If you’re a fan of musicals, there’s no shortage of conveniently located hotels and musical packages on offer in London. But what if you prefer your music less of a production, with fewer theatrics and less narrative? Where should you go in London for some jazz or piano music while you eat dinner or sip on a cocktail? Where’s the best place to stay if you’re going to see a symphony and which hotel club is the hippest in London? These hotels for music lovers should answer your questions.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that The Dorchester has regular live jazz in The Promenade Bar. In fact, cool cats can kick back and relax with a cocktail and a smooth soundtrack every evening from 7.30. A pianist also plays all afternoon until 7pm and there’s a live jazz night every Tuesday in the China Tang Bar too.
The Wellesley’s Jazz Lounge, unsurprisingly, features jazz musicians as part of their ‘Live at the Wellesley’ series, which includes dinner in the Oval Restaurant, from contemporary jazz to renditions of the classics. Finally, ‘A Night of Jazz’ at The Langham’s Palm Court takes place every Friday and Saturday, with the John Watson Trio (not that John Watson).
While you’re unlikely to find a hotel that puts on its own symphony, there are plenty of options close to the big concert halls. The Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill is perfectly placed, within walking distance of several, including Wigmore Hall, which is just half a mile away, with the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall and Royal Opera House not far off either. The Baglioni Hotel London is just down the road from the Royal Albert too and in prime position for other concert halls in the heart of Kensington.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, Primo Bar at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel has live music every night, with an eclectic mix of styles from jazz, funk and soul to Brazilian, bosa nova and house. The Holiday Inn London, Kensington Forum puts on a Caribbean-themed event twice a month, complete with Caribbean cuisine and a traditional steel band. But if that all sounds a bit pedestrian to you, you probably need to try one of the exclusive clubs in hotel basements, such as the London Edition and the Ace Hotel, which are so achingly cool they’re simply called things like Basement, or are even just referred to as Downstairs.
The Edition’s Basement Club is invite only and if you’re lucky enough to get on the guest list, they take their music very seriously. Downstairs at the Ace Hotel, things are a little more relaxed but without compromising on quality, with regular live music and DJ sessions, plus live music on offer in the hotel lobby.
There’s something for everyone in London’s hotels, whether your idea of a good time is an exquisite performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ or watching an artist no one else knows about yet in a basement club.
Photo credits: Brandon Giesbrecht, Baglioni Hotels, Ace Hotel London.