The Rosewood London, where English heritage meets contemporary sophistication.
When you’re staying in the British capital, it’s all about location. So, on a recent trip to London, my family and I stayed at the beautifully restored Rosewood Hotel. Situated in Holborn, where the City meets the West End, the hotel made it easy to travel to our favorite destinations. The Tube, Covent Garden, the Royal Opera House, West End theaters and local independent boutiques are just a short walk away.
The 1914 Edwardian Belle Époque-era gem was built as the Pearl Assurance Company’s headquarters; the building’s original features include Cuban mahogany doors and the Italian Pavonazzo marble grand staircase, which has an estimated value of $65 million. Many of the seven types of marble that adorn the staircase can no longer be found anywhere in the world.
This luxe property also boasts the only hotel grand courtyard in London. With its original carriageway and wrought iron gates, it feels like a private manor. At night, the herbal fragrance of vetiver emanates from the outdoor fire pit in the cobblestone courtyard, providing a euphoric backdrop upon arrival.
The hotel’s florist is also the Queen’s florist so the arrangements here are grand indeed. From the lobby to the restaurants, and in every hallway and room, exotic and unique flowers were on display.
After check-in, a butler escorted us to our suite, where we were greeted with handmade chocolate pastries in honor of my birthday (which happened to be that day). Nice touch. I immediately knew this would be a special place.
The 9-hour flight from Atlanta and 5-hour time change equaled jet lag, but we didn’t let that slow us down. We showered and headed out to explore, knowing the luxurious Tradelinens duvet and pillows (90 percent Hungarian goose down, 10 percent Siberian goose feather) awaited us on our return. We walked through Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, Hyde Park and Leicester Square, taking in the sights and sounds before dining in Chinatown and heading back for a good night’s sleep.
Our daily breakfast was in the Mirror Room, a striking salon that offers all-day social dining and afternoon tea. Breakfast offerings were homemade pastries, yogurts, fresh berries, smoked salmon and capers, omelettes, and much more. I was so enamored with the jams that the chef sent some with me upon departure.
For dinner, we visited the Holborn Dining Room where traditional British dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients. Pressed Ham Hock, Goat Cheese and Red Onion Tart; Dorset Rock; Steamed Jam Sponge; and Welsh Rarebit are just a few eclectic menu items. We were impressed with the selection of cured meats, and nibbled on a charcuterie platter before dinner.
A non-culinary indulgence during our stay was a few hours spent at the Sense Spa and Fitness Suite where the hallmark is relaxation. The softly lit walkways over rippling water and pebble stones, and Zen-inspired bamboo walls calmed our senses as we headed to the exclusive couple’s suite. The Spa features Sodashi plant products to nourish and balance the face and body and offers massages, facials, and manicures and pedicures.
Another hotel amenity is Scarfes Bar— named after renowned British caricature artist Gerald Scarfe—where the low-lit ambiance features a roaring fire, bookcases filled with more than 1,000 antique books, cozy velvet armchairs and sofa seating. The bar is also home to paneled walls displaying more than 70 caricatures depicting well-known faces in Scarfe’s witty, satirical style—David Beckham, Margaret Thatcher, Paul McCartney, Prince Charles, Simon Cowell and Mick Jagger, to name a few. With its creative cocktail menu, live music and fun atmosphere, there’s true meaning to the phrase “get scarfed.”
After three memorable days at the Rosewood, we headed to the countryside for some more R&R. Historic, sophisticated, yet calming, this “sense of place”—Rosewood London’s trademark— is one hotel we are sure to return to.
STORY: Joanne Hayes
Simply Buckhead is an upscale lifestyle magazine focused on the best and brightest individuals, businesses and events in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Chamblee. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the magazine serves as the authority on who to know, what to do and where to go in the community, and its surroundings.