With its super-central location and cool rooftop bar, it's time to get Hotel Indigo, 1 Leicester Square, on your radar, says Tracey Nightingale
If you’re after a city staycation that’s in the middle of all the action or simply looking for a fresh venue for Friday night cocktails, there’s a new hotel in Leicester Square – and it’s got a cool rooftop bar. This 95-room boutique gem is in the heart of the West End, so it’s close to literally everything. It’s a short stroll to Soho and Covent Garden for lively bars, great restaurants and lots of shopping – if you haven’t already, check out The Shop at Bluebird on Floral Street – plus, cinemas and theatres are right on your doorstep.
Film and the stage play a big part in Hotel Indigo’s look, which is perhaps unsurprising, considering the location. But award-winning architects Michaelis Boyd – known for many Soho House properties, fyi – give the theme a retro, 20s spin set against a stylish modern backdrop. While the exterior is fairly unassuming (blink and you may miss the entrance), the minute you walk through the glamorous gilt and glass doors into the small art-deco lobby the scene is set – cue moody lighting, monochrome tiled floor, standout gold reception desk and vintage cinema seating. Framed black-and-white movie photos also adorn the walls. Look out for them in the corridors and bedrooms, too.
The theatrical rooms
Our ‘backstage’ room on the seventh floor is one of three concepts to choose from, including ‘scriptwriter’ and ‘auditorium’. The decor is soft blue and grey with crisp white bedding and dark wooden floors. It is kitted out with quirky theatrical touches – think chrome spotlights on rustic rigging, a gold illuminated dressing-room mirror and plush velvet curtains – and mod cons such as a Nespresso coffee machine and mobile phone with free web browsing and unlimited calls. Hidden behind frosted glass doors, there’s a bathroom with open shower, round basins and luxe fluffy robes. Some rooms, like ours, also have private balconies for Insta-worthy vistas of the city and the square below – perfect for red carpet celeb spotting on movie premiere nights.
The must-visit bar
Up on the ninth floor, you’ll find the hotel’s star turn – the rooftop restaurant and bar. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors and wrap-around terrace, it’s the ideal spot for summer sundowners away from the hubbub of Leicester Square. If you like your Aperol spritz mixed with awesome views, trust us, you won’t be disappointed. Order drinks at the glamorous 20s-style bar, step outside, then fill your Insta feed with snaps of the skyline from St Paul’s Cathedral and Nelson’s Column to the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Inside, the space is relaxed and beautifully retro with a modern edge: all brass-trimmed tables, vintage-style wooden chairs and decorative art-deco screens.
Tempted to stay for dinner? The menu is good value and includes starters such as smoked salmon with fresh crab, avocado and crème fraîche (£11) and beetroot carpaccio with whipped goat’s cheese and hazelnut dressing (£9). For the mains, we tucked into crisp tempura fish served with a tasty pea puree (£17) and a succulent steak (£22) with a side of fries. Desserts range from devilishly good dark chocolate panna cotta (£7) to comforting apple and cinnamon crumble (£6). Be sure to return the next morning for breakfast. Choose a table by the window, order a hangover-nixing full English and admire the view.
Double rooms at Hotel Indigo, 1 Leicester Square, start from £200 per night, including breakfast. To book, visit hotelindigo.com/lonleicestersq.