Hotel review: The Bloomsbury Hotel

Bloomsbury-terrace

BACKGROUND The Bloomsbury Hotel is one of three luxury hotels run by The Doyle Collection (the others are The Marylebone Hotel, previously reviewed here and The Kensington Hotel.)

WHAT’S IT LIKE? It’s a tasteful modern design hotel housed in a beautiful listed building. Designed in 1932 by Sir Edwin Lutyens as a residential club and concert hall for the Young Women’s Christian Association, the building was converted into a hotel by Jurys Doyle Hotels, and has now undergone a further extensive restoration. At first sight it is eight storeys of clean lines and neo-Georgian architecture (sash windows and warm red-brown bricks) entered via a double flight of stone steps into the lobby with its parquet floor, oversized sofas and large antique mirrors. Staff are smartly dressed, make eye contact and are friendly. Rooms are accessed by two lifts, so there’s a short wait at busy times. Once you’re in the room corridors the layout of the hotel can be slightly confusing at first, but it gives a sense of intimacy and this isn’t a large hotel, after all. Popular with media and financial companies, it’s only a few minutes walk from the West End, Covent Garden, and ten minutes on the Central Line over to the City heading East.

WHERE IS IT? On Great Russell Street, a one-minute walk from Tottenham Court Road and just along the street from two Radisson Edwardian Hotels, including the Bloomsbury Street Hotel, reviewed here, and around the corner, and The Kingsley, a Thistle Hotel, reviewed here.

ROOM FACILITIES The 153 rooms and suites are on floors one to eight, and although all are slightly different because of the historical nature of the property, there’s a style running throughout them, with lovely furnishings including elegant wooden headboards on the beds, work tables, some with marble tops, and comfortable work chairs and arm chairs. All have complimentary high-speed internet access, international plug sockets and large flat screen TVs to watch the 24-hour sports and news TV channels. Superior rooms (115 of these) are 18-22sqm and have queen-size beds, power showers, climate control, voice mail, in-room safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and Temple Spa bathroom amenities. The 26 Deluxe rooms (22-25sqm) have an evening newspaper, a bath robe, mineral water and Nespresso coffee maker (all rooms have tea and coffee making facilities). Some have separate shower and bath, others just a bath (with shower above it). The 12 Studio Suites (36-53sqm) have king size beds and lounge areas. There are nine smoking rooms, all on the eight floor.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES As previously reported in Business Traveller here, you’d expect this hotel to have meeting rooms, but it has a couple of astonish larger event spaces in the two conference rooms – the George V and Queen Mary Hall – both with lots of natural daylight and each able to cater for up to 300 people. For smaller meetings, the library and the Chapel are also unique, and on the basement floor there are more modern meeting rooms.

RESTAURANT AND BAR The Landseer British Kitchen, named after Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, has menus devised by Michelin-starred consultant chef John Wood and executive head chef Paul O’Brien. It is on the lower ground floor though the dining room seems brighter than that with its mother of pearl mosaics and Foscarini hanging pendants. As the name suggests, it’s a traditional British menu using only locally sourced produce. The wood-panelled bar sits alongside it, with beers, cocktails and wines, and in the summer on the raised ground floor there’s an attractive terrace area of wooden tables with a barbecue. The lobby area also has drinks available.

LEISURE FACILITIES There is a good-sized gym in the basement area installed in 2010 with new equipment.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS: 153 rooms, with 115 Superior, 26 Delxue and 12 Suites.
  • ROOM HIGHLIGHTS As well as the free wifi, the design of the rooms is lovely, understated but stylish. Quite nice with Temple Spa toiletries as well.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in January 2011 start from £165 for a Superior Room
  • CONTACT 16-22 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3NN; +44 (0)20 7347 1000; doylecollection.com/bloomsbury

Tom Otley

The Bloomsbury Hotel

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