Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

One Aldwych

United Kingdom

Confidently parades fresh interiors, two restaurants, an uber-stylish bar and a 5 Star swimming pool and spa

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One Aldwych
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One Aldwych

Location

Covent Garden, in the heart of theatre town

Travel Information

London City airport - 25 mins
London Heathrow - 45 mins
London Gatwick - 1+ hours
Nearest Tube - Covent Garden

Top Tips

The restaurant offers a special theatre menu, so that you can enjoy your meal following a performance

5-Star X-Factors

Walking distance from 15 of the West End's best theatres, as well as the Royal Opera House

Take a bow One Aldwych

If you don't fall in love with One Aldwych at the first encounter then, at the very least, you will leave with deep respect. It is a staggeringly smooth, slick, stylish tour de force in a magically theatrical location. One Aldwych was built in 1907 by Mewes and Davis for The Morning Post newspaper. The exterior glistens with the patina of its past and the architecture stands out as something quite unique on this culture-laden street.

This is partly due to the fa├žade being fashioned in Norwegian granite, which sparkles in the morning sun as its mica flakes reflect the rays. It has a Parisian feel with its mansard slate roof, its coppered cupola dome and curved corners. A stunning building.

The lobby, which was the only part of the interior seen by the public, is therefore dramatically spacious with enormous arched windows and oak panelling. They have filled this space extremely well and it has the gravitas of a world-class hotel. Wonderfully welcoming, it beckons you to sit comfortably on one of the cosy armchairs or sofas, or to street gaze while sitting at a table by a window in one of the extraordinary high-backed Chinese chairs.

What's more, the bar is fabulously laid out and bulging with promise, shaking up the very best martinis. There are 19 different variations to this classic drink and the Below Passion Martini (42 Below Passion Fruit Vodka, fresh passion fruit, a dash of lime and cranberry juice in a perfectly frosted glass) is an interval showstopper. We were there on a Sunday evening, a night that conjures up images of empty hotel lobbies, yet this place was gently humming.

The mastermind

Gordon Campbell Gray, the creator of One Aldwych (and Carlisle Bay) is the man with the vision who placed his private, Tate Modern-worthy art collection throughout the hotel and encouraged the lavish use of giant orchids to add an inspired exotic touch. British designer Mary Fox Linton has interpreted the story of Campbell Gray's dream with skill, innovation and immense flair.

Together they have created one of the most stylish hotels in London, or any city, and the fact that in five minutes you can be in Covent Garden, watching some outrageous display of unashamed exhibitionism, or within the same brief time you could be inside a West End theatre, is such an exciting bonus that the combination of hotel and location makes the experience quite fantastical.

Suite life

I have almost run out of hymns of praise, though not quite. We myself and our privileged eldest stayed in an upgraded Executive Suite. Her first word, once we had been shown around our 'pied de terre' with the most transfixing views of London's Theatre-land, was 'Eureka!'. I read a review in which a journalist mentions that it is time for One Aldwych to move on. Where on earth to? Why would you want to change such timeless appeal is beyond me.

The silks are from Jim Thompson in colours you should want at home; the furnishings are thanks to Mary Fox Linton, arguably one of the most experimental and evolved interior designers in Britain and the artwork is authentic and covetable (for your dream loft apartment overlooking the Thames). The bathrooms are fabulously finished with warm chestnut brown Terrazo stone and contemporary Philippe Starke fittings. The lighting, too, is spot on, as is the list of traveller amenities: free WiFi, Bang & Olufsen flat screen TVs, a brilliant digital entertainment system and just about everything else you could think of.

The attention to detail, the superb quality of fittings, fixtures and soft furnishings are something to rave about. I took a peak at one of the three studio suites with views straight across Waterloo Bridge and I longed to go back to the future and change the location of my proposal. Very nice indeed.

Dinner and dreams

The fun aspect of Indigo restaurant is that you are raised on a mezzanine level above the lobby so that you can look down on the colourful nightlife or near a window. We chose the former and selected light and delicious dishes: the carpaccio of beef really had an excellent flavour and the scallops were fresh and lightly sealed with a hint of truffle.

From boosting breakfasts to power lunches, dinner dates to post-theatre supper, Indigo showcases innovative and thoughtful food, courtesy of Executive Chef Dominic Teague. Focusing on seasonal ingredients, carefully sourced from the British Isles, dishes are inspired by suppliers such as Rhug Estate's exceptionally good organic meat and renowned forager Yun Hider's wild vegetables and herbs - See more at: http://www.onealdwych.com/food-drink/indigo#sthash.1ARVOtR8.dpuf

Back in our suite we chose a blockbuster classic from the extensive film list and lay back on the bed with our bottles of water feeling like two very fortunate, extremely spoilt luxe-trotters.

The following morning, after a perfect breakfast of fresh bursting berries and creamy porridge, we went back to Covent Garden to Jubilee Hall, a Grade-2 listed building, which was built in 1904 and reopened by the Queen in 1987. The Monday Jubilee Market was bubbling with activity. Trinkets, attic rubbish, serious vintage Patek Philippe and much more is laid out in stalls for bargain hunters and tourists alike.

Our final treat was in the health club at One Aldwych. I loved the French Carita products, which really do make your skin feel so much softer and I'm sure I left with fewer lines. Or, perhaps, that comes about from a rejuvenating stay in a platinum class hotel.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer