The blue blood of London boutique hotels
All images accredit One Aldwych
There is a gravity that permeates London unlike anywhere else in the world. The Big Smoke is a daring, iconic city that knows its place among our most fascinating destinations. Home to the world’s most revered royal family, London is gifted with its own authentic British style, style and grace. There are many elegant places to stay in Londontown, but there is one that is iconic, gifted and also knows its place in the world. This icon of London hospitality is the One Aldwych.
London is where status and position are everything. The same goes for hotels. The location of the guest house determines whether the blue blood or the condition of a commoner should be considered. At the end of Waterloo Bridge and at the gate of Covent Garden is the An Aldwych. His position is there to say “welcome to the neighborhood” as the first meeting in London’s West End and this sumptuous little corner of the world.
There are probably other five-star hotels in the area, but there is a certain uniqueness of the One Aldwych that makes it stand out among the great hotels in London. On the one hand, it is an independent hotel, not part of a large chain, so it is free to be literally itself. Yes, of course, it’s part of Leading Hotels of the World, so you’ve secured a certain level of standards and service, beyond your own well-earned reputation. This boutique hotel offers 105 sophisticated rooms as well as a set of facilities created for the cosmopolitan traveler. There are two restaurants, a gym and a swimming pool, and even a movie theater that hosts monthly dinners and movie nights.
The One Aldwych is one of those timeless hotels that never goes out of style. The atmosphere exudes a moderate luxury in the face of exaggerated opulence or tricks that appeal to the demands of the niche of the day. This was the vision from the beginning; One Aldwych was not created to be fashionable. Instead, the goal was to create a hotel for all time, and they have done exactly that, as evidenced by their perennial list status by excellent hotel providers.
The One Aldwych is no Johnny coming lately in any way. It has been in this same place for over 100 years and was once home to the Morning Post, Daily Telegraph and The Tatler. After becoming a Ministry of Defense building and later a bank, the building found its current purpose as one of the most revered hotels in London. The visionary of the project was Gordon Campbell Gray, who took over the One Aldwych in 1998. Campbell Gray was known throughout the hospitality industry as a vanguard in the development of the hotel stay for the accommodated traveler. It was proposed to create a hotel experience that would suppose a kind of sophisticated luxury in front of something cheeky and fashionable. And this is what you will experience at One Aldwych.
Guests staying in London could not ask for a better location to see the city and the gates of Covent Garden. New York’s Time Square could be described as the US Covenant Garden and offers a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and shopping. This is the famous theater district of the West End where the main performances around the world reside Lion King to the Book of Normand. This is the city’s cultural center, and beyond Theatreland there are several museums, including the Royal Opera House, London Coliseum and the Royal Theater, all within a 10-minute walk of One Aldwych.
To note One Aldwych as a milestone would be an understatement. Edwardian grandeur and Parisian design elegance have stood the test of time since the building was built in 1907 by the same architects who built the Ritz in Paris and London. The first thing most will notice from afar is its strange shape. It is shaped like a wedge-shaped triangle that fits into the intersection of Wellington Street and the Strand. Next, most will notice the level of craftsmanship of that bygone era with an exterior façade of gray Norwegian granite, a ceiling made of copper and slate stone, as well as its baroque flourishes of its decoration with tints of Louis XVI and Louis XV.
The entrance to the One Aldwych leads to a high, two-story space with its stunning original Austrian oak windows flooding the room with natural light. The room is buzzing with accommodating travelers, business tycoons and lawyers there to bend their elbows. The One Aldwych Lobby Bar is a London institution and has always been voted one of the best bars in London and the world. According to the Evening Standard, the Lobby Bar in One Aldwych is “Probably the most beautiful hotel lobby bar in London”. Behind the long bar, mixologists create theatrical smoking cocktails, while other guests opt for classic cocktails or a more austere glass of wine.
Beyond the amazing presence of the bar, in a few moments you will begin to notice the details. Some are more obvious than others, such as the exquisite art collection found throughout the building. 350 museum-quality pieces interrupt your walks and ask you to stop and notice, such as Justine Smith’s cartoon-covered cartoon Beano, which greets you at the entrance. Elsewhere, Emily Young’s stone-cut head of Dionysus makes you stop and make your way to the elevator. His boldest piece is the imposing ten-foot bronze statue, the rowing boatman in the lobby bar, by André Wallace, which dominates the room and is the cornerstone of his prestige.
There’s a certain mood in which you’ll find yourself at One Aldwych and you may not know why, as it’s a collection of things that create the atmosphere and the environment. One element is the beautiful flowers in the common areas and in the rooms. The hotel’s award-winning florist creates spectacular floral artwork in the lobby bar that regularly changes as a focal point of decoration.
