Travel: 24-Hour Room Service: Pavilion Hotel, London

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The Independent Culture
IF NEXT year follows the same pattern as this, and you fancy sleeping alongside a clutch of models, you could do worse than book a room at The Pavilion Hotel during London Fashion Week. The place was practically booked out by the top model agencies during last February's Fashion Week, and each of the genetically blessed guests sashayed away with a designer goody bag (containing facial spritzers, Nicky Clarke conditioner, Planet Organic jungle juice, Vivienne Westwood perfume and Ministry Magazine) to help them through a week of strenuous catwalking.

The concept behind the "boutique" (there are only 30 rooms) hotel is that people can indulge their glamorous side without paying correspondingly swanky prices - guests include pop stars (Jarvis Cocker, Skunk Anansie) and models (Karen Elson is a regular). The hotel's opulent decor is also often used as a film backdrop - so this could be your big chance.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

34-36 Sussex Gardens, London W2 1UL (tel: 0171-262 0905; fax: 0171-262 1324, e-mail: www.msi.com.mt/pavilion/).

About as central to London as you'd want to be, the hotel is within walking distance of Oxford Street and Queensway (for shopping and eating) and Hyde Park and Notting Hill (for space, the Serpentine Gallery and posing).

Transport: If you don't want to risk scuffing your Manolos with unnecessary pavement-pounding, totter down to Edgware Road and jump on the nearest bus.

Edgware Road is also on the Bakerloo, Circle, District, and Hammersmith and City Tube lines, a five-minute walk away from the Central Line tube station at Lancaster Gate and about the same distance from Paddington station. If you're feeling really lazy, a taxi ride to Covent Garden costs about pounds 6.

Time to an international airport: Paddington is also the departure point for the Heathrow Express, with terminals 1, 2 and 3 a very fast (15 minutes) but expensive (pounds 10 one-way adults, free for children if booked in advance) journey away.

ARE YOU LYING COMFORTABLY?

Rooms here are music-hall-esque: loud, kitsch, over-the-top and upfront. Each room is themed (potted ferns in Casablanca Nights, beaded curtains in Honky Tonk Afro, faux-wood panels and tartan in Highland Fling, and so on) and all are en suite. The emphasis is on fun and, although all the rooms are comfortable and well-equipped, bedrooms and shower-rooms (a few have baths) are on the small side.

Freebies: London Fashion Week is the time to stay if it's freebies you're after; each year the hotel comes up with a new idea for guests, from designer goody bags (see intro) to complimentary Indian head-massages. At other times, it's just the usual soap and shampoo.

What to book: The most popular room in the hotel is the art deco/Moorish- style Casablanca Nights, but choose your room with care; the bright colours and loud decorations may not be altogether conducive to a good night's sleep. Visit www.eol.net.mt/pavilion to preview the rooms - it will help you to make your choice.

Keeping in touch: There are telephones and TVs in every room but no radios and no Internet access, and you'll have to visit reception if you need to send or receive a fax.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Single rooms cost pounds 60, double rooms pounds 90. The price includes continental breakfast and this is delivered to your door - a big plus for anyone who doesn't feel they can face the world on an empty stomach.

I'm not paying that: The Pavilion Hotel is offering readers of The Independent a 10 per cent discount when they book a room until 31 May.

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