One of my favourite London hotels, One Aldwych in Covent Garden, which we recently reviewed again, has just announced that it is to commence on a major refurbishment programme this October. All the hotel’s guestrooms and public spaces are to get a complete makeover, the first since the hotel opened 20 years ago.
When One Aldwych opened back in 1998, the hotel’s contemporary luxury design coupled with its warm and professional service it gave its guests, very much set a benchmark for other hotels in London. And so it is 20 years later, One Aldwych is once again aiming to raise the bar with its new design and approach and use of imaginative colours, materials and space.
The new rooms are to be redesigned by British designer Robert Angell who also worked on The Berkeley and The Connaught in London as well as Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest and the Belmond Grand Hotel St Petersburg.
The 86 rooms and 16 suites will have a sophisticated and richly layered look to them and have all the style and elegance of a modern-day London residence. Four new one-bedroom suites will also be created in the redesign.
When it comes to the hotel’s public spaces, London-based Fabled Studio, who designed Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Mandarin Oriental, Margot in Great Queen Street and St Leonard’s in Shoreditch, have been appointed to recreate the hotel’s wonderful high ceiling Lobby Bar, Indigo Restaurant and the hotel’s Entrance and Reception area plus the private event spaces.
As if to turn back time, Simon Hirst, who opened the hotel as its General Manager 20 years ago, has returned to One Aldwych as Managing Director, having overseen the renovation at Raffles Singapore where he has been based for the last four years.
Hirst said: “When the hotel first opened its doors 20 years ago, its striking design and exemplary service levels set the standard for others to follow. It has stood the test of time beautifully but tastes and expectations have changed. Now is the right moment to update the hotel, to create superbly comfortable, modern sophisticated rooms and once again set the benchmark in hotel design.”
The hotel will remain open during the early stages of this multi-million-pound renovation project but is scheduled to be closed from mid-January 2019 through to mid-March 2019 as the work is completed.
We will bring updates to this ambitious and exciting project as and when we have new news. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing this year’s creative Christmas Tree in the Lobby Bar!
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs courtesy of One Aldwych