Not long ago I stayed at one of the quirkiest hotels I’ve ever come across. The Rookery hotel in London was actually a business booking as I was there to stay between training courses I was delivering that week. That meant I really did not have much time to make the most of this most charming boutique hotel.
That being said, in the short time I did stay there it left such a good impression that I need to share this with you.
The Rookery hotel is situated in Clerkenwell / Farringdon, a now rather hip area of London and within easy reach of the West End. It was built in the 18th century as two separate properties. Being in such a well connected and hip area certainly helps.
The Rookery hotel is located a 1-minute walk from Smithfield Market. If you want to do something rather fun and special get up super early in the morning – say 3 am – and take a walk around Smithfield’s as the place is buzzing with the business for fresh produce. It’s something quite special.
The hotel itself is traditional yet understated glamour. The entrance is an unassuming doorway to the right of the building, just a touch down a small road/pathway. Inside the reception desk is situated in what look like an old living room. It’s petite and unassuming.
The staff at the Rookery hotel are professional, helpful and friendly. Not much more to say than that as I did not need to call upon them other than checking in and out of the hotel.
I was shown to my room which was situated on the ground floor just off the corridor from the reception. It was surprising at first to be on the ground floor of a hotel, but once you understand the Rookery you get it.
The door is locked using an old school key. I’m not sure how I felt about that. Sure, it makes sense for the period and style of the hotel, but I must admit feeling a tad unsafe being in a ground floor room with just a basic lock. That was possibly the only downside for me.
Inside the door was a short corridor with an imposing mirror on one wall and a large painting on the opposite.
Further still through the corridor, through a large wooden door, we come to the room. It’s certainly a room that causes you to express something out loud. I believe my words were “blimey!”.
The room has large wooden beams across the ceiling and a large wooden double bed. There is dark wood furniture throughout the room and old paintings across the walls.
I was immediately struck by the height of the bed. For someone rather short it does require a bit of a hoist to get onto (worth bearing in mind if you are mobility issues) but it was super comfy to sleep in.
Like all good hotels, the Rookery hotel provided a mini bar and welcome basket. I had been hoping the basket of treats was part of the deal, but alas, it was an extension of the minibar and was with cost. Some complimentary artisan chocolate would have totally sealed the deal.
Nevertheless, the minibar was within a large wooden sideboard on top of which was a petite television. Nothing too imposing or distracting from the character of the room.
Above me, the largest of the wooden beams has been dated to the 16th century I believe.
Other furniture in the room included a console table and chair with a mirror perched on the wall opposite. Plus a further couple of occasional chairs and side table upon which some artfully arranged vintage books were placed.
The most interesting part of the room, believe it or not, was what looked like a wooden stair gate and some stairs leading down into the dark.
With a flip of a switch, the stairway is lit up, you open the gate, walk down the stairs and come to the bathroom. A huge immaculately designed bathroom is on the basement level of the room. With large flagstone tile floor, a double basin sink, enormous mirror, an old school WC complete with chain, and there in the centre of the bathroom is large roll top bath with a rainfall shower attachment. In the corner, there is a quirky looking ‘seat’ which is, in fact, an antique toilet. Not to be used for its original function I assume!
The complimentary bathroom products are by REN, a skincare brand I adore and was super excited to see in a hotel bathroom. In a cupboard just next to the bathroom is a small rail, robes, and a safe.
The bathroom are the Rookery hotel was super fun and quirky, although if you need a wee in the middle of the night you do need to hope you can navigate the stair gate and the stairs ok in your sleepy state.
All in all a fun, quirky and comfortable hotel stay. It’s not one of those with accessibility needs and given the age of the property I doubt there is much they can do to make amendments to the hotel.
Other features of the hotel include another public ‘living room’ space which operates an honesty bar and plus a small courtyard area at the back.
However, as I was working, and a Londoner myself I chose to check out and hotfoot it down to the local Wetherspoons for a fry up before work. Clerkenwell is home to loads of foodie places so you will be spoilt for choice on where to eat out.
If you would like to stay in a unique boutique hotel in London I would recommend the Rookery hotel. It has a fab location, an interesting offering and makes for a fun memory.