Here’s the formula: extremely compact rooms, glassy sleek style, thrilling location, and since extras such as breakfast are pre-paid when you book, there’s a skeleton staff, keeping costs down. The formula, devised by career hotel professionals in 2011, works because it’s done with design smarts: they poured a lot of cash into the bedding and the 40-inch TVs (the better to drown out Soho noise with streaming music from your phone) but did without closets and drawers. Quarters are close (around 9 sq. m/90 sq. ft.), but quirky, with a zig-zaggy courtyard and a roof deck with a nifty view of the Palace Theatre. If you share a room with a platonic friend, note bathrooms, though stocked with Thierry Mugler toiletries, are enclosed by panels of fogged glass. Lowest rates are for singles; add £20 for a double bed and another £10 for a queen; doubles without windows cost the same as a single room. Just be sure to pronounce it “zed.” Rhymes with bed—what it’s good for. There is a second location in much less desirable Victoria, a block west of the station (5 Lower Belgrave St., SW1, [tel] 020/3589-3990, 106 units, 60% windowless).
The Z Hotel Soho
17 Moor St., W1
Our Rating Neighborhood Soho Transportation Tube: Leicester Square Phone 020/3551-3701 Prices Rooms start at £75 but are usually £145–£195 Amenities Cafe, AC, free Wi-Fi Units 85 units Web site The Z Hotel SohoBook a Room Now