I love the hustle and bustle of London, but I’m still a small-town girl at heart. That’s why I prefer staying in a quieter part of the city, yet close enough to still hop on the Tube and get to the heart of the city’s museums, shows, and touristy spots. Say hello to the delightful and historic boutique Colonnade Hotel London, steps from the Bakerloo Line and Little Venice.
I found the Colonnade Hotel as I googled my way through the sea of hotels available in London. I’m a fan of B&Bs, historic and boutique hotels, situated in quiet neighborhoods — and all of this and more I discovered in this upscale hotel. A few steps from the Warwick Avenue Underground on the Bakerloo Line, The Colonnade is an upscale boutique hotel, set in the tranquil family-friendly Maida Vale neighborhood near Regent’s Park and Little Venice.
Arrival to London
We began our visit in England near Leeds to visit a friend, who then drove us into London. With GPS guiding us, we arrived in the Maide Vale neighborhood, lined with trees, row houses, and beautiful apartment buildings.
The Colonnade began as two private Victorian houses built in 1865 (explaining why the hotel blended into the other buildings in the neighborhood). In 1880, it was converted into a girls’ boarding school. A few years later, it became a birthing hospital. In 1935, it was again converted. This time into the Esplanade Hotel, where Sigmund Freud and his family summered in 1938, leading the hotel to name its best suite the “Sigmund Freud Suite.” It became the Colonnade hotel in 1944.
The streets are narrow, and on our late afternoon arrival, we noticed families out for a walk pushing strollers and jogger taking advantage of the sunny June day. The street signs are difficult to find, with many on the corners of buildings. Which is why we literally drove by the hotel multiple times. We drove around the block a few times searching for parking until my friend lucked into a short-term spot about a half block from the hotel.
Check In to the Colonnade Hotel London
Perched on a corner in this high-end neighborhood, its large windows overlook a patio, with stairs leading down to its on-site basement restaurant. The Victorian facade blends into the neighborhood, lending even more to its charm.
We entered the front door, adorned with historical markers. The reception desk is immediately upon the entrance with a large lavishly decorated sitting area, complete with an armored knight in the corner. (Perhaps a little overdone, but somehow after our few days stay seemed to fit the mood of the hotel.) The house cat stretched lazily in the corner on his chair.
The Colonnade is an upscale boutique hotel set in a Victorian property that oozes history and traditional elegance. Its Maida Vale setting is particularly pleasant while the nearby Tube connection makes getting into town easy — gorgeous Little Venice is also just around the corner. While some rooms might look a little worn, amenities include personalized business cards on arrival, Frette Egyptian cotton bed linen, and luxury toiletries; suites are particularly sumptuous. Rates might seem high, but there’s little to compare it to in the area, and The Colonnade makes for a quintessentially English place to stay.
Two women greeted us from the front desk (one was in training), and checked us in efficiently. After mentioning that we had to park a bit away, the supervisor said there was a limited number of parking spots available for overnight guests. We declined as our friend was returning to his home.
Accommodations at the Colonnade Hotel London
As befitting a 19th-century hotel, the decor was a bit decadent, with flowered wallpaper, dark leather furniture, and drapes. The hotel describes the ambiance as the “feel of a private luxury London residence with the service of a lavish hotel.” And while the decor may be a bit over the top, it does emit old-fashioned English charm.
While some of their 43 rooms are tired, worn, and in need of a refresh, for England, the rooms are quite well equipped with complimentary coffee and tea, full bathroom, bathrobe slippers, and beds fitted with Egyptian cotton. And surprisingly the beds were quite comfortable. Our room was small, but by London standards, actually quite spacious.
Located off the main floor, and down a few steps, our room was a bit dark with its dark leather and rich dark drapery. Its large windows overlooked the patio and onto the street. However, since this was a quiet residential neighborhood, our sleep wasn’t interrupted with late-night crowds.
My husband and I traveled with another couple, who were a given a suite on the second floor, with a loft, which would be perfect for families.
An old elevator is located on the first floor, reputed to be one of the oldest operating lifts in the UK.
By European standards, the bathroom is also quite spacious, with a tub, double sink, and toilet.
A continental breakfast is included at the tiny restaurant (Banu) each morning, as well as afternoon tea and weekend brunch. Banu Restaurant, Maida Vale is also a Persian / Middle Eastern restaurant serving lunch and dinner, although we only enjoyed breakfast. There is also a pastry shop nearby. Behind the hotel is a fun neighborhood pub, Prince Alfred, where we often ordered a nightcap.
The best Location Near Little Venice
The hotel is located a one-minute walk from Warwick Ave Underground station on the Bakerloo Line, and you can get to the heart of London within 30 minutes. Or take a short 15 minutes walk to Little Venice, where you’ll find restaurants, pubs, and shops.
Rates start at $165. The Colonnade Hotel London is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, so make your reservation at the website or book through Travelocity.