When’s a hotel not just a hotel? When it’s a unique, immersive microcosmic experience, inviting you to lose yourself in a more magical world…
Since its opening in 2009 in East London’s Stepney Green, 40 Winks has been featured in many of the world’s most respected magazines on fashion, travel, lifestyle and interiors, including Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, and Elle. It is, of course, not the first hotel to do that. It is in reading the guest reviews of 40 Winks that you come to realise there’s something quite extraordinary going on…
So what makes 40 Winks so special?
40 winks aims to create an immersive experience for its guests, one of the key elements of which is its owner and “master of ceremonies”, Mr. David Carter. Many guests have described staying here as a bit like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland, with David Carter as the Mad Hatter.
A highly acclaimed interior designer, twice shortlisted for the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award, Mr. Carter has been creating interiors for an international clientele for 20 years. He is passionate about 40 Winks, and is actively involved in its day-to-day management. As your host, he is dedicated to creating a home-from-home experience in this whimsical, eccentric place where you are treated not as a paying guest, but as a new friend.
The house itself is 300 years old, and its restoration was a labour of love for its owner, who converted it from near-derelict to the glorious hideaway it is today. The decision to open his home to guests was practically forced upon him. For years, the house had been a preferred location for fashion and celebrity photo shoots, and after endless enquiries from photographers, stylists and models asking if they could come and stay he finally gave in, turning his guest bedrooms into this charming place that describes itself the world’s first “micro boutique hotel.”
Just how micro? 40 Winks hotel has just two guest bedrooms, one double and one single, which share a bathroom.
Despite its bijou size, it has achieved an almost mythical status. If your ideal stay requires a gym and spa, this is probably not the hotel for you. The luxury here is much more understated: from the amazing beds, hand built in England by Marshall & Stewart, the sumptuous bedlinen, and the hand-painted wallpapers, to the silver bathtub with a brass lion’s-head tap and the hand painted gold leaf covering the bathroom walls, everything here is distinctive, memorable and enchanting.
Mr. Carter’s signature aesthetic and eye for detail is apparent everywhere; an eclectic mix of colours and textures, antiques and trinkets blend together to create a delightful and seductive ambiance with a dreamy, fairy-tale quality.
To enable more people to experience some of its magic, 40 Winks also hosts some unique events, including “Bedtime Story Nights” (a decidedly more decadent and glamorous adult version of a pyjama party, infused with stories, music and cocktails), and ‘Supernatural’ evenings, mischievous, spooky experiences, each a journey into a world of mystery and fantasy. Please note that there is a strictly enforced dress code of elegant and glamorous boudoir attire for these events.
The only catch? Events sell out within hours, and rooms are often reserved months ahead, so you do need to book early to avoid disappointment.