40 Winks

  • Location: City
    Restaurants: In walking distance
    Stepney Green Underground Station: 300m (3 mins walking)
    Spitalfields Market & Brick Lane: 2km (25 mins walking)
  • London City Airport (LCY): 10km (20 mins by taxi or 30 mins by public transport)
    London Heathrow Airport (LHR): 35km (1h 15 mins by taxi or public transport)
    Good public transport
    Free parking
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An introduction to 40 Winks

How would you describe 40 Winks in a nutshell?

From the beginning, our mission was always a very simple one - to offer an antidote to the bland uniformity of most hotel chains by creating something deliriously seductive, memorable and enchanting. Staying here is about much more than having a comfortable bed to sleep in or a place to dump your luggage, it is an immersive experience, an invitation to lose yourself in another more fabulous, more magical world. It’s like walking into a dream, going on a journey into the world of somebody else’s imagination. It’s a wonderful piece of theatre.

Please tell us a bit about the history of 40 Winks.

The house was built in 1717, so it’s 302 years old. It’s one of four Queen Anne townhouses that were built for rich merchants and naval officers, and is one of the earliest terraces of its type still left in London. Admiral North, who served with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, lived next door. There’s even a little plaque across the road where Captain Cook, who discovered Australia, used to live.

I bought the house almost 20 years ago. At that point, it was completely derelict. It didn’t have a roof, floors or ceilings, but it still possessed a certain quiet and mysterious elegance. It took about two years to restore.

40 Winks is a very popular location for film and photo shoots. What was your inspiration to open the guest rooms to the public?

The house has always been a hugely successful location for fashion and celebrity shoots. Although we turn a lot down now, we’ve had Italian Vanity Fair, Japanese Elle, and American Vogue all shooting here in the last few weeks.

It was really because of this that 40 Winks was conceived. So many of the photographers, stylists and models who came to work here really loved the house and kept asking if they could come and stay. East London, where we are based, is very much the creative hub of London now, and has a vibrancy and energy it is difficult to find elsewhere… it tends to be where lots of people in fashion and the arts hang out.

In March 2009, I finally gave in and decided to open ‘40 Winks’, cheekily describing it as the world’s first ‘micro boutique hotel’. Almost immediately, we started getting some amazing press, and it just hasn’t stopped. Because it is so particular, the house seems to attract lots of really interesting guests, including quite a few celebrities, and it has been a fantastic experience.

You are a very successful interior designer or “an illusionist and conjuror” as the World of Interiors described you. What is your approach to interior design?

For me, the test of good interior design is that it is emotionally engaging, not just superficially beautiful. I want to create wonderful and extraordinary spaces that captivate and seduce people, that take them on a journey of the senses. I want people to feel something, which for me is the basis of all art, whether it’s a painting, a book or a movie. It’s that ability to engage with people, to connect with people… that’s what I strive to achieve in all the things that I do.

To you personally, what is it that makes 40 Winks so special?

At the end of the day, I’ve created a beautiful home, which I share with others. It’s a very happy house and I like the fact that other people can come and enjoy the experience.

How would you like your guests to remember their stay?

40 Winks is so particular it does attract a certain kind of person, and we hope they really enjoy the experience and will take away some happy memories of the time they have spent here. For many, it is a little escape, leaving the noisy real world behind, and tumbling, like Alice, into a wonderland of someone else’s imagination, but also lots of lively conversation and some good tea!

What has been the most rewarding thing about running this kind of micro-boutique hotel?

Spending time with some really wonderful people, the warmth, the enthusiasm…

Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Opium den
Antoinette room
Antoinette room
Room Two
Room Two
Room Two
Room Two
Music room
Music room
Music room
Room One
Room One
Bathroom
Kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen
Entrance

40 Winks rooms & rates

40 Winks is often described as a home-from-home experience, a place where you are treated not as a paying guest, but as a new friend. Many of our guests are enchanted by the sheer beauty of the house and its unique ambiance, feeling a bit like Alice finding herself in Wonderland - its dreamy fairytale quality offering a welcome respite from the harsh realities of everyday life. For others, the pleasure comes from engaging Mr Carter in some lively conversation over a cup of tea, and the general sense of bonhomie and warmth to be found here.

We want our guests to leave with happy memories of their stay, and we work very hard to achieve this. For a few of our guests, staying here can even be a life changing experience (not something we can guarantee unfortunately). But what you bring to 40 Winks is also very important, and a willingness to engage with it and immerse yourself in its atmosphere is essential if you want to discover all its seductive secrets!

  • Room One for 1 people / 15 m²
    120 / night
    • 1 Single bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom

    Our single bedroom has a bed, clothes rail, desk and chair. The walls are covered in hand painted silk chinoiserie wallpaper by de Gournay. Both bedrooms share a stunning gilded bathroom, and use of the drawing room, music room and garden. Fresh towels and flannels are provided.

  • Room Two for 2 people / 25 m²
    195 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom

    A beautiful south facing bedroom with double bed, clothes rail, chair and dressing table. Both bedrooms share a stunning gilded bathroom, and use of the drawing room, music room and garden. Fresh towels and flannels are provided.

Included in the rates
Rates include a continental breakfast.
Children & Extra beds
Only older children (8+ years) are welcome. There is no space for extra beds.
Minimum stay
2 nights
Check in time
after 14:00
Check out time
before 11:00

Facilities & services

  • WiFi
  • Maid service
  • Concierge service
  • Garden
  • Central heating
  • Not suitable for young children
  • Hair dryer

Things to do in London

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Night life

We put on our very famous Bedtime Story Nights, which are one of the best reviewed events in London. We have fantastic storytellers and musicians, and everyone has to dress up in pajamas and nighties. We run those every month and they get amazing press. The Sunday Times Travel Magazine even listed them as one of the 14 most amazing things to do in the world. Definitely worth attending if you can!

I love markets, so I do send a lot of guests to places like Spitalfields Market or Columbia Road Flower Market on a Sunday morning. Both are very close to here. And there are lots of cool cafes, quirky shops and little galleries to explore.

What’s great about London is that there are new things opening every week. That’s part of the fun of it. It’s always evolving and changing.

40 Winks reviews

5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
Everything was perfect. I spend three wonderful days at 40 Winks in London. My rate at the scala: 10! Everything was perfect.
Christin (Germany)
stayed at 40 Winks in June 2014