Seat of justice or a more contemporary convenience?

Published: 26 Aug 2011 09:30

It is probably London's most unusual upmarket hotel. On Great Marlborough Street, close to Carnaby Street, the Courthouse has a rich history, and the Grade II listed building, in its original capacity as magistrate's court, has seen many colourful characters pass through its portals. John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful and Keith Richards have all had reason to appear at the Great Marlborough Street Magistrate's court in the 1960s and 70s, as did author and playwright, Oscar Wilde in 1895.

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Now, the Hilton DoubleTree Courthouse is a sumptuous boutique hotel with many original features including original Robert Adam fireplaces in some suites, and three of the original prison cells form part of the bar area. Silk, the hotel's destination restaurant, is the old Number One court where the judges bench, witness stand and dock are still in evidence.

Two recent guests, Dene Tonna, (Berkshire Media Group's commercial manager), and friend Sara Taunton, were impressed. Sara said: "In the heart of the West End, this quaint hotel is ideally placed for shopping, restaurants, bars, the theatre district and London attractions. The understated exterior envelops a contemporary, yet charming, interior. The decor is modern and stylish but maintains character of the old courthouse in the bar, dining and lobby areas.

"The rooms are a reasonable size and provide the standards expected of a four star Hilton hotel. They are clean, well presented and comfortable. Despite the hotel's bustling location, my room was quiet and peaceful. It offers a well stocked mini bar and slippers and dressing gowns are provided.

"The staff were friendly and welcoming but one disappointment was the early closing time of the quirky hotel bar which is not open to residents after midnight, and, as a result the enjoyment of a nightcap on the toilet in one of the prison cell drinking areas was cut short.

"The breakfast dining area provides a wide selection of foods including fresh fruit, traditional English and continental assortments. All in all this boutique hotel is fashionable, attractive and worthy of the price of a nights stay."

The hotel has one of London's largest private cinemas and in the lobby area there is high speed internet access, more different newspaper titles than you knew existed and comfy seating with coffee and refreshments available from early until late.

Dene echoed Sara's comments and added: "One unique thing they do, which I am not aware of in any other hotel, is provide warm, freshly baked cookies in your room when you first arrive. They also put fresh flowers in the room, which was airy and spacious and the bathroom was beautiful with a power shower and large expanses of glass and mirrors."

For room rates, deals and availability contact Tel: 020 7297 5555. www.doubletree.hilton.com

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