When you tell your better half that you’re taking them to hospital for their birthday, their reaction isn’t quite what you’d hope for. But, after explaining that it’s actually a swanky members-only club in the heart of Covent Garden that’s now opened 15 bedrooms, there’s the excitement you were hoping for first time around.
Dave Stewart, (of Eurythmics fame) and Paul Allen, (co-founder of Microsoft), opened the Hospital Club in 2004, as a hub where creative and media types could “Create. Connect. Collaborate.” With that in mind, the building spans over seven floors, housing a TV studio, a cinema, an art gallery and a private members’ club, a restaurant and several bars, which guests using its bedrooms have access to. From the sleek furniture, rustic bachelor pad accents and quirky touches everywhere (I hope you’re not scared of taxidermy) it’s artistic roots are hard to miss.
A mix of suited gentlemen, Jarvis Cocker wannabes and the odd supermodel mill around the foyer waiting for their event or meeting to begin as guests quietly watch in awe. The staff are, of course used to such comings and goings and go about their day unfazed and unimpressed. Although luxurious in its own way, there’s no airs and graces here as informality is the order of the day but refreshingly polite all the same.
We’re shown up to our suite, scanning our room key in the lift to allow us up to our floor (non residents are unable to gain access otherwise). The familiar smell of leather is present throughout the winding corridors, past the fox head (no, really) and the stunning carved walls and to our heavy, medieval-style bedroom door. With no handle (naturally) we push it open to reveal a vast two-room suite complete with garden terrace and lounge. With small knick-knacks everywhere, display cabinets, old leather suitcases and a stylish cocktail-making kit complete with recipes, it’s as if we’ve stepped onto the set of A Single Man. With BBC Radio 6 Music playing softly in the background on our Roberts radio, it’s impossible not to race around the room opening boxes, gawping at the artwork and flicking through the eclectic coffee table books that lay around the room.
Satisfied that we’d explore every corner of the suite, we lounged on our terrace catching the last of the city sun before being tempted by the fun being had on the rooftop bar above us. Taking advantage of the roll top bath and REN beauty products in the bathroom, we got scrubbed up and headed to the top floor. A colourful mix of fabrics, animal print rugs and wing-back chairs were a little overwhelming on the eye, but the cocktail menu was a welcome distraction. With views over the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, the small outdoor seating area is a little cramped but worth it to watch the sun set over the rooftops with a cocktail in hand.
Although renowned for hosting the glitterati of fashion and film, what’s striking about the Hospital Club is the contrasting serenity it possesses. Quiet, dark and moody, there’s no mistaking its roots but it’s homely, intriguing and are I say, grown up.