Just to the south of Covent Garden, One Aldwych is in easy reach of the West End theatres, the Royal Opera House and the shops and street entertainers of Covent Garden Piazza. Located at the end of a grand crescent, the hotel looks over the traffic-choked Strand straight along Waterloo Bridge to the South Bank. Several Underground stations are in easy walking distance.
All rooms have Frette linen, original art on the walls, fresh flowers, and complimentary fruit and bottled water. There are mist-free mirrors and mini-TVs in the bathrooms. You can get a free shoeshine too. The Deluxe Suites always grab headlines with their private gyms - the rooftop terrace of Suite 500, almost invisible from below, is especially lovely - but I think the most romantic rooms are the stack of round Studio Suites in the hotel’s corner tower overlooking Waterloo Bridge.
The Lobby Bar is a towering space, resplendent with shiny white walls and limestone floor, giant chairs in the vast arched roadside windows and a sculpture of a rower with the blades of his oars hovering way above your head. The actual reception seems almost shy in the face of all this splendour, tucked away around the corner.
Eating and drinking
In addition to sipping the fine cocktails at the Lobby Bar (nearly two dozen martinis alone), you can watch others do so from the mezzanine restaurant Indigo, which serves brunch and meals throughout the day. There’s also modern British food at the more formal Axis restaurant, overlooked by the Rotunda Bar, as well as hot drinks, pastries and juice at the Cinnamon espresso bar.
There’s a rather smart 30-seater screening room and, in the very foundations, a 18-metre ‘infinity’ swimming pool that has classical music piped in underwater. One level up from the pool, is the health club with Technogym machines, steam room and sauna, personal trainers and treatments.
Smart and formal (albeit scandalously hatless at the door), but approachable and well-informed about London events.
Who stays there
Guests tend towards the more grown-up end of the scale, with the hotel quiet and calm rather than boisterous and cutting-edge. Perfect if you’re taking in a show.
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Stunning main bar
- Large and beautiful suites
- Great leisure facilities (pool, spa, screening room)
- Standard rooms not large for the price
- Can feel a bit serious-minded