The Courthouse Hotel is a lesson in how to be sophisticated without being stuffy. Located on Great Marlborough Street, in the heart of London and surrounded by everything that makes the capital unique, the hotel understands what modern travellers are looking for: personalised service, all the necessary facilities, and an original experience.
The Grade II listed building is a former Magistrates Court and could easily have been transformed into a traditional historic hotel. But today’s guests want something different. And so the Courthouse offers elegance aplenty but with the exclusive bonus that this is also a place where the city’s most infamous criminals used to stand trial. It’s not every day you get to stay in the same building where notorious gangsters like the Kray twins were put behind bars.
The 5-star Courthouse Hotel is situated within easy reach of everything that matters, minutes from the shopping Mecca of Mayfair, the bars and restaurants of Soho, and the theatres and cinemas of the West End.
On entry, you’ll be wowed by the lobby with its sweeping staircase, terrazzo floor, and stained-glass windows. Then you’ll be shown to one of the 116 bedrooms, each one spacious, stylish, comfortable, and with all the modern amenities.
We particularly recommend the Magistrates Suites, occupying the old judges quarters, and where the prestige and opulence that you’d want from a building with this kind of heritage is expertly combined with contemporary comforts. Think original Robert Adams fireplaces, oak flooring, and marble bathrooms, but a flat-screen TV and king-size bed too.
Or you could splash out and book the Lalique Penthouse Suite, named for the stunning Lalique artwork inside, including three chandeliers, a mirror, and a glass table you won’t be able to take your eyes off. The suite also features a dining room and kitchenette.
Once you’ve settled in and unpacked, maybe it’s time to hit up the fitness centre, burning off a few calories before dinner? Or indulge in some pampering at Sanook Spa. Sanook means ‘enjoy yourself’ in Thai and it’s impossible not to with so many treatments to choose from, as well as pool, sauna, and a 33-foot long jacuzzi.
Or check out the roof terrace where you can book a private BBQ in the summer months, enjoy panoramic views, shisha pipes, and ambient music.
Even more appealing is the 100-seater cinema. One of the biggest private cinemas in Central London, you can lounge back with a Champagne cocktail, enjoy the luxurious decor, and watch any of the classic and cult movies screening during your stay.
When hunger strikes, you’ll have a hard time deciding between the hotel’s two dining options. There’s Soho Wala, serving casual Indian sharing plates with a creative twist in a setting featuring suspended parrot cages and Bollywood music. Or there’s the Silk Restaurant, located in the former courtroom and complete with oak panels, the judge’s original bench, dock, and witness stand. Dishes include everything from teriyaki beef to Thai green curry.
But start off in the Bar, the original prison block. The most unique place to enjoy a drink or two, it has five private booths that were once holding cells, and that feature murals of celebrity inmates, including Mick Jagger and John Lennon. Ultimate Instagram material.
These days, travellers don’t just want peerless comfort and impeccable service. They want an experience they’ll remember. The Courthouse Hotel is just that. A luxury hotel with a fascinating historic twist. Suddenly spending a night in jail sounds rather appealing.
Vegetarian option on the menu: Yes Price range: $$ Address: 19 - 21 Great Marlborough St, Soho, London. Phone number: +44207 297 5555 Website: www.courthouse-hotel.com