A hidden treasure in the centre of London, the iconic Bloomsbury Hotel is smart and stylish in every sense of the word. A world away from your every day structure, this handsome, red brick Sir Edwin Lutyens building dates back to 1928 and offers a secluded slice of paradise yet still a short skip from Tottenham Court Road and the soon-to-open Crossrail. Its central location, tucked off the busy Oxford Street, is also handy for the British Museum, Covent Garden shopping, Soho’s trendy bars and restaurants plus theatre-land.
Part of the Irish hotel group, The Doyle Collection, the team picked up the Edwardian-era house in the late 1990s and have been breathing life back into the building ever since. The latest refurbishment took place at the back end of 2017 and what is left in its wake is nothing short of stunning. Following a multimillion- pound investment programme led by Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio – the internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design studio - the transformation included the redesign of the public spaces of the Grade II-listed building, including a new reception area, guest lounge and stunning new bar – The Coral Room. The original entrance at the side of the property has been restored, incorporating a new glazed canopy to enhance the arrival experience whilst the adjacent sitting room offers a colour palette of muted greens and pinks, assorted with an electric mix of furnishings, artwork and lighting. It’s one of my favourite rooms in the house, complete with heritage-inspired botanical wallpaper and a Lutyens’ designed fireplace. The scalloped edged sofas are inviting and the over-all feel of the room beckons you to take a seat (which I did often, coffee in tow).
One of the most talked about changes within the hotel comes in the form of The Coral Rooms. Offerings razzle dazzle in spades, the magnificent Coral Room is located within a 2,100 sq ft double height space at the front of the hotel. The original panelled walls have been retained and given a high-gloss lacquer finish in vivid coral – a colour that Lutyens was fond of. It’s bright, bold and absolutely beautiful – from the five bespoke Murano glass chandeliers to the original art created by British illustrator Luke Edward Hall, every detail has been cleverly crafted to bring the personality of the space to life. The bar itself has a Calacatta marble top with a high-gloss moulded timber front, and the back bar features antique mirror and brass detailing, to reflect the iconic heritage of the hotel and building. Offering fantastic food throughout the day alongside a curated list of English sparkling wines and innovative cocktails, The Coral Room is cool from dawn to dusk (and incredibly comfy too thanks to the curvaceous scallop-backed sofas!)
If decedent and daring design isn’t quite your style, the darkly intimate Bloomsbury Club Bar tucked away in the basement will probably be more up your street. Bringing old school romance and the magic of bygone eras of glamour to the hotel, this special space has a members’ club feel and is furnished with plush leather armchairs, atmospheric lighting and rich mahogany panelling, taking inspiration from the lives of the famously hedonistic Bloomsbury Set. The bar also has an enchanting twinkling outdoor cavern, perfect for long summer evenings accompanied by a quirky cocktail.
Last but by no means least is the iconic Dalloway Terrace, an outdoor/indoor space that has become immensely popular due to its great food and insta-worthy interiors. Flanking the entrance, the menu is focused around British dishes and produce from acai bowls for breakfast through to Dove Sole for dinner. With floral displays mirroring the time of the year, the quintessentially English space was named after the eponymous character created by Virginia Woolf. Whilst the Beef Carpaccio and Shakshouka are outstanding, the gluten free carrot cake will keep me coming back again and again.
A visit to The Bloomsbury is not complete without staying in one of their stunning rooms or suites. With 153 rooms and 11 suites, expect a gorgeous mix of modern mashed with oxblood leather headboards, lots of velvet, mid-century or scallop-edged chairs and fringed light fittings. The colour palette is slightly muted leaving an emphasis on the furniture and fixtures whilst bathrooms offer a contrast in bright monochrome marble with walk in showers and stand alone baths. My favourite room, the Studio Suite was not only tech trendy, but also seriously confortable. With ample cupboard space and room in general, the corner chamber basked in natural light with a huge king sized bed taking centre stage. Attention to detail is everywhere, from the Dyson hairdryer and the scented bath oils, to the Bloomsbury branded candle and vast mini bar selection, the team have left nothing to chance. If that wasn’t enough, the hotel used to play host to the Queen’s swimming lessons as a child (sadly it is now covered up but there are rumours of renovation on the horizon).
Offering luxury service, high-class amenities and the comfort of a hotel with the look and feel of a very trendy home, The Bloomsbury has set the bar high for London’s bespoke and boutique hotel scene.