London hotels always distinctly underwhelm me. More often than not I find them cramped and overpriced, especially when compared with what you can get for your money elsewhere in the world. I know we are spoilt in Dubai with huge rooms and luxury furnishings and I’m aware that London is hampered by it’s longstanding, existing architecture but really, sometimes I think they’re taking the mick with their prices compared to their offerings.
Happily this wasn’t the case with the Rosewood London although the room and the bathroom could still have been a bit bigger. Seems like you can’t get a decent sized hotel room in London unless you want to pay an extortionate amount per night. As it was, we were lucky enough to be able to secure a corporate rate via The Husband’s company and as we booked last minute I was quite happy with this so in no position to complain.
The Rosewood has a fantastic location on High Holborn, just a ten minute walk from Covent Garden and a two minute walk from Holborn tube station. The hotel is housed in a 1914 Belle Epoque building and has the feel of a English country manor house more than a traditional London hotel. The service on arrival was excellent, doormen waiting to great us and help us out of the car with our luggage and a smooth, seamless check in at reception. As we’d previously stayed at two other Rosewood hotels in Abu Dhabi and Beijing both our phones connected to the wireless automatically which was a welcome change to faffing about with codes and signing up like we normally have to.
We booked an Executive King room which was perfectly adequate although nothing mind blowing. I did love the décor of the room though, very sleek and chic as you can see from the pictures. In fact the decor throughout the hotel was gorgeous, I loved the elegant opulence and the black and white stripes everywhere had me swooning. I’m a massive lover of stripes as I may have mentioned before.
As we were staying in one of the best cities in the world we didn’t actually spend a vast amount of time in the hotel but it was the perfect base for our trip being in such easy walking distance of the central areas of London and so close to the tube. We stopped in at the hotel bar, Scarfes bar, one evening for a night cap (water for me!) and absolutely loved the ambiance and the live entertainment they had on. It was definitely an occasion I could happily have snuggled into a booth with a bottle of good red wine and whiled a few hours away. As it was, we had a quick drink at the bar and headed to bed. I wasn’t impressed with being charged the 12.5% service charge when sitting at the bar, I can’t really see they did anything to warrant that. Bit cheeky.
My one big bugbear about our stay was the price of breakfast but this is not a complaint that limited to just the Rosewood. When we stayed at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge a couple of years ago the price of breakfast in the hotel was astronomical. Seriously – it was 45 GBP EACH! The Rosewood was slightly more reasonable but we still ended up paying 70 GBP for 2 x Granola, 2 Full English’s, toast, coffee and tea. There was of course the 12.5% service charge again on top. Not sure I agree with this being added on and I know you can ask for a new bill without it but then it just looks churlish and some days I feel you have to pick your battles. That day was not one of them so we just paid it and headed to Pret A Manger for breakfast the next day. At 13 GBP for two it was a fraction of the cost and still as satisfying!
- The location of this hotel couldn’t be better. Close to everything but not smack bang in the middle of tourist ville
- The beautiful building and decor of the hotel make for a very relaxing stay. Once inside, you feel quite cut off from the busy city outside
- Service was excellent at all times, especially at the front desk and the concirge. We couldn’t have asked for better.
- The hotel sent us a pre arrival questionnaire with lots of details such as did we want a high floor, away from lifts, extra pillows etc? This was a nice touch and I wish more hotels would do it.
- The rooms further down the scale are a bit small. I’m sure the suites are huge but unless you’re willing to remortgage you may be stuck with a smaller room.
- 12.5% service charge is automatically added at all F&B outlets in the hotel which seems excessive. You can however opt to have this removed.
- For a full cooked breakfast the charges are high although they’re not the only hotel to suffer from this malady. All London hotels seem to think breakfast is a cash cow.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Rosewood and due to location and gorgeous décor I would recommend to anyone thinking of visiting the Captial. Just watch out for those breakfast charges!