Just off traffic-packed High Holborn, behind wrought-iron gates leading into a beautiful courtyard, Rosewood London is a hidden retreat in the heart of the capital. Following an £85 million transformation, the original architectural features of the 1914 Belle Époque building have been painstakingly restored by a team of craftsmen, including the magnificent dome and the grand Pavonazzo marble staircase which rises up through all seven storeys of hotel beneath a 166-foot cupola.
Guests are greeted by flat-capped, tweed-clad security, who usher them into the lobby. The hotel’s public areas are filled with interesting artworks, books and magazines, along with entertaining touches, including singing budgies in cages in the lobby and alarmingly realistic sculptures of two British bulldogs.
Upstairs, the 162 guestrooms and 44 suites continue to convey the feeling of a very comfortable and luxurious home. Given that it’s a grand and imposing place, Rosewood London has done an excellent job of making the hotel spaces cosy and intimate.
Suites at Rosewood are some of the largest in the capital and our Grand Premier Suite was no exception. Elegant and supremely comfortable, and spread over 85 square metres of living space, the bedroom had unique, oval windows looking far down onto the street below. The suite had a large living room with space for work, meetings or entertaining. The beautifully designed bedroom was completely separate behind closed doors, making it ideal for guests seeking extra space or privacy. All rooms offer amenities including sound system and docking station, 46” television, private bar, Nespresso machine and fine Italian bedding. Our bathroom featured both a shower and bath, created from the finest Italian marble, and sinks with a hand-beaten alpaca-silver finish. All suites also have access to the hotel’s Manor Club, which serves a menu of cocktails and light dishes along with its private butler and concierge service. My only complaint was that one night wasn’t enough to sample all these little luxuries.
Readers should also note the Grand Manor Wing. Accessed by private lift, and with its own street entrance, this is the only hotel suite in the world to have its own postcode. Six bedrooms, a library, a dining room and several sitting rooms have been arranged over 6,318 square feet of living space – ideal for visiting dignitaries or government ministers who travel with an entourage and require on-site private meeting spaces.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the enjoyable Holborn Dining Room (see last month’s Restaurant Review), but the pretty Mirror Room also offers somewhere more discreet and serves a delicious looking afternoon tea. Drinking takes place in the magnificent Scarfes Bar, named after renowned British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (also a Diplomat cover artist!) His collection of original paintings adorn the walls and depict well known historical and famous faces in his own witty and satirical way. Scarfes has been packed on the two occasions I’ve been there, so booking is advisable but well worth it, as the bar serves some of the best cocktails in town. Be sure to sample ‘Diplomatic Immunity,’ a vibrant concoction of rum, ginger and spices on the rocks.
It seemed we were too busy enjoying the Rosewood London’s eating and drinking establishments to visit the Sense Spa or Fitness suite, so those will have to wait until next time. Again, one night just wasn’t enough.
Rosewood London combines English heritage with contemporary sophistication in the heart of the capital. Luxurious but homely, it’s the perfect choice for travellers coming to the capital on business or pleasure. Rosewood London is a pleasure to stay in.