Hotel Café Royal
68 Regent St., London
+44 (0)20 7406 3333; hotelcaferoyal.com
The Pitch This historic five-star hotel on Regent Street began its life in 1865 as a restaurant. A fashionable social spot for more than a century, in 2008 it was closed and renovated over the course of four years by David Chipperfield Architects. Much of the hotel remains true to the original décor, with giant proportions, gold pillars and mirrored walls that make you wonder how many reflections have been seen here over the course of history. In contrast, the spa and rooms upstairs are decidedly contemporary, although equally luxurious and grand, with sleek wood touches, textured wall finishes and underfloor heating in the bathroom.
What We Love The hotel’s history is astonishing, but the location makes it a must. A five-minute walk from Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, if time is of the essence, this is where you need to be.
Don’t Miss The Oscar Wilde Bar, formerly the iconic Grill Room and famously a favourite watering hole of Wilde himself, has housed the conversations of such literary greats as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, but its mirrored walls have also seen stars ranging from Mick Jagger to Muhammad Ali, as well as royalty including Diana the Princess of Wales. Today, you can rub shoulders with a who’s who of London, at the discretion of the host. This is possibly the grandest room you can imagine sipping Champagne in, and the history is palpable.
Rooms from £380 per night