Prestige, for any luxury hotel, begins with a distinguished name and quite often encompasses a noteworthy address. Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue. The Peninsula Beverly Hills, South Santa Monica Boulevard. Anantara Dubai The Palm, East Crescent.
Somehow, One Aldwych has managed to marry both in one succinct name. Let’s be honest, you are not going to mistake their name for a small motor lodge on the outskirts of Topeka, Kansas. The fact that the hotel is located in the heart of Covent Garden adds additional luster to anyone longing to find ground zero in the pulsating heart of London.
There are so many good things to say about this luxury hotel I hardly know where to start (which is unusual for me because normally I don’t know when to stop!) I will let you judge the exterior for yourself by this image. Does this not look like the sort of welcome sight you would long to return to after an exhausting day of trudging around London?. To me it screams home away from home which is strange, I suppose, since it looks nothing like my recently downsized domicile.
The public areas inside are, if anything, even more impressive. Animal lovers take a deep breath. This is not some unfortunate canine papered over with comic strips by an eccentric dowager from Stow On The Wold. It is simply The Beano dog (for 75 years Britain’s number one comic) “Spencer” who patiently lingers at reception to greet you.
If you at first found this picture unsettling, I have no idea what you will make of some of the other great art scattered throughout the hotel such as this piece called, fittingly I suppose, “The Oarsman”. We have a saying in Texas about braggarts that they are “all hat and no cattle”. I guess you would have to say that this poor chap is “all oars and no boat”. The hotel has original artwork throughout wych you can view here. (Sorry, just too easy.)
One of the many great things about this property is its location. And trust me, as someone who has been to London almost twenty times and has walked the shoe leather off a couple of pair of shoes, location is extremely important. The tube (subway) system is great (get a pass from your trusty travel agent before you leave) and taxis are ubiquitous (and very dear, as the Brits like to say) but even so, if you are the adventurous sort, you will find yourself doing a lot of walking.
The hotel has the neatest little online map pointing out fifteen great things to do, one for each year of their history, don’t you see? Some are interesting restaurants, some shopping suggestions, others are exhibitions running this summer and they even offer theatre (British spelling) suggestions. As a quick aside, as a lover of words, one of my favorite aspects of British life is the not so subtle differences in language. As George Bernard Shaw is reputed to have said, “The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.”
Let’s do one more thing right and splurge a little on one of the signature Studio Suites. These are stunning circular rooms at the apex of the hotel. Check out (before you check in) a list of features and amenities of this room category.
A couple of other quick items before I conclude. They do a marvelous afternoon tea with a twist. Not a twist of lemon . . . it curdles the cream . . but a theme inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You simply must take a look at this unique presentation. For those compulsive personalities for whom walking ten miles a day is simply inadequate to maintain their obnoxious state of buffness, there is a very nice fitness center and 18 metre (there they go again) chlorine-free swimming pool.