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The Morton Hotel – an oasis of peace and tranquility in the heart of London

The Morton Hotel, seen from the corner of Russell Square
The Morton Hotel, seen from the corner of Russell Square
The Morton Hotel

As you step through the front door of the Morton Hotel and the buzz of the street fades, a feeling of tranquility greets you. So does a waiting elevator, which will take you down to the elegant library, hub of the hotel, and location of the reception desk, bar, and lounge. As I stepped out of the elevator, the friendly and chatty staff greeted me enthusiastically, and in addition to checking me in, gave me a quick rundown of the area and local dining recommendations.

The Morton Hotel
The Morton Hotel

I was offered a choice of a room overlooking the street (more interesting but potentially noisier) or on the back of the property (no view but quieter). Keen to enjoy the view and outside action, I opted for the first, declining the offer of earplugs which the receptionist was happy to provide against possible street noise. I was delighted with my choice, almost on the corner of the hotel, and directly opposite the entrance to the gardens in Russell Square. Although noticeable during the day, I did not find the traffic noise to be significant; no more or less than one would expect in a major city.

The newly renovated Morton Hotel is located on London’s Russell Square; one of the best addresses in the city, and only a short walk from the action of Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Soho, and theater land. The British Museum is nearby. It's really the best of both worlds, being near the action, while far enough away to provide a peaceful oasis when you need it. Russell Square underground station offers easy access to London’s vast underground railway system, while the streets surrounding the square are a hub for city buses. Rooms at the hotel are named after some of the original members of the influential ‘Bloomsbury Group’; English writers, intellectuals, artists and philosophers, who lived, worked, and studied together in the Bloomsbury area during the second half of the 20th century. Members included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and Roger Fry. You’ll find their profiles throughout the hotel, on doors, pictures, cushion covers, etc.

The Morton offers 34 individually furnished bedrooms and apartments, decorated in calming neutral tones. The Bloomsbury Bedrooms offer comfort and style, with spacious en-suite bathrooms featuring delightful walk in monsoon showers or bath/shower combinations, fluffy towels, and an array of amenities. 42” flat screens with Sky channels, bathrobes, in room safes, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, iPod docking station and tea & coffee making facilities are among the many features of the rooms. For guests looking for a little more space (or perhaps planning a longer stay), the hotel also features the Charleston Apartments; offering either one or two bedrooms, spacious bathrooms, and separate living/dining area with well-equipped kitchenettes. The top floor Omega Suite provides similar facilities to the Charleston Apartments, along with impressive views.

Unlike many older buildings in London, the hotel is simple to navigate, with a lovely wide main staircase (a feature in itself!) and easily accessed elevator; no winding staircases, serpentine hallways, steps up/down, or mid hallway doors here!

The Library, in addition to being the location of the reception desk and bar is also where a substantial continental breakfast is available daily, consisting of a wide selection of pastries, cold meats and cheeses, fruit, cereals, yoghurts, and other delights, accompanied by juices and hot drinks. Later in the day a selection of snacks and light meals are offered, as well as an elegant afternoon tea service, consisting of sandwiches, freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream, and a choice of cakes. During the afternoon and evening, the bar offers a full range of liquors, wines, beers, and soft drinks.

All too often in London, hotels offering quality accommodation are pretentious; or at the other end of the scale, those offering a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere are run down and in need of renovation. The Morton on the other hand strikes the perfect balance; quality accommodations in a beautifully renovated building, comfortable and unpretentious surroundings, and an excellent, knowledgeable staff. Expertly managed by Hotel Manager Daniela Engler, who is supported by a professional team, the Morton Hotel provides an unrivaled combination of quality, location, and atmosphere for your stay in the British capital. I loved my few days at the Morton, and would have happily moved in to one of the Charleston Apartments for an extended stay!

The Morton Hotel is located at 2 Woburn Place, London, WC1H 0LH. The hotel phone number is +44 20 7692 5600 (020 7692 5600 if calling from inside the UK), and email address is info@mortonhotel.co.uk. For more information, maps, etc., visit the hotel website at http://www.mortonhotel.co.uk/

The Morton is part of the Imperial London Hotels group, a collection of six hotels in the Bloomsbury area of the capital. For more information about the group and the member hotels, visit http://www.imperialhotels.co.uk/

Stewart Mandy was a guest of The Morton Hotel