The Laslett, London, UK

It’s neat and boring from the outside (a row of putty-white townhouses) but my first impressions were quashed: this is an art-filled and affordable gem of a hotel.

Like Notting Hill itself, The Laslett is very smart and a little bit boho. It was named after Rhaune Laslett, founder of the Notting Hill Carnival, setting the scene for the wonderful sense of place that has been created here.

The most important context of any hotel review is price. Journalists and influencers on freebies –sorry: press stays – rarely proclaim: I would spend my own hard-earned money here. So does the rate represent good value? Does the experience live up to the final bill? For a well-designed hotel in London, The Laslett is very reasonably priced. It’s a quintessential boutique hotel with peppy service and comfy rooms and if you don’t mind being way out West, then yes: it is worth your money. I paid for it too, by the way.

The hotel occupies five alabaster-stone townhouses on Pembridge Gardens and blends into the leafy, residential location with minimal signage and a discreet entrance. Inside, things get more interesting.

The Laslett is the first hotel from the Living Rooms group, who operate a handful of plush-looking apartments with 5* hotel services in West London. All the right things have carried over – thoughtful interior design, privacy and unobtrusive service. Founder Tracy Lowy worked with Tom Barlett of Waldo Works to design the interiors. The overall aesthetic is classic and quietly whimsical with undertones of the eccentricity and cultural heritage of the neighbourhood. There is a subtle celebration of British craft with pieces from Pinch and Race, Nocturne Workshop and classic 1945 BA chairs by Ernest Race. A curiosity cabinet next to the repletion desk is filled with bits and bobs from local antiques dealership Les Couilles du Chien, with everything available to purchase.

It’s a place where creative West London types meet over coffee and I-flew-in-from-LA-this-morning types base themselves for an extended stay. It all feels a bit Sofia Coppola. It’s a box ticker: quiet, leafy, a couple of minutes’ walk to the tube (central line) and you can be in central in under 20 minutes. I walked through the park to Mayfair for a meeting, which was a very pleasant 50-min wander.

There are 51 good-sized bedrooms. I stayed in a room with three huge windows overlooking the street, a desk and table in a window. Behind the bed, an arrangement of art, objets d’art and curios (with an in-room art guide for those interested) and piles of Penguin books make for a pretty photo. The rest of the space is pretty minimalist with dove-grey walls, unbleached linen curtains, parquet floors and soaring ceilings. The ubiquitous mini bar is replaced with a ‘big bar’, well stocked with luxury products from gin to fancy underwear. My monochrome bathroom was a bit boring but had a big rain shower, full-size Ren toiletries and robes embroidered with the Living Rooms logo.

The Henderson Bar, named after a musician from early Notting Hill Carnival days, serves coffee, drinks and snacks in the snug bar and library. The library’s bookcases are full of hardbacks on art, design and music, and art by British artists hangs from the wall. The collection includes pieces from Barry Kamen and Barbara Hulanicki. On warm evening, the outdoor terrace is a pretty perfect spot for an aperitif in the evening sun. Staff are nicely informal without being overly enthused by what I’m “doing for the rest of the day” – why is this now the universal check-out script?

The bottom line:

Well designed and perfectly located for those wanting an offbeat and relaxed but upmarket stay. Portobello Road Market, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Grove are all nearby, so perfect for a wander, bit of vintage shopping and brunch at Granger + co.

8 Pembridge Garden, Notting Hill, W2 4DU
From £200