The Treehouse Hotel opened in November 2019 and is operated by SH Hotels and Resorts, which also has the 1 Hotels and Baccarat Hotels and Resorts hotel brands and is an affiliate of global private investment firm Starwood Capital Group.
Treehouse London is the first of its kind, and “has been designed to appeal to the child in all of us… playful, curious, rustic and nostalgic, inspired by simple joys.” It is owned by the Cairn Group which is the owner and operator of over 30 hotels around the UK.
What’s it like?
For me, at least, a blast from the past, since this was the hotel I stayed in for my first visit to London in the early 1980s. I can’t remember what brand it was back then, but most recently it has been the St George’s Hotel. On the ground floor level you walk through Backyard, a coffee shop, and then take one of the three lifts to the 15th floor, where there is reception, a small seating area, and then, to your left, the bar and restaurant Matera.
The hotel has obviously undergone a rebranding, and I suppose most of the staff have changed as well. It now has a completely different personality which includes being very eco-friendly, down to the recycled wood used throughout the hotel in the furnishings and even in the room keys.
Behind the scenes it has developed a composting and recycling programme, and is reducing single-use plastics throughout the hotel. The corridors have wooden floors, but there are carpets down the middle, which keeps noise to a minimum. And on each corridor is an old-style copper tap above a small butler’s sink, where filtered water is available – each room has a glass bottle waiting for you to fill it up.
The ceilings have been rendered to look like rough concrete, but in fact these are false and just a rendering, as are the rough plaster walls. There’s also a deliberate whimsy to the design and an emphasis on nostalgia, ironic since I was already feeling nostalgic. On hooks by the lifts there was a bright yellow hat and mackintosh, as though Paddington Bear had just left it there, and the rooms are full of decoration, including a yellow cuckoo clock with wooden birds attached to the side of the wardrobe.
Where is it?
On Langham Place, just north of Oxford Circus, and opposite the Langham Hotel, close to the BBC studios.
The 95 rooms, including 12 suites, are on floors 9 to 14 with reception on the 15th floor along with the reception and restaurant and then a bar with terrace on the 16th floor.
There are seven room categories with sizes ranging from 25 sqm for a Lookout King to 45 sqm for one of the suites. All rooms have windows which can be opened (restricted though, it’s a high building) and have good air conditioning. There are myriad lights in the rooms, which helps with the atmosphere of the room and allows you to enjoy the view out of the window during the evening, but can make it a bit of an effort when finally going to bed since I couldn’t find the master switch.
There are sheer curtains which means you can change by natural light without worrying about exposing yourself to anyone looking out of their hotel window across Regent Street in the Langham Hotel, and also self-operated black out blinds, which are very effective.
The furniture has a long thin desk made of recycled wood (or made to look that way) and many rooms also have long window cushions for sitting on and looking out at the view, which from the front of the hotel looking onto All Souls Place is stunning, and isn’t much worse from the back looking over the rooftops. There are good quality robes (Kassatex) in the rooms, and large dispensers for the own-brand Treehouse toiletries in the bathrooms.
My shower was large and powerful, with the choice of rain shower or power shower. It had only a sheer curtain in front of the floor to ceiling windows into the main bedroom, however, so if you are travelling with someone else, you better get used to stepping out when they want to use the toilet.
There is a good mini bar with coffee capsule machine as well as Teapigs tea and a wide choice in the mini bar. Every guest room is outfitted with organic cotton sheets, as well as locally-sourced bath and other products.
Decoration is whimsical, with a ‘lucky’ giant eight ball by each bed, old hardback books, angle poise lamps, silver birch trunks in the bathrooms with more wooden birds and a piggy bank on a shelf. Some rooms even have record players. Goodness knows how long this stuff will survive without being stolen.
Food and drink
The hotel has two restaurants. The fine-dining Mexican restaurant Madera is a sister to one in Los Angeles called Toca Madera. It has organic ingredients and a “farm-to-glass” mixology programme. The food is delicious with a huge choice prepared from an open kitchen. There’s also an excellent vegetarian and vegan menu (see below)
The service in the restaurant was very assured, whether explaining unfamiliar terms in the menu or simple making sure everything was to my liking. This was just before Christmas and the restaurant was full of large parties but the arrangement of the tables meant there wasn’t any problem with that and I was next to the window and so had the view to enjoy along with the food.
Even the breakfast in the morning has a Mexican theme to it (though English items are also available. I had a delicious Mexican omelette of three organic eggs, sautéed onions, organic tomatoes, jalapeños, served with salsa verde and roja salsa topped with fried shoestring potatoes, with a side order of papas bravas with fire-roasted poblano peppers, grilled onions, chipotle fingerling potatoes, salsa de arbol, cilantro and queso fresco (£6)
There is also a rooftop bar called “The Nest,” with 360-degree views of central London and a tandem swing set, seats with blankets and a DJ booth disguised as a treehouse fort. This used to the be ‘The Heights’.
There are a couple of meeting rooms on the same level as the restaurant (15), including the Oak Room which can be closed off to create a private meeting room for up to 10 people, the Birch Room for eight people as well as the Madera restaurant for 80 people.
The hotel has no gym, although it has arranged rates at The Fitzrovia branch of Frame.
This hotel is a real find – quirky yet well run, with the right focus on environmental issues and design without it getting in the way of a great place to stay in an unbeatable West End location.
- Best for The central location and the eco-focus of the property.
- Don’t miss The great Mexican restaurant and the rooftop bar with terrace
- Contact Treehouse London, 14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone, London W1B 2QS www.treehousehotels.com