Fitzrovia Hotels, History & Area Guide

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A vibrant cultural hub, Fitzrovia is one of London’s best hidden gems. Find out about the history of this delightful district of London, its charm and why The Rathbone is the best boutique hotel in Fitzrovia.

Boutique Hotels in Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia is one of London’s true delights. The area sits happily between the glitz and glamour of the West End and the offbeat counter-culture of Camden. Its traditional borders are Oxford Street, Euston Road, Great Portland Street and Gower Street. About 8,000 people live in Fitzrovia and 50,000 come here every day to work.

A cultural centre, Fitzrovia has long been known as a haven for some of the UK’s most revered literary figures. George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas, Quentin Crisp and George Bernard Shaw all worked and socialised in Fitzrovia during the 1930s and 1940s.

Today the area is one of London’s most enthralling districts, boasting a wealth of bars, theatres, restaurants and hotels. Long established as one of the most iconic boutique hotels in Fitzrovia, the Rathbone provides your perfect base from which to explore the city as a whole.

Fitzrovia Hotels

There are a number of reputable hotels in Fitzrovia and they appeal to visitors because they bring a quiet, tranquil, village feel to your stay in what is now one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.

As a four star boutique Fitzrovia hotel, The Rathbone seamlessly blends into the look and feel of the area and from the hotel you can explore London’s most famous tourist spots including the British Museum, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and so much more!

Why the Rathbone?

If you are looking for the leading hotels of Fitzrovia, here at The Rathbone we have earned our reputation as one of Fitzrovia best hotels due to our warm welcome, exceptional customer service and our location. We believe The Rathbone ranks among the very best Fitzrovia hotels and we’d like to think that our guests would say the same!

I would stay here again! The location, amenities, and price make it great value in London.

Great location, great value for money, comfy beds and lovely helpful staff. A lovely stay in London!

As soon as my boyfriend and I arrived at the Rathbone Hotel they could not be more welcoming. We would definitely return!

Booked online. Very pleased with location. Staff excellent. Upgraded to Executive room. Huge with a 6ft bed. All in all a wonderful weekend!

1021 Reviews

History of Fitzrovia

There is some conjecture, but historians think the name Fitzrovia is so named after the Fitzroy Tavern on the corner of Charlotte Street and Windmill Street. The pub was named after Charles FitzRoy (as was Fitzroy Street) who developed the northern part of the area in the 18th century, building Fitzroy Square, distinguished by Robert Adam’s architectural splendour.

The name ‘Fitzroy’ is a derivative of the Norman-French ‘son of the King’ although it commonly infers the holder of the title was the bastard son of the King and not conceived in wedlock. The first time the word ‘Fitzrovia’ was recorded in print was as late as 1940 by MP (and later Chairman of the Labour Party) Tom Driberg in the William Hickey column for the Daily Express.

The area was developed mainly by the FitzRoy, Devonshire and Portland families and the local street names are testament to them – Grafton Street, Harley Street, Bentinck Street, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Street (and Square), Portland Place and Devonshire Street.

Because the area was developed mainly by small self-contained landowners, there is a predominance of narrow and irregular streets, unlike the neighbouring district of Marylebone which was formatted on a grid-like system, allowing for more squares.

Interesting Fact: The proposed demolition and redevelopment of an 18th century building on Cleveland Street in Fitzrovia caused consternation amongst the local community. Originally called the Cleveland Street Workhouse, it was built between 1775 and 1778 to care for the sick and poor of the parish and scholars believe it was the inspiration for the workhouse in Dickens’ first major novel, Oliver Twist. Dickens himself lived just nine doors down, at what is now 22 Cleveland Street in 1815-6 and again from 1828-31 and he wrote Oliver Twist in 1837.

Fitzrovia – A Village in the City

The area has a Bohemian village vibe full of great restaurants, cafés, bars and quirky independent shops and galleries, especially around Charlotte Street, Charlotte Place and Rathbone Place, ‘the crooked spine of Fitzrovia’ as described by biographer Paul Willetts. The Rathbone Hotel is also near Oxford Street, the UKs busiest shopping street with over 200m visitors a year as well as London’s world-famous Theatreland, Soho and the overstated luxury of Bond Street and South Moulton Street.

As well as hotels in Fitzrovia, the area is famous for a mixture of Edwardian stucco-fronted mansions, period townhouses and new build-apartments as well as the glass and aluminium tech HQs for digital, TV and dotcoms who have made the area their home.

The whole of Fitzrovia is dominated by the 37 storey, 627ft BT Tower, once the tallest building in Britain until it was surpassed by the NatWest Tower (now called Tower 42) in 1980.

Getting Around Fitzrovia

Within a few minutes from the Rathbone Hotel in Fitzrovia, there are six tube stations – Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street, Warren Street, Great Portland Street, Regent’s Park and Euston Square.

The mainline stations of Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross St Pancras and Charing Cross, while not technically in Fitzrovia, are all within 1½ miles of The Rathbone Hotel in Fitzrovia and in addition, there are a number of TfL Cycle Hire stations as well.