Overview: Opened in October, the 306-room Rosewood London is United States-based Rosewood’s first European hotel, and the luxury hotel group has made quite a splash. The posh, residential-style rooms and living room-like lobby were designed by Tony Chi (Stonehill Tavern in Dana Point; Mandarin Oriental New York).
The Location: In the heart of London’s theater district, Covent Garden, the hotel occupies an eight-story Edwardian manor that dates to 1912. Guests enter the Rosewood through a gated carriageway off the Dickens-era High Holborn Street, arriving in the hotel’s dramatic inner courtyard, instantly swept away from the city’s frenetic modern hustle.
Room: Grand Premier Suite No. 338. The grand premier suites are the hotel’s mid-range suites, and wow, this one is a stunner, with a luxurious living room and one of the best minibars ever created (crystal decanters filled with complimentary liquors, plus fresh fruit garnishes and mixers). The heavily gilded marble-and-mirror bathroom is fit for a Duchess, if not quite the Queen herself. The suite is serviced by butlers (coffee? ironing? sandwich?), of course, who have their own back-door entrance. This being London, the bed is naturally too soft (the norm here), but not quite the sinkhole of other five-star hotels in the city.
Food/drink: Opened in March, Holborn Dining Room is a sprawling British gastropub. Next door, the hotel’s elegant Scarfes lounge has quickly become one of the city’s hottest night spots, with a see-and-be-seen bar and lots of private alcoves and nooks.
WiFi: Lightening-fast and complimentary.
Public spaces: The lobby is quaint and communal, like a residential living room with live birds and a self-serve cucumber-water bar (not that the staff actually give you a chance to serve yourself; they’re always there to lend a hand). Insider tip: Look out for the house bulldog.
Service: This is Rosewood luxury at its best. The perfectly groomed and manicured staff look like supermodels, always appearing before you even know you needed them.
Cost: $1,670 for the Grand Premier Suite. Standard rooms start at $575.
Bottom line: This is truly a world-class luxury hotel on par with the Four Seasons Georges V in Paris, the St. Regis in Rome or The Mark in New York. It is outrageously expensive, yes, but no more so than the competition, which, in London, is formidable.
Where: 252 High Holborn
Phone: 44 (0) 207-781-8888
This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register. To view more of my work for the Register, check out the archives. I also invite you to follow me and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.