In 2001, Caroline Main -- former nightclub owner and African safari guide, among other incarnations -- bought a five-story house just off fashionable Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill with the idea of turning the top three floors into a private house hotel. She decorated the 1840 Victorian herself with flair and personal style...
The individually designed airy suites are filled with antiques and modern comforts. Main has never advertised, but has managed to keep the house full and the favorable press flowing with word-of-mouth alone. If you have ever dreamed of living in London, you can rent an entire floor of The Main House starting at 100 pounds per night. Main invited AT Europe to photograph the top two floors between guest arrivals.
The second floor is a self-contained suite, with a large airy bedroom and sitting room and a dreamy bathroom big enough to contain a chaise for lounging. The top floor is a two-room suite with a small bathroom that's ideal for people traveling with children or wanting a second room.
The Main House isn't exactly a B&B (you can't eat there, but they will bring you tea in bed that you can enjoy in your room or on the communal terrace) or a conventional hotel but a unique home away from home that Harpers and Queen magazine voted "the best city b&b in the world". Main says she wanted to create a private oasis for like-minded souls looking for an authentic experience that hotels don't offer. "It's for sensible, intelligent people looking for the same things we're looking for when we travel," Main says. "And people really appreciate that it doesn't cost a lot."
The Main House can be booked directly through their website or over the phone.
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. If you have an idea for a European house tour, please write kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com