Staying at the Rosewood London is like having the keys to a “secret” side of the English capital.
For a long time, I didn’t believe in splurging on a fancy hotel when visiting a city as lively and dynamic as London. You’re there to hit the streets and meet locals, not curl up in bed and order room service, right?
Then I stayed at Rosewood London, a five-star hotel occupying an Edwardian mansion near Covent Garden; staying there was like having the keys to a “secret” side of the English capital, complete with after-hours visits to museums, first-row access to major sporting and cultural events, and even private appointments with skincare legend Dr. Barbara Sturm. Now, I can’t imagine visiting the Big Smoke and staying anywhere else.
Tucked behind wrought-iron gates that give onto a grand carriageway, Rosewood London takes up residence inside a Grade II-listed building dating back to 1912. There’s museum-worthy artwork and impressive architectural features around every corner: a Renaissance-style staircase streams across seven floors, the interiors are fitted with Cuban mahogany and seven kinds of marble (including extremely rare varieties such as Swedish Green and Statuary!), and the renowned British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe painted the walls of the legendary Scarfes Bar, one of the city’s top watering holes.
During my visit, I saw A-list celebrities lounging in the lobby and a parade of supermodels en route to the hotel’s 10th-anniversary party, held at the Tower of London and co-hosted by luxury jeweler Garrard. I later learned that guests of Rosewood London can borrow diamond tiaras and sparkling gems as part of a longstanding partnership with the brand, England’s original Crown Jeweler.
I could’ve spent all my time in the hotel. But it seemed a shame to travel across the pond and not take advantage of all the attractions on my doorstep, like the British Museum and the Royal Opera House, both of which are just a 10-minute walk away. Ultimately, it’s the hotel’s proximity —geographical and otherwise — to the best of the English capital that puts Rosewood London in a class of its own.
· The heritage-listed building makes you feel like you’re staying in an opulent English manor in the heart of London.
· The concierge can hook guests up with VIP experiences ranging from after-hours museum tours, private shopping tours on Savile Row, pitside access to the British Grand Prix, and more.
· There are four bars and restaurants, including the cheeky Scarfe’s Bar, where there’s nightly live music and excellent people-watching.
The hotel may be located on one of London’s busiest thoroughfares, but you’d never know it from the cocoon-like rooms and suites, which are among the city’s largest. The vibe is refined and residential, with marble and mahogany surfaces, beds wrapped in Rivolta Carmignani Italian linen, and views of the courtyard and the London skyline. For the ultimate splurge, consider bedding down in one of 10 signature suites designed by Tony Chi. I’d recommend the Grand Manor House, a six-bedroom, six-bathroom suite with its own postal code.
Food and Drink
There are four bars and restaurants at Rosewood London, including the cheeky Scarfe’s Bar, where there’s nightly live music and excellent people-watching.
The cuisine is worthy of a photoshoot. When I was there, London’s most in-demand food stylist, Imogen Kwok, had developed a tasting menu in the jewelbox-like Mirror Room.
Meanwhile, in the Pie Room, South African-born chef Nokx Majozi uses a variety of copper molds and decadent fillings to make British classics like beef Wellington and a South African-inspired peppered steak pie with suet pastry. Guests can even sign up for a private hands-on pie-making workshop with Majozi.
A private night of art and music at The National Gallery. Pitside access to the British Grand Prix. A comprehensive skin consultation by renowned facialist Dr. Barbara Sturm. A jewelry rental program with crown jeweler Garrard. At Rosewood London, guests have preferential access to the city and its unbeatable calendar of cultural and sporting events. Families, too, will have plenty to keep them busy — from a private Harry Potter tour of London to interactive visits to the London Zoo.
While the spa’s minimalist wood-clad interiors evoke Japanese design, the treatments are proudly British. Therapies draw on the healing power of local products such as English Rose and magnesium-rich Epsom salts, which were first discovered in southern England in the early 17th century. Also on offer are facials, skin peels, and LED light therapy at the Face Palace, a cult-favorite skincare clinic with locations in West Hollywood and New York City.
The hotel serves up central London on a silver platter. You’re a stroll away from the British Museum and the Royal Opera House and a 20-minute walk to the action of Piccadilly Circus. Ask the concierge about lending a vintage bike or setting off a self-guided literary walking tour that includes stops at the homes of Charles Dickens and W.B. Yeats.
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