At a Glance
Rosewood has made a major statement with its thoroughly modern yet distinctly British Rosewood Hotel London property, which is located just off-the-beaten path in London's Holborn neighborhood.
- The seven-story Pavonazzo marble staircase that is insured for £40 million
- The Grand Manor House Wing suite which has its own entry off High Holborn and is the only suite in the world with its own postal code
- The hotel curators who can provide access to private clubs and artists’ workshops in the neighborhood
- That all suites have access to the Manor Club, a private retreat with dedicated concierges and light food and drinks served through the day
- The private courtyard entryway, which adds to the grand allure of the property
With its first hotel in London in a decade (the company formerly managed the Lanesborough), Rosewood Hotels has made a major statement. This is a hotel that feels thoroughly modern and distinctly British at the same time. No expense was spared in glamming up the Edwardian Belle Epoque building that once housed the Chancery hotel, and hoteliers around town will concede that it is a stunning property. The wow starts when the car pulls up from High Holborn Street through wrought-iron gates into a grand courtyard. A team of tweed-clad doorman usher you into the lobby, which promptly makes clear that this is not your grandfather’s British hotel.
Black-and-white striped marble floors and lots of mirrors add glamour and bookshelves piled with hip coffee table books and contemporary art pieces bring charm. Tables are set with flowers, books, bowls, lanterns and whimsical sculptures, as well as huge birdcages with colorful chirping residents. These quirky touches continue into the 262 guest rooms and 44 suites where there are touches like silver and horn trays with fruit, interesting books on London and blue and white porcelain or shagreen boxes. The palette throughout is muted with grey-and-white checked carpets that evoke British tailoring and refined wooden chairs that resemble Sir David Linley’s pieces. In the bathrooms, the marble sinks have pewter basins, Czech and Speake fixtures and decorative ceramic cups. It’s a subtle and sophisticated aesthetic that seems more residential than your typical hotel.
And yet all of the bells and whistles that you want in a great city hotel—a fitness room, spa and great dining venues are here. In fact, Scarfe’s Bar has become one of the buzziest spots for cocktails in the city thanks to its live music and Gentlemen's Club–like vibe. The brasserie Holborn Dining Room teems with locals and guests from breakfast until late, and for those who want a more formal dining experience, the Mirror Room has a Gordon Ramsay protégé in the kitchen. British history remains revered (there’s a seven-story marble staircase that is insured for 40 million pounds and the guest room doors were modeled on the front door of 10 Downing Street) but a cutting-edge glamour brings London of today into the scene. Even the handsome staff here is outfitted in country tweeds that seem to immediately signify a new English era.
Since it opened in October of 2013, London’s other hoteliers have been conceding that it is a stunning property but they follow it up with a dig at its location. The property is not in the more typical central areas of Knightsbridge or Mayfair, and yet for those looking for easy access to Soho, the West End, the City or a more authentically British area of London, its location in Holborn could be viewed as a plus. (Read Melissa’s JBF London: Neighborhood To Know).
Who Should Stay
Anyone looking for a super stylish hotel with great restaurants and a location near the West End. Or those who want a fabulous apartment residence and butler service (there are eight “houses,” including one with its own entrance and zip code, so it’s no surprise that celebrities and dignitaries are checking in).
Who Should Not Stay
Anyone who feels that they have to be in the heart of Mayfair or Knightsbridge. It is a ten- to fifteen-minute taxi ride away.
Read Upon Arrival London to discover points of interest within a few blocks of the hotel.
Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley