THE HOTEL: The Rosewood London opened last autumn and is the luxury hotel group’s first property in Europe. Once the headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company, an ?85million renovation has transformed it into a stylish hotel with 262 guestrooms and 44 suites in a good location on High Holborn.
THE CHECK-IN: The hotel entrance is through a large archway and across an impressive courtyard. I was greeted by a friendly doorman dressed in tweed and flat cap, before passing through a ‘bronze entrance gallery’ into the lobby, where I was quickly checked in by a member of staff.
THE ROOM: The suite I was allocated was enormous. A living area housed a sofa, table and chairs, huge wall-mounted TV and the largest hotel ‘mini’ bar I’ve seen, with a large selection of soft drinks, snacks and craft beers, plus a coffee machine and decanters of complimentary spirits. There was a gleaming, marble bathroom with walk-in shower, bath tub (and TV screen), beautiful beaten-copper basins and Czech & Speake toiletries, plus a large dressing area. The bedroom itself was less showy, featuring a king-size bed, wallmounted TV, easy chair, bedside tables, MP3 dock and a not-very-well-thumbed copy of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.
THE FACILITIES: With its large fireplace, lounge chairs, book cases and low-lighting, Scarfes Bar was a real highlight. A faint aroma of exotic spices was the tell-tale sign of its trademark curry menu. There’s also the Mirror Room for diПing and afternoon tea, and the Holborn DiПing Room (which opened in February) serves a contemporary British menu. There’s also a spa and fitness centre.
THE BUSINESS: There’s a range of meeting rooms, including boardrooms and private diПing rooms, plus the striking Grand Ballroom for up to 430 theatre-style. The DDR is from around ?110 (negotiable) and there’s free wifi access throughout the hotel.
THE VERDICT: This is an excellent addition to London’s luxury hotel line-up, with great service that steers well clear of stuffy. Every hallway, staircase and public space is there to be admired, and guestrooms are classy, comfortable and well appointed.
THE DETAILS: Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN. Rates (including VAT) start from ?370 per night for a deluxe room. See: www.rosewoodhotels.com/london .
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2014)