1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
With so many globally recognised 5-star luxury hotel brands in London, you’d think it would be hard for an independent to gain much traction. Not so for the 105 room and suite contemporary luxury One Aldwych hotel. Housed in a lovely 1907 heritage-listed Edwardian building just steps from top West End theaters, One Aldwych stands out as a relatively affordable high-end London hotel in an unbeatable location (from a tourist perspective).
But the hotel is so much more than it’s stunning building (which was originally built for the London Morning Post News by the same architects behind the Paris and London Ritz hotels). To us, the hotel stands out foremost because of its unique approach to service and guest experience. The staff to guest ratio is among the highest in the city (we were told), which means more personalized service and a highly organized an well-run hotel. And at One Aldwych you’ll never see room service trays in the hallway or Make Up Room signs hanging on doors. The hotel consciously strives to keep the guest area hallways clean and free of any clutter or distraction.
Inside the rooms at One Aldwych, it’s all contemporary luxury, with Frette bed linens, high-end bath fixtures and amenities and original artwork. Every room and suite gets fresh flowers and fruit each day, which makes for a nice touch. Entry-level rooms are between 24 and 27sqm, with most around 34sqm, which is sizeable for London. Best of all, the rooms feature incredible sound-proofing to the outside world. Though your window may look out onto bustling theater-going crowds or double-decker city busses and cabs, the rooms remain a quiet sanctuary. This is thanks to excellent double windows and a very solid building to start with.
Guests at One Aldwych are easily tempted out of their comfortable rooms by the hotel’s excellent dining options and full-service fitness and spa facilities. We were quite amazed by the 18m chlorine-free pool, which featured underwater music (!) and cool mood lighting. The fitness center is massive and well-equipped, and the spa boasts three large treatment rooms. Another guest-only facility is the [email protected] Alwdych, a sort of private club for guests where you can get a martini or browse books hand selected by famed UK fashion designer Paul Smith.
The hotel’s two restaurants, Axis and Indigo, are several steps ahead of your typical 5-star hotel restaurant, especially Axis, which features a strong regional British farm-to-table food program. But our favorite was the Lobby Bar, named by the Sunday Telegraph as one of the top five hotel bars in the world. Judging by the several cocktails we sampled, we would tend to agree.
If a more modern luxury hotel experience is what you're after, check out the uber fashionable Me London next door. We love both hotels!
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