Somewhere just off Leicester Square, nestled beside M&M’s World and the Odeon Luxe, lies a box-fresh hotel, waiting for post-Covid travellers and staycationers alike to walk through its doors. That hotel is The Londoner, a new residence that markets itself on being the world’s ‘first super-boutique hotel’.
It’s easy to see why — being next door to the Lego Store and an All Bar One doesn’t scream ‘hidden gem’. But The Londoner isn’t trying to be. Living up to its self-proclaimed status, this new residence is aiming to capture a balance between impressive, penthouse-suite-with-a-view luxury and snug, detail-oriented familiarity. Luckily for The Londoner, they’ve managed the balance perfectly.
The sheer scale of the operation hits you as soon as you walk through the doors; this is no four-room family B&B. Try 350 rooms, 16 storeys, six concept eateries, a members club-style private area, meeting rooms, event spaces, an entire wellness floor… oh, and a cinema. The foyer opens out on to an elegant grand piano sitting proudly atop a stage, where a singer croons softly into the early evening. Reception staff will sit you down at a plump seat next to a flickering fire to check you in, with no standing awkwardly at a hotel desk in sight.
The bedrooms are equally as slick. Hi-tech finishes (hello, Japanese toilet with heated seat) and sophisticated design are coupled with thoughtful flashes of personality; the opera binoculars to enjoy your city view and the slippers laid out before bedtime to name just a few.
But, as with any hotel, the real heart of The Londoner isn’t in the room you stay in, but in all the added extras. Head down from the top floor to the basement to find The Retreat, a wellness centre so tranquil you’ll almost forget the lights of Piccadilly Circus are just a few feet away. If you’re in the market for some serious relaxation, book a massage as well; the 60-minute ‘Harmony’ treatment complete with warm rose quartz and Tibetan scalp massage should do the trick. Hop over to the pool to round things off, where you can lounge freely, swaddled in a fluffy robe and sipping on a rejuvenating collagen smoothie. Essentially, the basement is where you come to forget your email account ever existed.
The Londoner’s food offerings don’t disappoint either. Its signature restaurant, Whitcomb’s, offers elegant French small plates and a small-yet-inventive cocktail menu. Try the tuna tartare and lobster thermidor paired with an olive oil-infused take on a Manhattan, ‘Le Mariage’. Staff are attentive and clearly know the menu off pat — something impressive for such a new opening in the hotel world.
The Londoner isn’t going to replace the tiny boutique hotel whose owner you’ve got on speed dial, but it is going to be a welcome retreat off the bustling streets of Leicester Square for anyone looking to escape for a night or three. Just be sure to leave the M&M’s merch at the door.
Rooms from £545 (thelondoner.com)Internet Explorer Channel Network