Q: What is it? A: A better hotel in Clerkenwell. Amazing bar. Amazing staff. Top atmosphere.
If I could live in a hotel…
…this would probably be it.
I think it was Samuel L. Jackson who made the Beverly Hills Hotel his home for several years. If could do the same, Zetter Townhouse is where I’d live. Honestly. It doesn’t really feel like a hotel. With only 13 rooms it feels much more intimate. Still, it’s operated by competent people who know how to run a hotel. The story in short: After the success of The Zetter Hotel, Mark Sainsbury and Michael Benyan got the opportunity to buy the property across the tiny St. John’s Square. They did. But instead of them just piggybacking on their previous success, and simply enlarging the Zetter, they decided to develop a completely different concept; revolving around an imaginary and, ahem… rather eccentric great-aunt.
It’s not Zetter-ish.
Well, the relaxed attitude is there, even though the Zetter Townhouse is definitely a notch up in luxury. It feels more residential. In fact it feels quite a lot like staying in someone’s home. It’s not your anti-septic, modern hotel, but designer Russell Sage‘s interpretation of The Zetter 200 years ago, which is the explanatinos to the stuffed kangaroo in one of the salons and… well, see for yourself above. The concept is also brought into the rooms where you can let your iPhone/iPad mate with a vintage radio that has been slightly converted, (don’t expect amazing sound, though; the speaker is the original one). My room, #11, was built around a bathtub. That concept may not work for everybody, but don’t be alarmed – there’s only one such room in the townhouse. Quirky details and stuffed animals aside, the Zetter Townhouse has something more important to offer…
Most important: The staff at the Zetter Townhouse.
Those who have followed my little postings already know where I’m going: It’s the staff, stupid! What makes a hotel worth staying in, is staff members who love their job and who get high on providing great service. The people at Zetter Townhouse do just that. That becomes very evident somewhere between late afternoon and dinner, when the Townhouse’s Cocktail Lounge gets busy. When Ben sits down to explain some of the drinks and chat for a few seconds, you can tell that he knows the difference between professional, personal and private. He and his colleagues also managed the booking of a restaurant that I probably wouldn’t have chosen myself – a choice that also made me happily surprised.
The special something that is a hotel’s DNA.
It’s not just Ben. It’s the entire staff. I think I said hello to at least three different women from housekeeping. They were all 100 % smiles and good vibes. The same goes for the morning crew at breakfast. You’ll get taken care of in a superb manner, without feeling like you’re in the middle of a performance act. It feels all natural. I should also add, that I stayed at the hotel during its first week of operation, (well, after the soft launch, that is), which makes it even more impressive. I’d better stop here, before going on and on about the drinks, (whatever you do, try the Nettle Gimlet!). A hotel will have only so many chances to make a guest happy, and the Zetter Townhouse surely utilized every opportunity. So it’s five out of a possible five. And I happily hand out those stars, without having the chance to try the ping-pong table in the basement…
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As mentioned, I wouldn’t mind making this my home for a year or five. I just wonder what the final bill would look like? Aaah… that item would be those 1,500 bottles of mineral water, Sir.
The Zetter Townhouse
49-50 St John’s Square
London EC1V 4JJ