Inside The New London Hotel Where Rock ’N’ Roll Legends Made History
The Rolling Stones recorded their debut LP on Denmark Street. And now you can sleep (and party!) there, thanks to Chateau Denmark.
(Bloomberg) -- Chateau Denmark, a new hotel in London’s Soho, is taking the “party like a rock star” concept to the next level—not just with a location that’s steeped in British rock ’n’ roll history, but also with “maxi” bars, in-room sound systems, drum kits, and movie-worthy interiors that would drop Mick Jagger’s giant jaw.
The hotel, where rooms start at £510 a night ($610), is spread across 16 buildings including listed town houses on one of the most famous streets in British music. The Rolling Stones recorded their debut LP in Regent Sound Studios at 4 Denmark St. The Kinks made a musical tribute with the song . And Bernie Taupin and Elton John wrote at 20 Denmark St.
Guitar shops are still prominent, and the street is a destination for rock ’n’ roll aficionados. Although you could sleep in style at either the Edition, Dean Street Townhouse, or the new Nomad—all central London locations that are within an easy walk—no hotel has existed right on the street itself until now, or taken such deep style cues from its pop culture legacy.
“Denmark Street is a place famous for music and creativity,” says Chateau Denmark director Carrie Wicks, formerly a top executive at Firmdale Hotels, which also runs London’s trendy Ham Yard and New York’s Whitby Hotel. The Sex Pistols once lived at the back of two 17th century properties on 6-7 Denmark St., and the graffiti left behind by Johnny Rotten is considered a protected cultural heritage site. Rock legend Jimi Hendrix laid down some demo tracks at Regent Sound Studios—and his guitar riffs were so loud that staff at neighboring buildings lodged complaints.
“These stories make good fellows for a collection of eccentric guesthouses,” Wicks adds.
Eccentric is right. To get to the hotel’s lobby, guests turn off Denmark Street and walk through a tunnel that plays digital videos on the wall and blasts rock music, featuring such local legends as David Bowie on the playlist. Staff are dressed in bold Vivienne Westwood-esque jackets, though the lobby itself is too small to spend any extended periods of time. It’s a far cry in many ways from the grand lobbies at Claridge’s or the Corinthia.
The rooms all have different design themes. One tends toward Victorian Gothic with built-in black wardrobes that look like confessional booths, and another skews naughty, with handcuffs placed above the bed. The Flitcroft Apartment comes with its own professional drum kit, so guests can bang out a beat to their hearts’ content. (There’s soundproofing for neighbors!)
Instead of being assigned a room number, you’re shown to accommodations that are given cheeky names like “A Quick One,” “All the Sinners,” and “I Am Anarchy”—the latter a reference to the Sex Pistols’ most famous song, located in the same building where the punk band lived. Dirty laundry goes in a bag with the word “Filth” embroidered on it, and a red neon light outside a door switches from “SINNING” to “IN” depending on whether guests are in residence.
Related: As edgy as it is, the goal is still to provide five-star service: For instance, all rooms come with individually assigned butlers who can mix cocktails from the full-size “maxi” bar, which is stocked with more than 20 kinds of top-shelf booze.
It’s over-the-top in the most fun way. Some rooms have huge black and blood-red roll-top baths so close to the bar, you have to accept it as an invitation to pair bubbles with bubbles. (The designers call it a “bar-throom.”)
All of the floors are black rubber, making it easier to party without worrying about property damage. And one room includes huge, free-standing red speakers that could rival any club in Soho.
At the very least, Chateau Denmark can serve as a backdrop for film and entertainment junkets. (Soho is constantly buzzing with producers and location scouts.) It’s a way to stand out in a city that’s added 10,000 new hotel rooms since the start of the pandemic.
The hotel has been opening in phases since April 4—an additional 22 rooms will be online by October; 33 rooms are open now—and it’s targeting a unique clientele. “In simple terms, people looking for good times with bad company,” Wicks says.
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