Pretentious, overstated, excessive and cliquey. Isn’t that what private members’ clubs are about? Well… not exactly. Scratch away the epidermis of elitism and get under the skin of the ‘sceney’ feel at such places and you’ll usually find innovation, talent, and a huge respect for creativity. Nowhere in London have I found this to be more true than at The Hospital Club. Slap bang in the middle of Covent Garden, here you can sit drinking beetroot and carrot juice surrounded by tech and fashion start-ups (on their macbooks) in the morning, languish over a long lunch with friends and then attend a gig or screening early evening – all without leaving the premises.
And now you need never make the journey home, because last year The Hospital Club opened its luxury boutique bedroom extension. Naturally, the wife and I (both members) decided to test-run one of the suites. Quite unusually, our tastes were aligned: we were both mightily impressed. Yes, we loved the HD television, cavernous bed, room service, high-end bathroom products and funky chaise. But the real magic of our room, and the others we got to spy on, was more indistinct – about hitting a sweet spot of influences, styles and attitudes and creating a calm yet inspiring vibe. Not only was there everything a creative could want to sustain themselves through an inspired fever of productivity – space, quiet, colour, beauty, artwork, pens and, of course, Nespresso – but there was also anything a hedonist could need too. Mini bar, thick walls, a balcony and that chaise again…
Think the set of Mad Men Season 5 meets cosy alpine chalet, with velvet, leather, wood and even stained glass and classic style furniture. If that sounds a bit vulgar, it’s because it nearly was; yet somehow the brashness of the colour schemes seems deliberately bawdy, a nod to creative daring, rather than a designer’s innovation gone wrong.
What’s more, there’s an element of wonderland, with contemporary details popping up in unexpected corners: brain power tool kits by The School of Life, an erotic mini bar by Holloway Smith Noir and a cocktail trolley that comes round at 7pm each evening so that suite guests can enjoy a bespoke bartending experience in their room.
All in all, it’s not bad for a home away from home, and if you’re lucky enough to stay during a November, you can also enjoy the club’s annual Sustainability Week which welcomes leaders from across the business world to discuss different key topics each day ranging from Food & Oceans, Consumption and the Media Debate to Fashion & Sex.
Speakers in 2015 included Arthur Kay (CEO of bio-bean), Brij Raja (CEO of MOJA Clothing), reg Barker (former Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change) and Mark Linehan (Food Made Good).
The Hospital Club bedrooms are available to members (at 20% discount) and non-members. Prices start at £180 per night for a small and cap at around £580 for a suite.