British Airways invited me to go to Wimbledon for an exclusive look on how Wimbledon Tours run their operation (Here’s the story) and of course I didn’t turn it down. They put me up at the Rosewood London (252 High Holborn London, WC1V 7, EN, United Kingdom Phone: +44 20 7829 9888) which is near the heart of London — Covent Garden is about 12 minute walk away!
Since I was only in London for 36 hours I spent most of my time outside of the hotel but that’s a shame because the Rosewood London is absolutely diving. When my taxi pulled up to the 20th century grand Edwardian edifice with 262 rooms and 44 suites I realized I’ve stayed here before — just a couple of years ago for the 2012 Olympics! Except then it was called the Chancery Court Hotel and the interiors looked completely different. The new owners spent a lot of money refurbishing it and here are 5 things to know about Rosewood London …
The Rosewood London is situated at the geographic center of London. The River Thames along with numerous world-renowned galleries, museums and theaters are just a short walk away. If you are a public transportation fan like me then you will love that the Holburn Tube station (take a right out of the station or left out of the hotel) is just 500 feet (140 meters) away. Here’s a London Tube Map and get an Oyster Card if you plan on taking multiple rides.
- London City Airport (LCY) 9 miles (14 km)
- Heathrow Airport (LHR) 18 miles (29 km)
- Gatwick Airport (LGW) 30 miles (48 km)
- London Stansted Airport (STN) 36 miles (58 km)
Major Rail Stations
- St. Pancras International (Eurostar Terminal) 1.1 miles (1.7 km)
- King’s Cross Station 1.1 miles (1.8 km)
- Paddington Station 2.7 miles (4.3 km)
- Euston Station 1 mile (1.6 km)
- Waterloo Station 1.1 miles (1.8 km)
- Liverpool Street Station 1.7 miles (2.8 km)
252 High Holborn began construction in 1912 and was originally the headquarters for the Pearl Assurance Company. According to the hotel’s website the Rosewood London “is situated in one of the capital’s most historic thoroughfares, High Holborn, a road that dates back to Roman times. The Manor of Holborn was mentioned in 1086 in the Domesday Book, a land survey, and through the Middle Ages, as the City of London developed, the district took on an increasingly significant role. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Inns of Court were founded nearby, establishing the district as the centre of the British legal profession. As the district grew in importance, so too did its residents. Former Holborn occupants include Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Thomas More, John Milton, Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens. Dickens wrote Pickwick Papers while living here, and set scenes from many novels in the area, including Pip and Herbert Pocket’s home in Great Expectations.” Here’s more on the Rosewood London’s history. http://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/london/about/our-story
When I stayed at Chancery Court Hotel a couple of years ago I thought it was plush. But after Rosewood got their hands on it and pumped some serious money into it the hotel is now one of London’s most luxurious properties. The arrival alone is worth a visit as it features a central carriageway entrance and dome leading into a grand courtyard which immediately provides a calm sanctuary away from the bustle of the city. The interiors are filled with Cuban mahogany and seven types of marble, including extremely rare types such as Swedish Green and Statuary. But the most dramatic feature is the Renaissance-style seven-story grand staircase. Rather than having placards with room numbers on the wall they have antique books pointing guests in the direction of their room.
All the beds have Rivolta Carmignani Italian Linens and an extensive pillow selection (the comforter was too heavy for my liking). And the rooms are outfitted with a Geneva Sound System with iPod/iPhone docking station, 46-inch LED television, wireless telephones, Nespresso coffee machine, high quality toiletries and soft bathrobes. Rates begin at $585 USD.
The Rosewood London has only been open since October of 2013 but it has already earned numerous awards including:
- Best New Hotel in the World 2014 – Telegraph Ultratravel
- The Hot List 2014 (UK) – Condé Nast Traveller
- The Hot List 2014 (US) – Condé Nast Traveler
- The It List 2014 – Travel & Leisure
5. Great food
The Rosewood London has several restaurants and happening bars but I ate two meals in their Holborn Dining Room which is a buzzy modern British brasserie. The menu is made up of traditional British dishes made from locally sourced ingredients and is divided into eight sections: Bar Snacks, Cold Counter, Hot Counter, Grill, English Kitchen, Sides, Sandwiches and Afters. One night I had the Chicken paillard that comes with curry sauce and mango salsa and was excellent. Same goes for the Spelt risotto with broad bean, peas and mint. And since it was warm out we dined on their outdoor patio (when the sun went down around 10pm) it was nice to have the heaters and blankets (you just need to ask). For dessert I tried their Chester Pie basically because I’ve never heard of it but it was basically lemon meringue pie. It was good but their Valrhona chocolate pot with sweet cream was unreal.
Here’s a helpful resource for planning a trip to London.