A genuinely unique and lavish property, spread over 16 buildings in London’s infamous Soho district



I’m nearly overwhelmed by the desire to trash this hotel room. It is practically begging me to launch into a sex, drugs and rock and roll-fuelled delirium — tear the 65-inch television off the wall, slash the red velvet headboard with a groupie’s discarded stiletto, and frisbee the round, snake-framed mirror into the bar cart. 


I won’t, of course, the heaviest drug I’ve consumed is a glass of chenin blanc and I’m not a 1970s (or any era) rock idol, but the deep musical heritage of London’s Chateau Denmark – and the air of louche, luxurious debauchery it exudes – does kind of make me feel like one. The fact that I’ve also got my own butler (or BTLR as they’re known here), outfitted in a billowing purple and gold embossed overcoat, only adds to the sensation. 



The bar with the enigmatic name Thirteen Photo provided by Wonderlust



Situated in Soho, right next to the Tottenham Court Road tube station, Chateau Denmark doesn’t consider itself a typical hotel. With 55 “session rooms”, apartments and signature suites scattered across 16 buildings in and around Denmark Street, it doesn’t behave like one either. 


Denmark Street, as any self-respecting music nerd can tell you, is world famous for its ties to England’s musical history. Known in the early 20th century as Britain’s Tin Pan Alley, it still houses some of the capital’s coolest instrument shops. 


A walk along the short street takes me past one building where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album, another where The Sex Pistols lived upstairs (now home to Chateau Denmark’s Sex Pistols Suite, one of the hotel’s outbuildings) and recorded their first demos.


Legend has it that David Bowie came up with his Ziggy Stardust alter ego while living in a camper van out front of a now defunct café on the street. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote their first hit, Your Song, in one of the offices here.



Another Townhouse Apartment. There’s 54 more like this Photo provided by Wonderlust



Chateau Denmark’s designer, Taylor Howes — who is also responsible for the historic Meyrick Hotel in Galway, Ireland — took his cue from the area’s musical history as well. Rooms are imbued with a no-holds-barred design aesthetic that can fairly be described as punk goth meets vintage psychedelic glam. Each room is distinct, but any given one might include snakeskin covered chairs, gold ceilings, graffitied leather headboards, leather floors and Void speaker systems that can rattle the windows. Good thing the rooms are sound-proofed.


My suite, known as the York Apartment, is one of the rooms designed with a “Modern Psychedelia” look. The red velvet headboard competes with the gold ceiling for opulence while the magnificent bathroom, accessed by a pair of French doors, comes complete with marble floors, a deep, freestanding brass roll top tub, a shower built for three and luscious bath amenities from local manufacturer, Soapsmith. 



A Townhouse Apartment. In, wait for it, a townhouse Photo provided by Wonderlust



In keeping with the property’s go-big or go-home aesthetic, Chateau Denmark eschews mini bars in favor of “maxi bars” with full sized bottles of liquor and a wine selection befitting a hip restaurant. The vowel-free BTLRs double as mixologists, shaking up welcome cocktails and offering wine tips, in addition to their allegedly sky’s-the-limit other duties. (My personal favourite amenity, however, is the bar sink that dispenses hot, cold and sparkling water on demand.) 


While it might seem like having a fully stocked bar in the room means never having to go outside — and there’s a good argument there, isn’t there? — the hotel has just given residents a compelling new reason to venture forth. Opened in February of this year, Thirteen, an all-day cocktail bar/restaurant,  and it’s subterranean sibling dial8, push the property’s design aesthetic to its maximalist extreme. Anchored by a decadent, filigreed bar, chain mail murals and a sprawling, star shaped settee crowned with a curvaceous dragon lamp, the space is enlivened further by a rotating selection of celebrated djs. The menu is from British Afghan Fusion BBQ experts, Cue Point, is equally eclectic: 4 hour smoked lamb ribs with soured yoghurt and honey, pumpkin steak “nacos” (naan tacos, of course) and an ice cream sandwich are all on offer to support the selection of music themed cocktails. 


Returning to my small corner of Chateau Denmark via St. Giles Square late one evening — or was it early morning? Am I after all a rock god? — I discover the Victorian façade of the building entirely illuminated in red light. It’s an otherworldly scene already, but the presence of a saxophonist on the corner, possibly an apparition from the area’s past, jamming out a note perfect rendition of Culture Club’s, “Time (Clock of the Heart)” makes it downright, officially, psychedelic.