More like a palace than a hotel, the majestic five star Rosewood London lives within an Edwardian courtyard, that you enter into through wrought iron gates, just off High Holborn.
We are greeted by dapper door men, dressed in the cutest tailored tweed suits and newsboy flat caps (courtesy of designer Nicholas Oakwell). It’s like being transported back in time, or walking on to a Charles Dickens film set. I almost expect a horse and carriage to pull up.
On the left of the courtyard is the entrance to the Holborn Dining Room restaurant where we were to eat that evening. There is an outdoor garden terrace, perfect for summer nights in the city, a peaceful oasis reminiscent of a giant greenhouse that has been host to the Botanist Gin this summer.
Feeling at home in the luxury lobby
One can’t help but be struck by the ultra luxurious design of the lobby (designed by Tony Chi and Associates). It sparkles and glistens – a lot of gold, mosaic marble flooring, exquisite oak armoires, plush sofas, an eclectic mix of books, individual pieces of art that celebrate different aspects of ‘Britishness’ and a parchment reception desk.
One of the most dramatic features is the Renaissance-style seven-storey Italian Grand Pavonazzo marble staircase. The staircase features seven different types of marble, some of which can no longer be found anywhere else in the world.
The lobby is also home to two dogs – one is a sculpture of the British Bulldog sitting proudly adorned with a Vivienne Westwood inspired collar. The other is a real resident and the owners dog, a golden retriever named Pearl.
At the Rosewood Hotel London, furry friends are most welcome and taken care of just as much as their human guests.
Dogs receive a sumptuous bed, delicious welcome treats, water/food bowls as well as Pearl’s Guide to London with recommendations from local dog-friendly restaurants, bars and parks.
Cats receive a comfortable bed, litter box, fun toys, welcome treats and drink / food bowls as well. All furry guests also receive a welcome card from Pearl.
Butler at your service
Whenever I stay in a hotel in my own city, my expectations are somehow greater of a five property. Having stayed in some of the best spa hotels around the world (Shangri-La Paris, Four Seasons Maldives Landaa Giraavaru, The Mark New York, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and the Six Senses Koh Yao Noi) to name a few, I am really looking for that extra touch.
This happens to be the first butler service in a London hotel i’ve come across. We get introduced at the reception before being escorted to our suite where he gives us a grand tour. His uniform is equally as smart and quirky as the door men’s. Unpacking of the suitcase is part the service which we kindly dismissed (not too keen on the idea of the Butler seeing my underwear).
I did however take full advantage of the ‘welcome drink’. A vegan chocolate smoothie along with a delicious vegan chocolate cake courtesy of the chef. Now you wouldn’t get that at many hotels delivered to you by a butler would you?
We spent the night in a two floor suite called Cupola house. It’s stunning and big enough for a family of four.
This was a suite I could have moved into and be happy ever after. Set on two floors, the downstairs has an office space, crystal decanters mini bar (stocked with free supplies – both snacks and alcohol) and cocktail shaking equipment.
Through to the bedroom there’s one enormous bed, a dressing room area with enough wardrobe space to spend a month there, and a marble-and-mirror, movie star style bathroom. There is a tv above the bath so I simply had to watch the news on a Monday morning whilst having a soak.
Upstairs there’s a large lounge area with a cosy sofa big screen TV and coffee table that’s home to a classic collection of travel and history books.
A vegan in the Holborn Dining Room
We ate at the bustling brasserie – Holborn Dining Room. A cross between country kitchen and US diner. The resident restaurant is all about classic British comfort food.
It was not the type of restaurant I would expect to cater to vegans but I was pleasantly surprised at the options. I was most pleased with my choice of a pea and mint soup to start with and an asparagus risotto for the main course. This was paired with a different vegan wines and a panna cotta for dessert.
We loved the atmosphere and ambiance. For a Sunday night it was busy and buzzing. The staff were very attentive and it’s a place i’d come to with friends socially.
Full marks again for the uniforms!. You can dine in the restaurant as an outside guest and I recommend you book in advance.
For cocktails or a night cap – Scarfes Bar
Named after the renowned British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe whose original artwork adorns the walls. The creative menu of cocktails and complimentary live jazz seven nights a week make this the place to come if you are looking for an atmosphere and good (strong) drink.
The Mirror Room
We had breakfast in the Mirror Room where we ordered the ‘healthy’ a la carte breakfast. Aptly named as it has mirrored ceilings and walls. It’s a very different vibe to the Dining Room. Come here for decadent Afternoon Tea with a twist.
Inspired by London’s vibrant and energetic art scene, the art-inspired afternoon tea includes a selection of mouth-watering finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and loose leaf teas accompanied by art-inspired pastries, created by Executive Pastry Chef, Mark Perkins.
Saving the best till last, this urban retreat features bamboo walls, soft lighting and wooden walkways over rippling water and pebble stones.
At Sense Spa there are an array of treatments and products available from specialty spa brands; Sodashi, Maison Caulières; Face Place; and now EviDenS de Beauté.
The treatment to try
Any treatment by the French-Japanese premium skincare pioneer, EviDenS de Beauté. These products are engineered to hydrate and encourage the natural production of collagen in skin.
The story goes that… more than ten years ago Founder Charles-Edouard Barthes created the line for his Japanese wife Eriko Nakamura and her sensitive skin. The result: exclusive skin care products that combine French elegance with Japanese most advanced skin care technologies and a never-ending quest for excellence, resulting in extraordinary effects reducing the signs of time.
The exclusive products, supported by an unparalleled level of service, provide unique solutions for healthy and radiant skin. The high performance face treatments are technologically advanced, effective and non-abrasive, delivering essential complexes to the skin.
You can download the spa menu here.
A sense of wellness – The Jameson Retreat
Embark on a fitness journey alongside Harry Jameson, the Rosewood’s personal trainer in residence, with The Jameson Retreat.
The Jameson Retreat is a three-day intensive programme which goes beyond the physical performance of fitness combining training, treatments and nutrition. Find out more info here.
Book a stay at Rosewood London
252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN, United Kingdom | +44 20 7781 8888