London has always been a pioneer in the world of fashion, music, art and culture. So it seems only natural that the world’s largest luxury boutique hotel is moving to London. And what an amazing place it is.
Premiere in 2021, The Londoner is owned and operated by Edwardian Hotels London and is unlike anything the hospitality industry has ever seen. Six of its 16 levels are actually located underground, and building the site has proven to be a remarkable feat of engineering. The goal from day one of planning this impressive structure was to build a luxury hotel with a lighter footprint and the highest levels of sustainability practices. Everything from its design to its brand partners and suppliers is focused on environmental responsibility.
But what makes The Londoner stand out from other luxury hotels? My response after a three night stay at this amazing place is… everything. The hotel is beautiful, sporting nearly $ 2 million worth of artwork. It has been designed for ultimate comfort with plenty of personal space from its many private alcoves. And it really has a chic and unique vibe unlike any other London establishment.
Location is everything
One of the main advantages of staying at the Londoner is its proximity to many of London’s most popular attractions. Located in Leicester Square in the West End, the hotel is within walking distance or a short cab ride of many London favorites. I have been to London on many tours and this hotel is ideally located for exploring this vibrant city.
The hotel experience
Even the registration process is unique. The doormen greet visitors in evening dress and with a warm and courteous welcome. No standing at a check-in counter. Each guest is seated and offered tea or other beverages as they chat in comfortable lobby chairs with the professional, engaging and knowledgeable staff. After this check-in, clients are then personally escorted to their suite and familiarized with its amenities.
Rooms and Suites
The Londoner, member of the Legend Collection of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, offers 350 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites. Each is individually designed and spacious, providing a true sanctuary of relaxation. My accommodation was a corner suite with stunning views of the London Eye and Big Ben. But the best surprise was when the bell boy pointed out that right outside my bathroom window was the house that Isaac Newton lived in.
The king-size bed features 400-thread-count Irish linens, feather pillows and a luxurious mattress topper. Sleep came very easily in this extremely comfortable bed.
The room also included a luxury lounge chair and a desk. An in-room welcome cart provided plenty of complimentary drinks, wines and cocktails. A Smart TV included Google Chromecast. The lighting in the room was controlled by a central Lutron system. International travel plugs were also included in the room – a really nice touch as I had mistakenly left mine at home.
My bathroom had a beautiful marble vanity with an illuminated theater mirror, London-based Miller-Harris luxury bath products, a Dyson hairdryer, a fluffy bathrobe, and padded slippers. One of my favorite bathroom features was the premium Japanese Toto sink (toilet) with a heated seat. And then there’s the deep soaking tub, absolutely perfect after a day of exploring London.
Every evening I received turndown service, a luxury towel on the floor with my slippers on top. The suites also include a doorbell and electronic “do not disturb” system.
Dinner and drink at the Londoner
Guests have the choice of dining at five unique restaurants and bars in addition to ordering room service. Breakfast delivered to my room was the perfect way to start each day. Food is kept in a heated tray before being placed on a table covered with white linen. And the service – simply superb.
The Londoner’s restaurants, unsurprisingly, were top notch. Whitcomb’s is the signature dining experience offering contemporary French cuisine with a touch of other Mediterranean influences. The chef offered a tasting menu that allowed tasting both starters and main courses. The extensive wine list pays special homage to French terroirs. The Dover sole sautéed in citrus garlic butter was outstanding, although everything on the menu was a five star delight.
8 at The Londoner is located on the 8th floor of the hotel offering a magnificent setting to contemplate and graze. Its decadent izakaya lounge honors the informal and traditional Japanese dining style. The innovative cocktails are impressive, as are its mouth-watering Japanese culinary creations. Our table of five ordered a group of small dishes that included Wagyu beef, fish, seafood, and vegetarian options. The Wagyu was superb and tender, the seafood tasty and flavorful just like every appetizer we have tasted.
I loved the Shima Outdoor Garden with its fiery central fireplace. It is a charming place for a gathering for small bites with a distinctive Zen atmosphere.
Mediterranean-inspired antipasti are the specialty of The Residence, a collection of three pretty spaces designed just for hotel residents. Customers can order cocktails, small plates, and then head to a secret “whiskey room” for a tasting of premium whiskeys and bourbons. It’s an incredibly fun experience.
Afternoon tea at the stage
Located in the center of the hotel lobby, The Stage is a champagne bar serving breakfast, afternoon tea and evening small plates and cold meats.
Reservations are required for afternoon tea, a must experience. This English tradition is impeccably carried out here, starting with champagne followed by a choice of English teas, a sandwich tower, and then a delicious selection of artful pastries. There is nothing like afternoon tea in London, and at this hotel it is executed to perfection. The only thing missing was Mary Poppins!
We also loved the live piano performances, a much appreciated accompaniment to an already perfect afternoon.
Raise a pint at Joshua’s Tavern
Inspired by Joshua Reynolds, an 18th-century artist and former Leicester Square resident, Joshua’s Tavern is a neighborhood gathering place for small bites, gin, draft beer, and specialty cocktails. It’s the Londoner’s only beverage and dining establishment that non-hotel guests can frequent from a separate exterior entrance.
It’s totally fun and entertaining. And if that’s not enough, Joshua offers live musical performances. Bartenders are jovial, talented and creative. It’s a really cool place to whet your whistle or whet your appetite.
Relax in retirement
Hotel guests have access to a 24-hour high-tech gym, as well as an incredibly quiet and beautiful Hydro Pool surrounded by private cabanas. But most people head to The Retreat, located across an entire wellness floor to disconnect, unplug, and relax in an immersive therapeutic setting.
This underground wellness floor is a sanctuary from the bustle of London offering healing, holistic remedies, body treatments and my favorite, massage therapy. Clients can choose from several treatments ranging from calming to deep tissue. I already knew that after my long flight from LA to London I was going to have a relaxing and soothing massage. The 60 minute treatment was one of the best I have ever had, and I could not have been more satisfied.
From the moment I arrived until the time I left after my stay at the Londoner I couldn’t help but repeat the same phrase over and over again “This experience is unlike any other I have ever had lived. “
Aristotle once said: “Quality is not an act. It’s a habit.”
Years of planning and meticulous attention to detail have gone into this luxury boutique hotel and its operations.
The Londoner does it well. They set the bar very high when it comes to luxury, service and they delivered. They didn’t just meet the standard; they blew it out of the water.