REVIEW : The Zetter Hotel, London

The Zetter Hotel - a modern contemporary Hotel in Clerkenwell, with an emphasis on Art and design


It’s hard to imagine a time when Clerkenwell smelled of anything other than fine hand soaps and artisan coffee but the East End of London in bygone days was nothing but a warren of dirt and industry. The cigarette factories, printing trades and overcrowded employee housing created a melting pot that would send you nose-blind!

Nowadays, slick warehouse conversions and fashionable worker-cottages bring style en masse to this little trendy district, and The Zetter Hotel does well to blend in.

Staying At The Zetter Hotel, London

Situated on Clerkenwell Road amongst creative work spaces and fashionable restaurants, this modern establishment takes design very seriously and gives a subtle nod to the original Italian architects of Victorian Britain. It was because of the little design details that we booked ourselves in for two nights in September for our anniversary. From the minute you walk through the doors you are greeted with colours and textures galore The other-worldly chandelier and floral mural in the lobby area remind you that this is no run-of-the-mill hotel : The Zetter hotel wants you to have fun and enjoy yourselves.

Unusual details like the fact you can request a hot-water bottle in your bed, or borrow the hotel’s 2 bikes if you’re feeling a bit Bradley Wiggins, all make you feel like you’re not just another number to them.

The excitement from our concierge about the new hand-picked ales and gins in the mini-bar made me consider inviting him in for a night-cap, but I rendered him and his Jazz-hands too cool for my tartan pajamas and bed-socks so settled instead for a celebratory champagne (courtesy of The Zetter hotel just because we mentioned it was our Anniversary!). And, a flick through some interiors and travel mags left in the room for our perusal. They assumed I was cool too. (I absolutely am cool though, just in case you were wondering : my 7 year old told me so the other day, after I rode her scooter to school!)

The rooms at The Zetter are pretty small, but this is London. However, they redeem themselves with fluffy rugs, bold upholstery and Nespresso coffee machines. Oh, and I have to mention the non-mist mirror in the bathroom! I didn’t even know that was a thing but it so is, and it’s so going on my list of renovations at home.

The rooms at the Zetter focus on design and details, along with great views of St Pauls and the Gherkin

We booked the Rooftop Studio with its own private balcony and amazing views of the city, including The Gherkin and St Paul’s. It’s a gorgeous room with bags of personality and Mr MLLH does like a view. It cost us £350 a night and having the balcony was an extra bonus for us as we love a London cityscape view. However, next time I would just choose their ‘Deluxe’ room for £100 less and do without the balcony. It does still have a Juliette balcony though – patio doors that open up to a glass guard, so you can sit in your room and still enjoy the view.

Ballcony on the Roof Top Delux at The Zetter Hotel in Clerkenwell. A trendy area with plenty of nice places to eat and an interesting history and heritage.

The Zetter, London, Have Thought Of Everything

Like I said before, the Zetter Hotel absolutely want you to enjoy your stay and they’re prepared to go the extra mile to make that happen. Here are a few hidden extras that put a smile on my face, provided for free by The Zetter Hotel…

  • Brompton Bikes are available to borrow for free
  • Raindance shower
  • Nespresso Machine
  • Daily ice and fresh milk
  • Smart TV
  • Bose or Marshall Speaker
  • REN bath products
  • Mist-free bathroom mirrors
  • Big fluffy bathrobes and slippers
  • Hot water bottles

The Area Of Clerkenwell, London

Did I already mention Clerkenwell is cool? Before our trip my research warned me of an industrialised area, and it is. But rather than the run down ugly 70’s style warehouses my imagination conjured up, it’s beautifully transformed Victorian affairs, think red bricks, lots of windows and cobbled roads. And, the side streets are now homes for wealthy families or arty entrepreneurs, not forgetting the traditional London corner pubs.

Clerkenwell is also full of ancient history too, I’m talking really old. Pop into St John’s Gate Museum, literally opposite The Zetter Hotel, for a tour around the 12th Century Crypt and tales of the Priory Knights. And don’t miss the Priory Garden attached, often booked out for wedding drinks receptions and you understand why when you see its prettiness.

One of the mornings we took breakfast in bed, such a luxury and a very well proportioned Full English Breakfast – no complaints there. The other morning however, we booked brunch at The Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings (a five-minute walk from The Zetter hotel) and I would absolutely recommend it. Amazing food in delightful botanical surroundings, I wrote about it in my London Food Guide post so be sure to check it out!

Exmouth Market is also only a stones throw from The Zetter Hotel, and again follows the theme of cool. Artisan bakeries and coffee shops rub noses with independent Jewellery and gift shops – it’s a happy morning’s perusal and watering hole.

