There have been a number of notable luxury hotel openings in London this year, but one of the most hotly anticipated new spots just opened its doors on Leicester Square.
The Londoner was envisioned by the family-owned Edwardian Hotels London group to feel like a boutique hotel, even though it holds a hefty 350 rooms and stretches 16 stories high; it’s a vibe they are dubbing “super boutique.” To evoke the intimate feeling of a smaller hideaway, the company enlisted renowned architectural designers Yabu Pushelberg to craft spaces that feel personal and authentically connected to the location. So in addition to a minimal neutral palette and modern British sensibility, you’ll find nods to British humor, and a multifaceted art collection that spans a mixture of genres, media and price points.
There are also plenty of “wow” elements—starting with the suites, many of which have spacious living and dining areas, terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows. Topping the suite options is the duplex Tower Penthouse, a 2,153-square-foot retreat with globally sourced art, sculptures and furnishings, a striking wooden staircase, a skylight, a bar made of Calacatta Tucci marble and a bathroom with wall-to-wall windows and an Apaiser bathtub.
All rooms, suites or not, include access to the Residence, a 24-hour clubhouse exclusive to in-house guests and hidden away from the hotel at large. There, you’ll find a library stocked with Assouline tomes and board games, a dedicated concierge desk, spaces for working and relaxing and a bar and lounge in which you can order from an a la carte menu and reserve wine list. You can also grab something from the complementary roving Residence Cart, which is laden with different treats throughout the day (think freshly baked goods at breakfast and antipasti in the evenings). Down a “secret” passage you’ll find the 14-seat Whisky Room, where enthusiasts can enjoy rare, renowned and recently released spirits.
Those who haven’t checked in to a room can still join in on the fun at the hotel’s drinking and dining outlets, which were developed by Amir Jati, creative director at Edwardian Hotels London, and the Londoner’s executive chefs Matt Downes, Shailesh Deshmukh and Neil Armstrong (it’s a team that’s been responsible for several award-winning restaurants in London, including Peter Street Kitchen and Mayfair Kitchen.)
Choices include the ground-level Joshua’s Tavern, a neighborhood-y spot named for 18th-century portrait artist (and Leicester Square local) Sir Joshua Reynolds. Its menu features over 50 regionally sourced gins, each paired with a curated selection of garnishes, tonics and house-infused bitters; there are also vintage gins, copper tank beers, bar bites and live music. Meanwhile, off the lobby, the Stage is all about vintage and prestige bubbles, from its Champagne-fueled breakfast and afternoon tea to the evening menu of dishes that complement bubbly, such as rock oysters, caviar, charcuterie and artisan cheeses.
At Whitcomb’s, the signature restaurant, a seasonal menu of contemporary French and Mediterranean favorites—escargot with white wine, garlic and nduja lemon butter; seared filet mignon with chanterelle and aged parmesan; grilled lobster with cognac—is served in a beautiful dining room and on a terrace overlooking Leicester Square. More views can be enjoyed at 8 at the Londoner, an indoor-outdoor rooftop izakaya lounge offering modern Japanese cuisine, from intricate small plates (like gyoza tacos) and extensive robata options to sashimi and sushi rolls; it’s all overseen by Chef Kuenhi Won, previously of Nobu. Dine under the retractable skylights, around the firepits or in the Shima Garden.
Capping off the hotel’s in-house offerings is the Retreat, an entire subterranean level dedicated to wellness. Along with a spa, salon, barber and nail bar, it’s got a pool, private training gym and fitness classrooms, plus a superfood-forward café. The health of the planet is addressed at the Londoner, too: During development, the hotel secured a $206 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will be used to ensure the property exceeds the criteria outlined by BREEAM, a third-party assessor of environmental and sustainable building performance. Rates start at $471 per night.
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