Hotel Cafe Royal

LONDON, ENGLAND

“Hopping back and forth to and from London for work and pleasure, I get to experience a lot of the city’s newest and best hotels. However, few have given me such a pleasant surprise as the recently re-opened Café Royal. Located on Regent Street, it’s not in my usual preferred location (the area gets incredibly busy with tourists and shoppers), but I thought I’d give it a go to see if the new incarnation lived up to the old reputation. Inside, it is a world away from the central hustle bustle.

For starters, I was surprised to find that the noise factor was none. Stayed on the second floor looking onto Regent – could see the city passing by – but never heard a sound. Interiors are stunning, a mix of original features and mid-century modernism. Rooms feel spacious and contemporary (apart from the six impressive and individual Historic Suites). My guestroom, though a double, felt like a suite with an extra vestibule before arriving at the bed and bathroom – which were extraordinarily designed (like the rest of the hotel, very minimalistic chic). For instance, the entire bathroom is marble – one piece simply flows throughout – it’s amazing. Even the sink stopper and bathtub were hand carved out of marble. I was concerned service wouldn’t match up to established classics like Claridge’s or The Dorchester, but the butlers are veterans of London’s top hotels and everything is quick, efficient and pre-emptive.”
- Trusted friend: Neil Howarth, Easthampton, NY
(Date Experienced: February 2013)

Great for
A city stay in the heart of London with a good sense of style and plenty of history.

With whom
Rooms aren’t the best for business, but they are well-located for a shopping or theatre stay with a design-savvy friend or partner.

Memorable moment
Dinner in the Grill accompanied by stories of past diners - such as Oscar Wilde, David Bowie or Elizabeth Taylor. Brings the history to life and adds an irreverent, fun air to accompany with the scene-y crowd and nightly DJ. To top it off, the entire restaurant is filled with extravagant Louis XVI detailing.

Best time to go
London is an all-year destination, although you can (try to) avoid the rain by heading over June-September.

Be aware
Despite recent regeneration the location is not the smartest.

Price
From £450 a night

Contact
www.lhw.com/CafeRoyalHotelLondon

Shop
Hope & Greenwood
Yummiest sweetshop of all time – so properly British and nostalgic, can’t be in London without popping in for a taste of the best lemon bonbons you’ll ever try.

The Goodhood Life Store
The newest branch of my go-to uber-trendy clothing/accessories store, the Life Store carries all the fresh and zen design goods you’ll need to outfit your home.

Eat
Balthazar London
Everybody’s favorite Keith McNally New York brasserie has finally opened in Covent Garden – if you’ve been in NY, you’ll get instant déjà vu when you visit the London location – love it.

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
This newly opened sister restaurant of three-Michelin starred Arzak in San Sebastian – cool, minimal interiors contrasted with rich, earthy flavors.

Drink
The Scotch
One of London’s coolest night scenes, with plush interiors, Pam Hogg designed staff uniforms, rock and roll coming through the speakers and onto the impressive cocktail list, sip on a London Calling or A Hard Day’s Night. Door policy is tough, but worth the wait.

Evans & Peel Detective Agency
Hidden behind an anonymous black door, through a secret bookcase, past a very serious receptionist, this latest London speakeasy takes prohibition cocktails to a new level – don’t miss the Old Fashion, it’s supreme!

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