Finding the right base in London is not easy. With many of its most well known hotels being overwhelmed by a formal mood that suits the mega wealthy, I knew that I’d have to find something far more playful. And given the comforts that I love as a fashion blogger (lots of wardrobe space, cool streetscapes for quick shoots, a vibey atmosphere, gyms and pools) – it’s a lot to ask from a boutique hotel in London, but I found one!
To be clear, although this article is part of a collaboration with One Aldwych, I approached the hotel rather than the other way around, because I wanted a lot from a base in London and I knew it would be totally on-brand for Miss Gunner.
Every great hotel needs a strong pulse. It might be a lively concierge, a bustling street life at the front door, or a rooftop pool. One Aldwych has a few assets that give it a lot of life – most notably the lobby bar, which is called “The Lobby Bar”! It’s a disarming space filled with wonderfully friendly staff, and it’s visible from the street, which has the effect of bringing Londoners in from the cold and into its moody lighting and extensive cocktail list. This is great, because while as a hotel guest I want to sleep in silence, I also love the idea of popping downstairs and mixing with a blend of locals and other guests in a lively bar. (NB: Although I’m not much of a drinker, Scott RAVED about the bar’s Old Fashioned. It’s his favourite cocktail, and they’ve hand-built a custom liquor cart especially for it. He said it’s the best he’s ever had – check out the pic of the cart below.)
In addition to the bar, it has a Basque restaurant “Eneko”, a modern British restaurant “Indigo” and a theatrical afternoon tea service – you’ll see more of these in the photos below. So for a boutique hotel, it punches well above its weight as far as entertainment goes (it even has a 30 seat cinema). And then there are the genuinely helpful little touches, like the tip cards left during the nightly turndown service that update you on surrounding events like West End shows, operas, food & wine attractions and art attractions as well as tomorrow’s weather. So I constantly got the sense that the hotel really cared about my London experience, beyond just the hotel, and this is why I’ve included plenty of pictures of the surrounding area. It is independently owned and has a huge private art collection, and I think the owners really want you to enjoy your stay.
Another thing that was a delightful surprise for London was the pool area – I thought it might be a token plunge pool that simply ticks the box, but it’s a heated 18-metre, chlorine-free pool with a cinema screen. Totally enjoyable space and it’s accompanied by a eucalyptus-infused steam room and a separate sauna. Given the weather was serving up days between 0 and 5 degrees celsius (32-41 Fahrenheit), it was so balancing to have a warm watery retreat downstairs to escape the cold.
Being just a few hundred metres from the centre of Covent Garden, I loved the location of this hotel and I think it has cemented itself as my new home for my London visits. The staff killed me with kindness and they all gave me such a genuine sense that they were there to ensure I enjoyed myself – obviously the management of this hotel is obsessed with pleasing their guests, and that clearly trickled down throughout all of the service staff – it was an amazing stay.
Special mention to the Howard Rombough, who looked after me and embodied every element and attribute of One Aldwych, and for good reason – he’s been looking after the brand of this great place for some 15 years. I get the sense that they turn over very few staff and Howard was a living example of the hotel’s dedication to the guest experience.
* This article is not an independent review and should not be considered as such