The Zetter Hotel
86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London, England, UK
Check availability as rates may vary for dates. Best rate guaranteed.
Clerkenwell, neighboring on decadent Soho, the buttoned-up City and art-damaged Shoreditch, is ground zero for London’s design and creative communities, chock full of imaging labs, ad agencies, and design firms. Many of our customers will have business in and around Clerkenwell, and now they have a convenient place to stay as well. Not that there’s a shortage of hip new hotels in London—this is still the most competitive hotel market in the world—but there’s always room for another good one, especially in this once boutique-shy neighborhood.
Supermarket heir Mark Sainsbury has gutted one of Clerkenwell’s grimiest Victorian warehouses to make room for this hotel, and the entire ground floor is devoted to the restaurant, in order to draw as many local diners as possible. In this it is a success; the atmosphere is less that of a hotel dining room and more that of, well, exactly what it is—an excellent and smartly designed Modern French Bistrot populated by impossibly cool locals.
The rooms are no afterthought, though. A bright crimson spiral staircase negotiates the bright five-story atrium and delivers guests to rooms that are equally bright, if not quite as spacious and airy. The Kubrickian whiteness of the decor is mitigated by sparing splashes of bright color, and the occasional piece of antique furniture. Penguin paperbacks and web-enabled satellite TV provide the diversions, and once it’s lights out you’ll appreciate the duck-down pillows and duvets.
Oddball amenities add to the charm, like hot-water bottles in hand-knit cozies, and vending machines on the landings replace in-room minibars, serving up machine-made coffee and tea as well as disposable cameras and miniature champagne bottles—though presumably once you’re to the point where it’s time to get out the cameras and champagne, the last thing you want to do is make a dash for the stairwell. No sense quibbling over details like this, though—the point is, this place is fun, stylish, with a personality all its own. And not to put too fine a point on it, but in London, you’d expect to pay quite a bit more.
Equally noteworthy, though perhaps less immediately apparent to the casual observer, is the sustainable approach taken to the building’s conversion. A reclaimed industrial district known for its derelict printing presses and its run-down warehouses is not perhaps the first place you’d look for eco-friendly architecture; nevertheless, the Zetter carries some impressive green credentials.
Architects Chetwood Associates, best known for their sustainable Sainsbury’s supermarket at Greenwich Peninsula, have worked their environmentally conscious magic on this site as well, using cold water from the near-forgotten London Aquifer to absorb waste heat, saving space and electricity by eliminating the need for a massive central air-conditioning apparatus, and to flush waste water, reducing the demand on London’s clean drinking water. Access to pressurized water at a constant temperature also means less space need be given over to water storage, thus increasing the number of guest rooms, a bottom-line benefit you don’t have to be a Greenpeace member to appreciate.
How to get there:
The Zetter Hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Farringdon tube station. If you're arriving from Heathrow Airport, the most convenient transfer option to central London is the Heathrow Express train, which leaves Heathrow Airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes to arrive at Paddington Station. One-way fares are available from £18 and round-trip fares from £32. By black cab, The Zetter is approximately a 45-minute ride from Heathrow Airport (depending on traffic) and can cost upwards of £50.
- 59 Rooms
- Style: Cutting-Edge
- Atmosphere: Happening
- 186 Guest Reviews
- The Zetter Hotel
- 86-88 Clerkenwell Road
- London, England, UK
- Neighborhood: Clerkenwell
Hotel amenities and services
- 100% non-smoking hotel
- 24 hour front desk
- Babysitting (on request)
- Central air conditioning
- Free wi-fi
- Luggage storage
- Room service