Erotic Holidays: The Portobello Hotel

Erotic Holidays: The Portobello Hotel

If you know anything about the Portobello Hotel then you’ve only got two words on your mind: “Room 16”: the most famous room of all hotels, especially those in the legendary Notting Hill. The room of fame and fortune, the room of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss – and, the room of champagne and Victorian bathing machines.

The Portobello Hotel was started in 1971 by owners Tim and Cathy Herring as a homely getaway for visiting musicians. London in the 70s was nothing if not glamorous, and the Portobello Hotel is just that: gold, red and cream line the walls and floors, the décor is aged but still stylish, and it’s just downright sexy. Today, it’s a shabby Victorian-chic holiday destination for celebrity spotters and culture seekers looking to lavish for a while in the presence of great cult history.

Room 16 might be small, but it is the most famous of all of the rooms: it’s where Kate Moss and Johnny Depp holed themselves up together for days on end, it’s where the same dynamic duo filled up the bath tub with Champagne, it’s where Alice Cooper designed the famous 8ft round bed, and it’s where musicians like Robbie Williams enjoy a weekend of sexy debauchery (and try to buy the bed after checking out). Tim Burton flooded this room once by leaping from the bathtub to the bed and back again. Alice Cooper also kept his snakes in that bath tub. This room has history.

The room, the Portobello Hotel says, is “particularly popular with Honeymooners”. That’s because it has a reputation for being the sexiest hotel room in the west end, and because you can share your stay with the ghosts of sex escapades past. And it’s no surprise either: the enormous circular bed is perfect for erotic trysts. When you’re all worn out, you can relax under the muslin canopy and enjoy the eastern mystery of the hanging Moroccan lantern. The bizarre contraption on the side of the room is a working, fully-functioning Victorian Bathing Machine complete with showers, steamers and copper pipes. There is also a TV and a balcony overlooking the gardens if you think you’re going to need a break from your honeymooning antics.

Barbara Santini

Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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