The final part of the puzzle is the service. From a discreet concierge team with members of Les Clef D’or, to a responsive reception team and active dining staff, every interaction is warm, professional and friendly. There is never an air of snobbery on the part of any of them, yes professional, but always warm, approachable and willing to help you make your stay enjoyable.
One Aldwych’s rewarding overall experience continues in the rooms. Again, don’t expect anything flashy or in your face, in fact, it’s just the opposite and more the manifestation of restricted luxury. The quiet atmosphere is created with a palette of colors of sage, coral, gray and lavender and natural wood surfaces. Beyond the soothing color, the details are exquisite with Parisian touches, art deco elements and artistic details and moldings.
There are 93 rooms and 12 suites and, due to their strange shape, they are all unique in size and configuration. The angles of the ceiling add a spectacular touch to the accommodation and allow for unusual shapes, with theatrical curves on the ceilings even more striking with the elaborate lighting and ambience accessories.
The accommodation offers comfortable beds with Frette sheets and wool blankets made to measure by Skye Weavers from the United Kingdom. The hotel offers all the comforts and surprises you would expect in a five-star property, such as exquisite original artwork in each room to carefully selected coffee table books, freshly cut flowers and fresh fruit in your room. room every day. .
The suites are even more opulent with another level of amenities and features. The Somerset Suite is designed to impress the most tired travelers. Inside, the corridor leads to the view from the south end of the building and panoramic views over the Waterloo Bridge and the River Thames. At any time of the day, the scene is remarkable with cars and people coming and going with a backdrop of the London skyline beyond.
The oval-shaped living room is full of natural light and is quite spacious with plenty of space to spread out on the comfortable furniture. The decoration is exquisite with interesting original artwork, books to read, as well as a first-class audio system and smart TVs. The marble-clad bathrooms come first-class, as well as a separate shower and a bathtub with a TV to keep you entertained during an extra-long bathroom. Amenities include a free twice-daily minibar with local wine and beer, as well as snacks and other soft drinks.
The dining experience at One Aldwych is also exceptional. Whether it’s a casual meal in the lobby bar, first-class room service, your unusual afternoon tea, or dinner at their signature Indigo restaurant. Indigo is a well-regarded restaurant in the London gastronomic scene and known for its innovative one-touch British classic cuisine. The location is on the mezzanine just above the lobby bar with buzzing and people watching as it adds to the ambiance.
One thing that sets this restaurant apart is that those with certain dietary requirements do not have to worry, as it is completely dairy-free and gluten-free. The menu is seasonal and changes regularly with a focus on regional products. Expect to dine on dishes such as 28-day-old grass-fed Scottish veal served with roasted shallots, hand-cut chips and mild herb sauce, or Brixham monkfish stewed with lemon, coriander and coconut milk.
Afternoon tea in London is simply a must for any traveler. The One Aldwych offers its popular afternoon tea with a completely whimsical and fun concept. Theirs He has Charlie and the Chocolate Factory It is very popular, especially for families with young children. Instead of the predictable three levels of sandwiches and savory buns, expect an artistic display of fun snacks to eat with cotton candy, soda bottles with a chocolate milkshake.
One Aldwych has some extra comforts to offer your guests. The hotel has a projection room for up to 30 people with elegant leather armchairs with wide armrests, so you don’t have to fight your neighbor’s elbow for space. The popular venue is often used to see performances taking place at the Royal Opera House and other special events. Beyond that, there are regularly scheduled movie nights aptly named Film & Fizz, where guests have the perfect night with a three-course dinner at Indigo followed by a popcorn movie and fluid champagne for the night. The ideal evening ends with a dessert that follows.
One Aldwych also offers its guests state-of-the-art facilities as well as Technogym equipment, including cardiovascular machines, and a free weight zone. Tired travelers will also want to spend some time at their spa and sauna and steam facilities. Surprises and surprise factors don’t end there. A striking feature of this hotel is a 59-foot heated pool with ambient lighting and a video wall with an underwater sound system. Guests do not have to worry about biting or wearing glasses, the pool is also chlorine free.
One Aldwych also serves four-legged guests. The hotel has a place for your papier maché dogs and also welcomes its guests ’dogs. Furry friends stay at no extra cost and are offered a bed and a bowl as well as a special treat.
Campbell Gray once said the hotel was about “stealthy wealth instead of luxury drip,” and it’s the same today. I also didn’t want it to be a boutique hotel. He felt that such hotels follow the fashion of the day and soon fall into disgrace. Either way, this hotel has really stood the test of time with no end in sight. It remains the London standard for a five-star holiday, popular but never striking. The only Aldwych he will never be from London IT hotel, and that’s fine with the hotel caretakers and the guests staying there.