Living in London, it can sometimes be all too easy to forget that you live in one of the most amazing cities in the world. When a place is just “home” you learn to take it for granted and it’s easy to not make the most of all the great things that are right on your doorstep. One of my new year’s resolutions was to make sure this didn’t happen to me with London. I’m still in love with this city, and I don’t want to just end up staying in my little corner of it all the time. There’s so much going on in London at any given moment of the day, so many amazing things to see and places to discover, it would be a shame to waste it! Sometimes you need a little bit of a push to get out of your London comfort zone (or your N1 postcode…) and that’s exactly what I got when I was invited to go and review the One Aldwych Hotel last month. At first it seemed a little bit silly to be taking a mini holiday in my own city (especially when 3 different hotel staff asked how my journey had been when I first arrived…”ummm, I just had to get the number 4 bus for 20 mins…?”) but by the end of my lush weekend away at One Aldwych, I was a total staycation convert – it’s the perfect way to see more of your city and feel like you’ve had a bit of an escape too!
One Aldwych Hotel
There are a lot of beautiful hotels in London, some of them right nearby to One Aldwych, but this was without a doubt the most amazing I’ve stayed in yet! It’s housed in a beautiful old building on the Strand, with a continental, Parisian vibe and from the moment you walk in you can tell your somewhere really special. Everything about the place is relaxing and luxurious and has a dash of old-fashioned glamour even though the hotel itself hasn’t been there all that long. I felt like a bit of a princess as soon as I arrived, I’m not going to lie! The room was gorgeous, with a huge kingsize bed (without a doubt one of the comfiest I’ve ever slept in in) a gorgeous bathroom complete with tub and a great view out on to the theatre-land streets below! The service was wonderful, you felt as though all the staff were there to help and make your stay as special as possible and the little touches really made the place stand out, right down to a turn-down service in the evenings that came complete with a little card letting you know the weather forecast for tomorrow and how you might want to dress! Even though I wasn’t far from home, the luxury feel of the place made me feel a million miles away from both my house and the stressed-out Londoner I normally am when I’m in central London! I instantly had that holiday feeling where you want to dress up and try on being a slightly different person while you’re there…complete with multiple outfit changes throughout the day just to really make the most of it!
The location of One Aldwych is really perfect if you want to see a bit of the city. You’re in the middle of the theatres, a stone’s throw from the river and right by Covent Garden. If you were a tourist wanting to see the city, or if you wanted to treat someone to a show and a night in a hotel, this would be the perfect choice for something a bit special! I spent the day wandering Covent Garden, watching the crazy street performers, getting lost in the streets of Seven Dials and trying out a few old theatre-y London pubs. After dinner, I ventured to the river and over to the Southbank to soak up the city views from Waterloo bridge and enjoy the bustle of the city in the evening. It felt a little like being a tourist in my own city, made even better by the fact that I didn’t have to trek back home on the tube at night because I was staying right in the middle of everything!
The Lobby Bar
The One Aldwych Lobby Bar is one of the real focus points of the hotel. There’s a reason it’s been voted one of the top 5 hotel bars in the world! For starters, it’s seriously beautiful. The high ceilings and curved room make it a real standout place and you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with it’s glamorous old-London feel as soon as you walk in. There are huge decadent floral arrangements hanging from the ceiling, a gorgeous feature bar and little ornate touches like old fashioned bar carts and statement chairs. On top of that, the cocktails were probably the best I’ve had anywhere and the service, again, was immaculate. I tried the Lavender Cloud (I am obsessed with floral-flavoured drinks) and it might have been my favourite cocktail ever! I spent forever choosing though because the entire menu just looks delicious. I’m dying to go back sometime soon just to try another! It would be an amazing location for pre-theatre or dinner drinks even if you’re not staying at the hotel and judging by the buzzing vibe while I was there, plenty of other people had the same idea! I’ll definitely be back for a classy cocktail or two soon, it’s a perfect treat location if you want to do something a bit fancier than your usual tipple! They also serve an amazing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea which I spotted a few people having which looked amazing!
We were treated to a slap-up dinner in the hotel that evening, which was a lovely treat. One Aldywch hotel also houses the 3-michelin star Eneko restaurant but we were booked in at the Indigo Restaurant which sits on the Mezzanine above the Lobby Bar and soaks up the gorgeous decor and atmosphere. They serve a set menu, something I’m not usually a fan of as I like as much choice as possible, but actually the options were great and it was a delicious meal – pheasant & mushroom parpadelle to start, followed by the most amazing rare venison steak I’ve ever eaten, then a yummy panacotta dessert! The wine list was extensive and they matched a bottle to our meal for us which was a lovely touch. We also had breakfast there in the morning which was amazing – there was so much choice! The huge windows of the lobby, sunlight and relaxed morning vibe would make it an ideal brunch spot if you were in the centre of town for the morning – I could have sat there all morning reading the papers and drinking coffee!
Spa & Oskia Facial
On the Sunday before I left, I was indulged with one last luxury – a morning at the hotel spa and an Oskia Facial treatment. The spa was beautiful and relaxing and the treatment was lovely! Oskia is an nutrition-based skincare brand developed with natural ingredients by skin & nutrition experts, and you can tell by how the products leave your skin feeling after the treatment! I had the Glow facial which is an illuminating facial designed to leave you with a healthy glow. It was a super relaxing and indulgent treatment with a bit of massage worked in for extra relaxation! I left feeling amazing – rejuvenated and relaxed. Of course I couldn’t resist trying out the pool too while I was there and lounging around at the poolside reading – it really felt like I was on holiday! The spa and pool facilities (as well as the gym which I didn’t have time to try out) are such a great addition to the hotel – it really gives you that feeling of extra luxury having the option to start your day in the pool or treat yourself to some pampering during your stay!
I really had the most wonderful luxury weekend staying in One Aldwych hotel – it was such a treat and I felt thoroughly spoilt and relaxed after my London stay-cation! I would definitely recommend staying there if ever you’re looking to treat yourself (or someone else) to a bit of a special getaway! And definitely consider dropping in for cocktails, afternoon tea, or maybe a brunch if you find yourself in central London and want to try somewhere a bit lush! Maybe I’ll see you there!
You can find out more about the One Aldwych Hotel, prices and booking on their website here.
Have you stayed in any London hotels? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!