Hotel Indigo has been expanding at a rapid pace throughout Europe. I recently stayed at the Hotel Indigo, Durham, which is a fabulous refurbishment and celebration of an old County Hall building. This one is a conversion of an existing building dating from 1936, originally used as offices and more recently as a nightclub.
It opened in May 2018 and is part of an ongoing effort by developers to smarten up the image of Leicester Square.
What’s it like?
The entrance is up a few steps. Without a key card you have to wait for the receptionist to see you and press a button for the doors to open. I think with the location on Leicester Square this is probably a good thing. Reception is like entering a private club, with the first of many theatrical or film references in the art deco detailing, deep red colours and draped curtains. The hotel has been designed by Michaelis Boyd.
I was greeted warmly and check-in was quickly completed. Apart from the bar and restaurant there aren’t any facilities so you take the lift up, where a short corridor with art deco details leads to your room.
Where is it?
Leicester Square. The entrance is on Leicester Street. It is easily accessed by several underground lines, including the Piccadilly Line (Piccadilly Circus station is probably a bit closer than Leicester Square).
The hotel’s 95 rooms are split across three design categories: Scriptwriter Rooms featuring drafts of scripts framed as artwork, Backstage Rooms with spotlights and dressing room mirrors, and Auditorium Rooms inspired by private theatre boxes. All rooms have Queen-sized beds.
The smallest rooms are Queen rooms at 15m2. There are also seven Theatre Rooms at 17m2, which are interior rooms with no windows.
My seventh floor Superior Room with Balcony was one of the Backstage Rooms, so had a bed headboard securing the bottom of several ropes with the tops attached to the ceiling to support stage lights. One wall of brushed concrete effect gave the feel of perhaps being backstage, though in the bathroom it was a little industrial for me. On the walls of the bedroom were lots of black and white photos of scenes from theatre land and early films, as well as theatre-like curtains and a chaise longue in one corner.
Most of the rooms overlook Leicester Square, but only seven of them have balconies, so if you are staying with a friend or loved one it’s probably worth the extra, since it’s an unbeatable view and experience having the doors open and seeing all the life going on in the Square beneath. When I arrived at the hotel in the evening it was noticeable how noisy the room was, even with the doors shut, but during the night I didn’t notice it and slept well.
The room was 17m2 so there wasn’t much room for a desk although there was a small one. I wouldn’t have wanted to do an evening’s work on it, especially since there was only a stool to sit on, but it seems that more and more hotel rooms are removing a work area. This would have been suitable for applying make-up and perhaps that was its purpose, since there was a large circular mirror with bulbs around its perimeter, rather off-putting every time I looked up from my laptop screen to see my face in such detail. The largest rooms are 22m2 – Superior Premium Rooms.
All rooms have free wifi, tea and coffee makers (Krups machines) and a fridge with bottles of complimentary water (though this might have been as a welcome gift from having status with the IHG Rewards programme). The bathrooms had DR Harris amenities, and a good shower (rain shower and handheld).
Food and drink
The top floor bar (on the ninth) has great views across Leicester Square and all the way to the City of London – beaten only by the soon-to-open restaurant and bar in its nearby sister hotel Assembly. I didn’t have a drink in the evening, but I did have breakfast. The views were outstanding, though the buffet breakfast (£20) was a little uninspiring and I would skip that and eat elsewhere unless your rate included it.
It’s a small hotel, so there aren’t any leisure facilities, though the hotel has arranged complimentary access to a nearby gym on St Martin’s Lane – Gymbox.
There are no meeting rooms.
This is a really well-designed small hotel and I loved the art deco touches. If your budget permits, I’d pay extra for a Leicester Square-facing room. It’s obviously very central, and will suit business travellers and leisure alike.
A drink in the top floor bar in the evening – I’d skip breakfast.
The top floor bar, and the quirky design in the rooms.
A midweek rate for a Superior Room starts at £288 for two people.