The Penn Club is irreplaceable
18 February, 2021
The Penn Club
• THANK you so much for your article on the closing of the Penn Club, (A sad end for this unique, noble and generous-spirited institution, February 11).
As an American who loves London and has stayed frequently, I feel a great sadness that something will be lost that is irreplaceable. It was the perfect refuge for me after a long, overnight, journey.
The location near Russell Square is fantastic, of course, but the hotel has a charm that is rare for London as it is quiet, has reading rooms, affordability, and a pace reminiscent of an older London.
The capital has changed enormously and will do so going forward, like all great cities, but there is a need for places like the Penn Club to give us time to reflect and be taken care of.
For years the hotel has had a policy of no electronic devices, like smartphones and other screens in the breakfast room, as they would interfere with the sociability of the place.
Reading rooms have a similar policy. It is such a refreshing change from the constant noise and distractions that have become a part of our lives.
Guests can eat their own food in the breakfast room throughout the day and, in fact, store their food in the kitchen. Laundry can be done in the basement as self-serve.
All this contrasts with most hotels but adds to the sense of being in a place for those on a modest budget.
The hotel’s history and charitable past makes its loss all the more heartbreaking. I hope it will not be lost.
San Francisco, CA