Staying in a hotel in the heart of a city is always, always a treat. Airbnb is great – don’t get us wrong – and allows many of us to stay in districts we’d never be able to afford a hotel in when traveling, but it means the hotel experience is far less frequent for many of us than we’d like. In fact, we’re willing to bet there are few native or long-term Londoners who’ve spent the night in a central hotel in their hometown. So, when Victory House – a Sofitel brand on (yes, literally on) Leicester Square, invited us to stay the night, we sent one along to play tourist on home turf.
Despite sitting under the big Sofitel brand name, Victory House has the feel of an authentic boutique hotel. The reception is small, welcoming and lounge-like, with a tiny desk and friendly concierge at a laptop in front of a wall of bookshelves. Each room is designed bespoke, and has clearly been redone recently – the interiors are modern and stylish, with a scrupulous attention to detail. Think Oliver Bonas showroom with copper accents and design-led statement chairs. It’s comfortable and Instagrammable all at the same time, with a small but well thought-out bathroom decked out in slick monochrome and large, firm-but-soft bed.
Our room overlooks the square with a cute seating area in the bay window. We twitch curtains for a while, imagining a red-carpet premiere taking place below us. Its location really is sensational – after a quick jaunt through China Town we’re in Soho and looking for a cosy dinner spot. After dinner, we sink a few cocktails before that big, comfy bed starts calling for us.
We wake up in the morning to find the day’s newspaper has been delivered – a nicely old-school touch. Wearing fluffy robes from the bathroom, we take the paper to the window seat with a mug of hot caffeine. Another nice detail at Victory House is the in-room refreshments – there’s a fridge with artisan juices, mineral water and fresh milk, a lovely selection of teas and coffees and snacks to go with them, presented with a card that encourages you to eat and drink whatever you please; it’s all complimentary.
There are other details that make the experience here feel considered and extra-hospitable – rather than a boring old sheet of paper to welcome you to your room, there’s a booklet with the usual hotel information as well as a guide to local restaurants, bars, attractions and activities that’s every bit as good as a professional travel book. What’s more, the hotel even provides a fully connected smartphone with the room that you can take out and use as you please – a nice touch for overseas visitors wanting to avoid roaming charges (just remember to switch it to silent so it doesn’t chirrup in the night!).
With rooms at such a high standard starting from around £200 a night, this place really is quite bargainous for its quality and location, Londoner or not.
Book your stay here.
We The Food Snobs x