Nadler Hotels is a small, UK-based chain that prides itself on offering high-quality hotels in central locations, while reducing costs for itself and guests by not having a restaurant, event spaces or a gym. It calls these “under-utilised facilities,” which of course will be true of some of those offerings for some people, but it’s still unusual and worth bearing in mind before you book.
The first hotel was launched under the name Base2stay in 2006. It was rebranded as Nadler in 2013 and there are now five properties under that name, in Kensington, Soho, Victoria, Liverpool, and as of this year Covent Garden (visit the links to see our previous reviews).
Where is it?
As the name suggests, Covent Garden – more specifically, just off the Strand. It’s walking distance from the stations at Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Covent Garden or Embankment. I found it an enjoyable, if touristy, walk over from Oxford Circus. This is really an ideal location if you want landmarks on your doorstep, with Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery on one side, St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace just beyond, and the Southbank and its various cultural venues accessible via a stroll across Waterloo bridge. There are also myriad pubs, bars and restaurants in the area, helping to justify the lack of internal dining options.
What’s it like?
As with the other Nadler hotels, the reception design tends towards stylish minimalism. The front office staff were charming, and seemed to have a great rapport with the other guests moving through reception while I checked in. A complimentary glass of wine, offered from a teeny lounge area next to the main desk, added to the welcoming feeling. The property is well secured, with a key card or buzz-in system at the front entrance, and there were always at least two staff members manning the desk every time I came through. The back of the reception leads into a small bar area, while the main staircase is accessed through another key-required door.
Again, the bedroom design is simple and tasteful, primarily dressed in warm, dark greys but with accents of red and blue in artwork and pillows. The lighting is soft, seeming to gently emanate around the bed’s headboard. The furniture is hand-made in west London, while the fabrics are woven on Scotland’s Isle of Bute.
The 57 rooms come in four tiers; Standard Double (15.5 sqm), King (17.5 sqm), Superior (22 sqm) and Junior Suite (27 sqm). My Superior room entered onto a corridor with two large wardrobe doors coming off it, providing access to a kitchenette and an actual wardrobe. The main bedroom had a huge window (no view, but a nice way to let a bit of light in) and a table with two chairs that would be large enough to work at or eat on. The bathroom fittings and design felt high-quality, and the standard set of toiletry bottles were by Gilchrist and Soames.
My room was on the first floor (though not on the side facing the main road) and the soundproofing was impeccable. Combined with the impenetrably thick curtains and comfortable bed, it led to an excellent night’s sleep.
There were several thoughtful extra touches in the room – European as well as UK plug sockets and USB charging points, the option to order different types of pillow such as memory foam or anti-allergy, Smart TVs that allow you to stream content from your device, a tap with a Brita filter, a heated towel rail in the bathroom, and a high-end GHD hairdryer.
However, a few things did seem to have been overlooked – there was no table on one side of the bed, nowhere to place toiletries in the shower, and the double bed was two interlinked singles with a noticeable ridge in the middle.
Food and drink
Although I knew the deal, I’ll admit I did miss the strange sense of excitement I get at a hotel breakfast. I also felt that more local recommendations could have been given – guests get 10 per cent off at a nearby patisserie (which we weren’t in the mood for), or recommended breakfast at the Ivy (which sounded like it would be too pricey, although having looked it up afterwards is actually fairly reasonable.) There are plenty of options in the area, so it would be easy enough to do some online research, but we followed our noses and ended up somewhere distinctly average.
The recommendation list is much more thorough for dinner and drink options, with several hotel partners offering 10 or 20 per cent discounts for guests. For meals there is also the in-room kitchenette, which has cutlery, a microwave, fridge, kettle and Nespresso machine. The hotel welcomes you to take food up to your room, or order it in to the hotel. Fridges can be pre-stocked with various items on request.
While the local area is filled with pubs and bars, some of these veer between ruinously expensive and rowdy, so it’s nice that the hotel does provide a small area to sit and have a quiet drink or do some work away from your room in the bar/lounge area behind reception.
The menu is not extensive – snacks are chocolate bars, nuts or roasted peas, while drinks are a handful of wines, beers and pre-mixed drinks cans – but it is well-priced for a central London hotel. A 330ml bottle of beer will set you back £3.50, while a bottle of wine is between £16 and £22. A bottle of Nicholas Feuillate Champagne is £35.
There is fast wifi throughout, but no dedicated business facilities or services. The ‘bar’ area, pictured above, is accessible all day, has plenty of plugs and is unlikely to be busy, so would be a good working space.
The small size of the property and the welcoming staff give it a very homely feel; even the lack of traditional hotel features like a restaurant, bar and gym add to this vibe. The absence of breakfast will put some off, but all of the Nadler Hotels get rave reviews online, so they clearly find their audience. The Covent Garden location has excellent transport links, as well as being a perfect spot if you want to squeeze a bit of bleisure into your business trip.
Best for Access on foot to some of the highlights of London
Don’t miss Getting to know the staff
Price A midweek stay in a Standard Double starts from around £277. The highest-tier Junior Suite is closer to £380
Contact 51 Bedford Street, London WC2R 0PZ
Phone: +44 20314 61790