One Aldwych Hotel London

One Aldwych Hotel London

One Aldwych Comes Alive

Culture and Comfort in Covent Garden

By Jordan Staggs | Photography courtesy of One Aldwych

In the heart of London’s artistic Covent Garden neighborhood, a recently reimagined five-star hotel beckons those who consider themselves “Londoners at heart, wherever they might be from.” One Aldwych, eponymously named for the historic building’s address, lies conveniently off the main thoroughfare known as the Strand, famous for its affluent cultural destinations, including theaters, museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shops. One Aldwych embraces the vibrant energy of the neighborhood while offering a soothing respite with its beautifully appointed guest rooms, multiple dining options, and award-winning spa.

It’s fitting that a small group of VIE journalists and editors enjoyed this gorgeous hotel during the fall of 2023, as we were delighted to find the art nouveau building, completed in 1905, was home to the Morning Post newspaper. The enormous printing presses sat in the basement, now the hotel’s opulent health club and lap pool. Continuing the Mewès & Davis-designed building’s editorial history, Inveresk Paper Company bought it in 1927, and it housed several well-known magazines—including Tatler and The Illustrated London News—during the publisher’s ownership.

The independently owned One Aldwych hotel opened to the public in 1998 and has since built a reputation for excellence and top-tier hospitality. A complete multimillion-dollar refurbishment in 2019 saw designer Robert Angell working with the hotel to create guest rooms and suites that are “timelessly chic,” featuring gorgeous mouldings, soft color palettes, and furnishings with a modern romantic touch. Over four hundred pieces of carefully curated original artwork fill the hotel, including each of the 101 bedrooms and suites. Fresh fruit and flowers are always waiting upon guests’ arrival, making them feel they’re living in their own London palace.

In addition to standard (although they feel anything but ordinary) single and double rooms, a range of suites makes it possible for repeat visitors to experience One Aldwych differently with every stay. The Somerset Suite is designed as a posh apartment, with a circular living room, separate bedroom and dressing room, and the possibility of connecting to three other bedrooms for group stays. Named for its iconic view, the Waterloo Bridge Suite offers a similar design to the Somerset. Meanwhile, the Terrace Suite provides a private walk for alfresco dining and relaxation with a view of Covent Garden’s historic rooftops. However, those searching for the ultimate One Aldwych experience should consider the Dome Suite, whose quarters are situated—you guessed it—right inside the signature dome at the building’s north point. Other suites, studios, and bedrooms boast views of the bridge, the Strand, and the surrounding theaters and opera houses.

Although there are many options for a bite to eat or a cup of tea around the hotel, guests needn’t venture further than the Lobby Bar or Indigo restaurant—or even their room—to satisfy their dining needs. The interior experts at Fabled Studio of London took inspiration from the building’s art nouveau and Parisian touches when redoing the Lobby Bar in 2019, with plush seating, chic patterned carpets, and captivating artwork throughout. The stunning floral arrangement at its center is refreshed and redesigned with the seasons, along with the florals throughout the hotel and outside its main entrance created by resident flower extraordinaire Mark Siredzuk. The Lobby Bar is popular with Londoners and guests alike and is open to the public daily from breakfast to after-dinner cocktails.

Fabled Studio also gave the Indigo dining room a bright, elegant makeover befitting the royal treatment of the rest of the hotel. Its location on the second floor overlooking the Lobby Bar makes for an excellent lunch or dinner locale with a lively yet refined atmosphere. Chef Dominic Teague and his team curate fresh, seasonal menus featuring farm-sourced ingredients and British classics with inspiration from Teague’s love of nature. Like the Lobby Bar, Indigo is also open to the public and offers an excellent spot for a pre-theater dinner or date night. Room service is the best of both worlds for those staying at the hotel as you enjoy the culinary team’s creations from the comfort of your home away from home.

The Health Club at One Aldwych is another perk anyone can enjoy, with luxury spa treatments for face and body, a spacious twenty-four-hour gym, the eighteen-meter chlorine-free lap pool, steam room, sauna, and more. Even if you aren’t taking a dip, it’s worth it to venture down to the pool for a look, as the underground space is beautifully tranquil, featuring a big screen showing ocean scenes, original artwork by Pol Bury, and a gorgeous mural behind the dazzling chrome spiral staircase.

More secrets abound in the form of The Library—a private, quiet space reserved for guests to relax and dine away from the bustle of the lobby—and the thirty-seat Screening Room cinema, where you can sit back with popcorn and enjoy a roster of old classics, new films, presentations, and live broadcasts. Be sure to check out special events and programming throughout the hotel year-round, such as the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed afternoon tea and cocktail menu running this spring for children and adults of all ages.

A “byword, not a buzzword,” sustainability has been part of the hotel’s core values since its inception. From filtering and bottling water on-site to beekeeping on the roof, a range of practices at One Aldwych significantly reduces its ecological footprint while keeping guests healthy and happy. The hotel’s owners also support London nonprofits lending support to children with severe illnesses and the unhoused, recycling programs, local farms and fishermen, and more. These efforts have earned the destination the Luxury Eco Certification Standard and a Gold accreditation from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Of course, none of the beautiful things happening at One Aldwych would be possible without its team of hospitality experts. From the doorman who greets guests by name and is always quick to offer tips, to the Lobby Bar staff who recommend the best cocktails based on your personal taste and what’s in season, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable at every turn. It’s no wonder the privately owned hotel has become a favorite among celebrities and affluent guests seeking an exceptional stay in the heart of London’s cultural mecca.

Along with numerous options for theater productions throughout Covent Garden, guests of One Aldwych should also take a walk past the Royal Opera House, pop into the historic Apple Market or Jubilee Market to shop and dine, explore a maze of alleys and streets lined with galleries and shops from well-known brands to independent boutiques, and, for the bibliophiles, be sure to visit Cecil Court, also known as Booksellers’ Row. A walk down the Strand will take one to the heart of the city’s tourism destinations, including Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and Buckingham Palace to the west, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London to the east, and the Queen’s Walk south just across the Thames, home to the London Eye and stunning views of Parliament.

Whether in London on business or seeing the sights, those seeking a luxurious hotel experience they can feel good about amid the vibrant city center should look no further. We’ll be dreaming of our next stay at One Aldwych!

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Visit or follow along on Instagram @onealdwychhotel to learn more or book your stay.

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