London’s Five Most Notorious Hotels

By | November 14, 2018

As a modern, cosmopolitan city, London attracts its fair share of celebrities; those celebrities in turn attract their fair share of scandals. Some of the most sedate and respectable hotels in London have played host to scandalous behaviour; here are a few of the most notorious.

Portobello Hotel London

This beautiful and eclectic hotel located in Notting Hill offers guests a unique and decadent experience, as guests Kate Moss and Johnny Depp can attest; rumour has it that the two celebrity lovebirds ordered up a bathtub of expensive champagne and shared a soak together. Bathtub eccentricities are no novelty to the Portobello Hotel London staff. In the 1970s, popular heavy metal rocker Alice Cooper kept his pet boa constrictor in a tub during an extended stay.

Cadogan Hotel

For those in search of a more historic holiday experience, the Cadogan Hotel played host to Lillie Langtry’s legendary trysts with the future Edward VII and was the site of Oscar Wilde’s famous arrest for “acts of gross indecency.” Far from concealing its scandalous past, the Cadogan Hotel celebrates its notoriety with suites named after all three of its most famous guests. Its genteel demeanour belies its eventful past; located in the West End, it offers an elegant and upscale alternative to the area’s contemporary London hotels.

Dorchester Hotel London

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The normally serene Dorchester Hotel London was the setting for some particularly nasty behaviour by actor Christian Bale; this notorious bad boy was charged with assault in 2008. While the crime seemed in keeping with Bale’s film roles, the victims were decidedly not standard cinematic villains. Bale had apparently lost his temper with his mother and sister in their hotel room, and the police were called to the scene. Charges were dropped shortly after the incident; the hotel refrained from comment on the matter. Previously, the hotel had been the site of Peter Sellers’ fatal heart attack and Prince Philip’s stag do on the occasion of his engagement to then Princess Elizabeth.

Jumeirah Carlton Tower

This elite hotel was preferred by Michael Jackson and his entourage, but its real claim to notoriety comes from the financial world. Just before Christmas 2008, HSBC banker and insurance head Christen Schnor committed suicide by hanging himself in his hotel room. It is believed his suicide was due to HSBC’s extensive financial investments in the Bernie Madoff schemes, which had recently collapsed.

St. Martins Lane

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