'A little bit of luxury in a rough part of London. A little bit of rough in a luxurious London.'
The Rough Luxe Hotel, situated near St Pancras station, is an absolute gem. Not only are the rooms immaculate and enchanting, the overall experience will make you question how you think about hotels. It's a B&B by all counts but leaves you feeling as though you've visited the home of a far-flung family friend, rather than a luxury hotel in central London.
Each of the ten rooms, in this Grade II listed building, are entirely unique in design. The site was renovated in 2008 by Rabih Hage, layers of wallpaper and paint were partially stripped away leaving behind a mosaic created from the historic remains of contrasting textures and fabrics. While the hotel doesn't boast a large selection of amenities (you wont find a spa, gym or even television in your room) it does deliver exceedingly well on other accounts - notably, hospitality.
After arriving, I inadvertently launched a defense on how the hotel ought to create a Twitter account to the manager, Leo Rabelo. He aptly nodded and seemed interested, though not too overwhelmingly keen. The next morning I woke to find a tweet from the newly established @stayroughluxe stating that I'd have to try the homemade baba ghanoush later that day. I tottered downstairs to congratulate Leo on his newly found place in the world of social media and found myself captivated by the breakfast. Freshly squeezed juice, croissants, delicious bread, jams, eggs, porridge, and really good coffee... I could have stayed in that garden all day. Needless to say, the temptation of Lebanese food was too good to resist so later that afternoon I returned with Laurel to take Leo up on his offer. Countless hours later and we were still all sitting in the garden drinking wine and discussing the deep complexities of life (and Leo's dog's website). The best part? This wasn't any sort of special treatment. All the guests I saw were making themselves at home - a few girls were even up late making noodles in the kitchen.
Rough Luxe Hotel is located at 1 Birkenhead Street, London. Rooms start at £177