London’s first iceberg hotel, The Londoner, is an urban sanctuary amidst the chaos of Leicester Square.
A relatively fresh face on the London hotel scene, this hidden gem is fast becoming an icon for its unique eight-storey structure and style so unique it epitomizes its own category; the Great shop.
No, that’s not an oxymoron, and yes, I was skeptical at first too.
Let me explain – the Londoner is home to 350 rooms and suites plus an array of dining options while embodying the look and feel of a boutique hotel; carefully selected works of art adorn the walls, the service retains personal touches and it’s all fair… comfortable.
The hotel sits on the southwest corner of Leicester Square, bordering London’s iconic Soho and Covent Garden areas.
The nearest tube stop is Leicester Square, which is less than a five-minute walk away, but you don’t have to go far to find fantastic restaurants and bars with the lively bars and boutique eateries of Soho within walking distance, right next to China. Town.
Entertainment is also around the corner – you are in the West End, after all! London’s biggest theaters are all a stone’s throw away, and if it’s art you’re looking for, the National Gallery is right next door.
Upon entry, you’re instantly greeted by at least two doormen and usually two or three front desk clerks before you even step into the lobby, which looks more like a bustling cafe (or bar, depending on the time of day). the day) than when running from the reception of the Hôtel du Moulin.
Check-in was smooth and I was served a cup of tea while we went over the details, followed by a quick tour on the way to my room to give me the lay of the land.
The design elements of the Londoner’s public spaces are eclectic but perfectly curated; every detail gives you the impression of a carefully chosen and thoughtful approach, from the artwork to the lighting fixtures.
The room itself – a Deluxe King City View room – was spacious and designer without losing sight of small comforts, with elegant and soft furnishings, including a very pretty dusty pink lounge chair to perch on while you admire the seen.
And what a view! The floor-to-ceiling windows provide an excellent view of the London skyline, with Nelson’s Column, the London Eye and the National Gallery all visible from my room. The best part – the windows can be opened to let in fresh air; a luxury too rare in most city hotels.
Personal touches are also in abundance. My room had a Bluetooth speaker, a Nespresso pod coffee machine, East India Company teas (and delicious marmalade biscuits!), pre-mixed Avantgarde cocktails in the minibar, a smart TV with Chromecast, bedside USB ports (so you don’t have to fiddle with powerpoint converters to charge your phone) and the cutest handcrafted umbrella with a duck’s head on the handle to help brave London’s rainy days.
Not to mention the deliciously scented toiletries from Miller Harris and the Toto Japanese toilet with heated seat.
Breakfast is served at The Stage (the bustling café-meet-bar situation you encounter at the entrance), where you can also enjoy afternoon tea, an aperitif and the occasional performance local musicians.
You can also have breakfast in your room for an additional £3 and enjoy a separate menu which includes a curated approach to full English breakfast and a French breakfast similar to that of an upmarket Parisian hotel as well only a la carte options.
The main restaurant – Whitcomb’s – is delightfully British in design, yet French Mediterranean in its palate with simple yet elegant dishes prepared from carefully selected ingredients. Here you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner that pays homage to French cuisine with a wine list to die for.
8 at The Londoner, the hotel’s rooftop bar, is izakaya-style and serves small plates of delicious Japanese and botanical fusion cocktails. The views are spectacular and the bar also has a terrace and a beautiful Shirma garden.
Also on offer is Joshua’s Tavern, a tribute to Sir Joshua Reynolds, an 18th century portrait painter and former resident of Leicester Square. Here you can sample locally sourced gins, a selection of perfectly crafted Gintonicas, a selection of refreshing draft beers and a contemporary food menu with tavern treats.
Here is where we come to the lower eight floors. Half of the hotel is actually located underground; a claustrophobic outlook for me at first, but something rarely discernible for guests – especially since the subterranean part is home to the hotel’s delightful wellness offering.
The spa is a tranquil retreat with a pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, and secluded cabanas. The treatment selection is packed with luxury brands and expertly led with facials from Omorovicza, massages from Ila, body treatments from Ishga, and men’s treatments from Gentlemen’s Tonic.
Here you will also find a nail salon, hair salon, men’s grooming center and a well-equipped gym.
Good to know
What is particularly special about the Londoner is the Residence.
Your room key also gives you access to three impeccably designed guest areas, including the Y Bar, the Drawing Room and the Whiskey Room, where you can enjoy free antipasti, soft drinks, tea and coffee while throughout the day and night, as well as a full bar. service and a catering menu available for an additional fee.
You’ll also find a library of handcrafted Assouline books, classic board games and the latest lifestyle newspapers and magazines.