BACKGROUND A homegrown hospitality group, The LaLiT opened its first property in Delhi where it is headquartered. Up until November 19, 2008, it was known as The Grand – Hotels, Palaces and Resorts before being rebranded to The LaLiT, in tribute to its founder chairman Lalit Suri. Included under its umbrella are luxury hotels, places and resorts — The LaLiT, and mid-market segment hotels — The LaLiT Traveller. The LaLiT London is its first international property, which opened in 2017.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Homely. The entrance to the property is a lot like that of a house — single door with a tiny porch, modest ceiling lamp and green shrubbery. Except, this was once St Olave’s Grammar School from nearly two centuries ago. The property’s furniture, chandeliers, decorative light fixtures, artworks , mirrors, intricate tapestries, marble and mother of pearl inlay are all made in India.
On entering, you’re welcomed by a large orchid plant in a brass pot, crowned with a gothic-looking black chandelier. The reception — two separate work desks — is in a tastefully designed room with patterned marble flooring, woodwork on the ceiling, and bare minimum, yet accent pieces of furniture. It is from here that guests may take the lift up to the guest rooms; suites are on the ground level.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel is quite centrally located. Situated on the south side of the Thames near City Hall, it is a five-minute walk from the London Bridge Station and a 15-minute walk to Tower Hill Station.
ROOM FACILITIES The hotel’s 70 guest rooms and suites are spread across three levels. The six room and suite categories range from Cosy Classroom to The Lalit Legacy Suite. There is variation in each bedroom’s design and layout, and those on the top floor boast of 30 feet high ceilings. Each of the rooms in the hotel have a Nespresso machine, free wifi, kettle, underfloor heating in bathrooms, free minibar, steam-free mirrors and tea.
I stayed in the 30 sqm Senior Classroom room, which overlooks Tooley Street. The wooden-floor room’s minimalistic layout is brought to life with nuances of orange through its soft furnishings. Plug points are strategically placed above the wooden desk, making it simple to work on my laptop, while charging my iPad and mobile phone. More plug points by the bedside, along with switches to control the room’s lighting. At the foot of the bed is a cosy couch and coffee table that face a flat-screen television. There is enough space at the entrance for the minibar and luggage rack. Brick walls and patterned tiles in the bathroom are complemented with a beautifully framed mirror. There is no bathtub. What really impressed me though was the electronic bidet installed in the toilet, which is rare in hotels in the UK and Europe.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Baluchi is the property’s signature, fine dining, pan-Indian destination. It includes a bread bar, The Naanery that offers artisanal bread baked in a traditional iron tandoor; buffet breakfast is served here. High tea is served at The Gallery. Baluchi and The Gallery menus serve The Terrace on the property’s roof. Guests can enjoy exclusive whiskies at Teacher’s Room, and Headmaster’s Room further offers a selection of champagne and cognacs in a cosy setting — original mahogany interiors and a Victorian fireplace.
MEETING FACILITIES Lab 1 is a “luxury meeting room” that can hold up to 12 delegates. Lab 2, also a “luxury meeting room” can hold eight delegates. Private corporate dinners can be hosted at both these venues.
LEISURE FACILITIES Rejuve – The Spa “offers a holistic experience combining eastern and western therapies using herbal infusions”. The 24-hour gym can be accessed with your room’s key card.
VERDICT A perfect business hotel with an excellent location in the heart of central London.
PRICE Internet rates for a mid-week stay in a Senior Classroom room in March started from £372/₹32,805.
CONTACT 181, Tooley Street, London, SE12JR; tel: +44 20 37650000; thelalit.com