooms, each flaunting high ceilings, heavy drapes, organic mattresses and deliciously plush silk and velvet soft furnishings. 

Settle in for a cocktail at Waeska bar, whose ethnobotanically inspired menu serves an eminently sippable set of libations, including the dramatically named Tears of God, made from vanilla-infused Belvedere vodka, clarified passionfruit, vanilla syrup, Champagne and a passion fruit sphere.

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Stylish Gingerlily Bar at the Pan Pacific London hotel

Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific in edgy East London is within throwing distance of some of the city’s most unmissable creative spaces and iconic street art, including the Grade II-listed Whitechapel Gallery, the Grade I-listed Museum of the Home (set in Hoxton’s 18th-century almshouses) and a heady spread of graffiti-tattooed and muralled walls, set cheek by jowl along Brick Lane and Hanbury Street. It’s no surprise, then, that this British-meets-Singapore hotel is infused with more than just a hint of ingenuity. Inside, its serene interiors have been designed by Yabu Pushelberg (a studio so impressive it’s been inducted into the Design Hall of Fame), whose custom murals of Southeast Asian flora and fauna create a soothing atmosphere to inspire creative flow. Add Straits Kitchen for a tasting journey through Southeast Asia, or the seductive Ginger Lily bar for more than 150 aged rums and a spread of handsome cocktails such as the refreshing Green Waterfall, made with Derrumbes San Luis Potosi mezcal, citrus, cucumber, mint and ginger beer.

Tap into the art of tranquillity before bed: each of the 237 rooms and suites has a personalised book collection put together by leading curator Ultimate Library, reflecting the hotel’s botanical theme and Singaporean roots. 

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Booths in the 'Side Hustle' restaurant of Nomad Hotel in London

NoMad London

Set within the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, NoMad London is the first of the hotel group’s properties to cross the pond, offering an oasis of transatlantic glamour by Covent Garden. Wandering through this bohemian bolthole is not unlike moseying through a collector’s home, with some 1,500 pieces of art adorning public spaces, from Josef Alber lithographs to New York night scenes captured by fêted 1930-50s photographer Weegee, plus an endless array of tapestries, sketches, watercolours and sculptures to meditate on. At its heart is the NoMad restaurant – a triumph of farm-to-table cuisine housed in a sun-drenched Edwardian atrium – where diners are dished up flaky steaks of wild turbot, seared Devon lamb and meaty Shetland scallops. Rooms are as elegantly appointed as the rest of the hotel, with Art Deco flourishes, mosaic-swathed bathrooms, free-standing vintage tubs and, of course, oodles more art to muse over.

The hotel’s Side Hustle bar brings a flavour of Latin America to proceedings, with moreish margaritas and stunning spins on classics such as the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, made with Siete Misterios Doba-yej mezcal, El Tequileño Reposado, Mace, Oloroso sherry, banana, chocolate and Angostura. Pair with a tuna tostada for a truly showstopping snack.  

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The Charlie Chaplin suite in the Savoy Hotel London

The Savoy

Try not to let imposter syndrome get the better of you at The Savoy. Past guests are a who’s who of creative genius, including Oscar Wilde, Bob Dylan, and Claude Monet – the latter is said to have painted his famous London bridges series following a particularly inspirational stay. If you’re not cracking out the watercolours, you’ll probably be tempted to get arty with your camera when faced with the hotel’s trademark chequerboard flooring, green lacquered elevators and claw-foot bathtubs. Further photo opportunities come in the form of the bowler hat and cane within the Charlie Chaplin signature suite (one of the hotel’s epically large, one-bedroom Edwardian dwellings). Should any creative self-doubt start to creep in, knock it swiftly on the head with a strong drink at The American Bar. (Nab Frank Sinatra’s favourite table by the bar.) Deadline looming? Head back to your room, where an on-call butler service means you can concentrate on the serious business of creativity. 

Take a leaf out of Virginia Woolf’s book (“One cannot think well… if one has not dined well”) and grab a table at The Savoy Grill – from yet another creative luminary, Gordon Ramsay. The fluffy Arnold Bennett soufflé, with smoked haddock and cheese sauce, will have you penning odes to eggs. 

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