Historic, old world with decadent details and a modern twist…The London Edition is a whole new way to hotel. Ian Schreger,of Studio 54 fame had an idea. “The design is anti-design. It’s an effort to make people feel good rather than make the place look good”. The London Edition does both. The Editions are a new kind of hotel chain… all different, all specific to their location.In London, chandeliers, inspired by of New York’s Grand Central Station, hang from the 18 foot high original plastered ceilings of one of the five Georgian townhouses that make up the hotel. Seating is comfortable. Art is modern in old frames. Look up in the lobby and try to find the spot of color in the all-white ceiling…one of the woman statues is wearing red lipstick! These townhouses were built around 1835 for the fashionable crowd who wanted to be near Oxford street on land purchased by Josius Berners back in 1654. The road the hotel is on and the in house restaurant are named after him. In 1909 the houses were converted into a hotel called, not surprisingly, the Berners. King Edward VII, Carl Faberge and high society made it their go to place. After months of renovation and restoration this new inspiring iteration opened in September 2013. Rooms are sleek; simple luxurious and resemble the staterooms of a modern high end yacht. They all come with a cantilevered desk, tufted George Smith lounge chairs and Hendrik Kersten photos. The lobby is a neighborhood hub. People come to play pool, have a drink, use a computer and just hangout. It succeeds in feeling posh and friendly at the same time. Check in is at the back; an oasis of competent calm. A visit to the Punch Room is a must…punch derives from the Hindu word for five….the drink consisting of five elements (alcohol, tea, sugar lemon and water) and was brought back to England by sailors and employees of the British East India Company. The talented bartenders will custom make you a punch of your own (I had them make me something with tequila and grapefruit) or order from their menu. We got a bowl for 6… it was so much fun.
Number of Rooms: 173
Sweet Suite: The penthouse… and not because it has a separate dining room or a built-in state-of-the-art surround sound system with DJ patch panel. But because of huge wrap-around terraces with 360 degree views of London rooftops. Mary Poppins, eat your heart out.
Favorite Thing: the ceiling in the lounge and restaurant. Rumour has it the owner of the house where the lobby now stands bought it for his French mistress. To help keep her happy in England he added touches from her home country including this ornate stunningly beautiful plaster ceiling. Lucky girl
Near By: Oxford & Regents streets, foodie’s mecca Charlotte Street, Covent Gardens, British Museum, Soho, Marylebone
Amenities: fitness center, complementary newspaper, lobby bar, lobby pool table, lobby computers, the reservations only Punch Room, Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern Restaurant
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