People shopping in Exmouth Market in the East End of London
Exmouth Market (Image : Wikipedia)

So if you’re in London for a couple of days and want to soak up the über hip surroundings of Clerkenwell and the East End then The Zetter, London is for you. It’s an experience, not just a hotel room. Enjoy!

For the best rates and deals at The Zetter, London check here.

NOTE: This was not a PR review, we paid for our stay at The Zetter hotel ourselves. All opinions and thoughts are our own. But thank you for booking through our blog as we earn a small commission at no expense to you, and it all goes towards the upkeep of the blog.

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Review of The Zetter Hotel, London. A stylish & trendy hotel in the cool London neighbourhood of Clerkenwell.

29 Comments Add yours

  1. This is such a great area of London now. So many places have changed so much. Hotel looks fab. We went to the Zetter Townhouse for a few cocktails. Also very cool. A sister hotel I believe. It’s all about the experience isn’t it. Really enjoyed reading.

  2. pc says:

    Such a lovely stay, bike-borrow such a cool offer from the hotel and many other little great detail that you mentioned- love, love, love! Exploring Clerkenwell sounds fun too.

    1. Alex says:

      Thank you- it really was a great hotel. And funky area too – we loved it!

  3. Looks like a really cool hotel and great area to be. The mirror sounds particularly impressive, like the balcony too although it certainly added to the price. I hope my daughter things I’m cool when she’s seven. I aspire to that. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  4. The Zetter always sounds so cool – I used to live not far away when I first moved to London and it is a very cool area (even more so today than when I lived there). Lovely to get a look inside. #citytripping

  5. Cathy says:

    Sounds like a fantastic space and by the looks of it Clerkenwell would be a great place to visit too.

  6. Sounds like some very nice r & r..the rooftop studio looks amazing. Love the non-mist mirror, you’re right, that’s a great invention! #citytripping

  7. Mandy says:

    How interesting. The whole of the East End is changing so rapidly, it’s practically unrecognisable. I’m not sure I’d splash out £350 on a hot water bottle just yet but who knows, maybe in a couple of years I’ll want to! I’d definitely be keen on seeing the market though!

    1. Alex says:

      It was a special treat for us too although finding a nice hotel at a decent price can be quite tricky in the big smoke! And you’re right – the East End is a different world from 10 years ago.

  8. It looks amazing! Very luxurious x #KCACOLS

  9. Pen says:

    I hardly know this area of London at all, but a friend of mine was telling me about Exmouth market the other day. It sounds and looks lovely and the hotel sounds great. I am tempted to book myself in just for a bit of indulgence all by myself.

    I love your writing by the way, it is very readable and descriptive. Your style could make the most dull of topics sound interesting.

    Pen x #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      Aw thanks Pen. I think a little girly time sounds like the perfect plan! X

  10. Mommy's Little Princesses says:

    Oh my goodness me it looks and sounds like an absolutely fantastic experience! I’m super envious right now. It sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your anniversary. Xx #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      Aw thanks it really was great!

  11. I love a good hotel. This one looks brilliant. I move that you can borrow bikes. Also a nespresso machine is a huge bonus! I have one at home and I always miss it when I’m away, pathetic but true!
    I don’t know that area of London well but it sounds very worth exploring.

    1. Alex says:

      It’s a great spot! And we miss our coffee maker too – first world problems eh!

  12. Oh wow this looks amazing, It really does sound like a whole experience. I really must visit London with my husband (he is Danish and has never been to London before!) #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      I’m sure he’d love it – who doesn’t!?

  13. Wow it looks like such anamazing place to spend your anniversary! It may seem expensive but I’ve heard of much higher costs for about the same experience.. seems a bit too much for me though to be honest! x #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      Exactly – when we were searching it definitely seemed like the best value for money. Some rooms that were £800 a night looked no better, if not a bit too conservative and boring for that price. At lease you could never say the Zetter was boring!

  14. Emily says:

    The hotel looks beautiful & a very special place to spend your anniversary!

    1. Alex says:

      It really was.

  15. Louise says:

    Looks like a lovely place to stay, and when it’s London you always end up paying more! I love places with history, it just gives them a bit more character. As for the anti mist mirror, who knew?! I need one of them in my life! #KCACOLS

    1. Alex says:

      I know right, me too! ?

  16. That looks lovely! I love the decor. Maybe a bit expensive as you said but sometimes you pay for the location more than the hotel… And I have never been to Exmouth Market! I have to check it out now! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    1. Alex says:

      Expensive but lovely for a special occasion! 😉

  17. That looks lovely! I love the decor. Maybe a bit expensive as you said but sometimes you pay for the location more than the hotel… And I have never been to Exmouth Market! I have to check it out now! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  18. I love hotels with history and some character and this one seems to be just like that. Never heard of this area though – will be something to check out when we visit London again.

    1. Alex says:

      It’s a gorgeous area. Worth s weekend of your time, and a lot quieter than other spots.

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