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The Pilgrim, Paddington, London
This Paddington hotel is made up of four Victorian townhouses that were knocked into one about a century ago, and its latest incarnation is the antidote to the boring modern hotel, with an unusual name and a no-frills outlook. There is no formal check-in or even a front desk, but that doesn't mean you won't be made welcome - the idea is to break down the barrier between staff and guests with a vibe that's warm, relaxed and authentic and a selection of chic, comfortable rooms at a wide range of prices. Its 73 rooms are stylish and affordable, with a retro feel that celebrates British craftsmanship without being too precious about it. Dogs and families are also welcome - always nice in a city centre hotel.
The lovely first floor lounge is the heart of the hotel, furnished with mid-century flair and about as comfortable and inviting as your granny's front room - only more stylish and with better Wi-Fi.
The Pilgrm is right by Paddington station, and Hyde Park is a 15-minute stroll away.
By car: around 2 hours from Brighton, 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol and Birmingam, and 4 hours from Manchester.
By train: there are direct trains to Paddington from Oxford (57 minutes) Bristol (1 hour 35 mins) and Penzance (5 hours 10 mins). The hotel is only 2 minute's walk from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Travellers of all kinds who are looking to stay somewhere central and affordable that's relaxed and comfortable - but also has a splash of style - will like it here. They display well-chosen, regularly changing contemporary art on the walls that's also for sale.
Service & Facilities
We love the fact that they have a handful of rooms designed to appeal to budget travellers, while even their largest rooms are affordable by London standards. The Pilgrm is thoroughly welcoming to dogs and their owners.
- Live music venue
- Free Wi-Fi
The Large rooms at the front are the best - there is always something happening on the street outside. All the rooms have USB sockets and - a nice touch - mini Marshall Bluetooth speakers.
Bunk, Small, Medium, Large
Facilities include: ensuite with shower, Egyptian cotton sheets, selection of books and magazines, natural bespoke toiletries, complimentary water
Food & Drink
The hotel boasts an excellent wine list, with lots by the glass, and also ships in delectable cocktails from bars around town like Three Sheets and Bar Termini. The brunch menu's bacon butty is a thing of beauty, made with excellent quality back bacon and crowned with a fried egg.
Breakfast & brunch: sweet and savoury, high-end cooked breakfast. Available 10am-3pm. Plates from £8.