Mary Gostelow performs in the London hotel that is overtly theatre

Girlahead pays a visit to the world's first "super boutique hotel"

Credit: Andrew Beasley

This is not a hotel but a lifestyle stage, says Charles Oak firmly. He’s the perennially-youthful creative GM of The Londoner, the two months’ old theatre of a hotel at the south-west corner of Leicester Square. From many of the 350 rooms, look out at the buzz – the square currently hosts wood masts imagining mythical animals. Look around, at live theatres, audiences permanently coming and going.

And yet, inside, the eight-floor hotel is oasis of calm. Those who want the most space would go for the two-floor 200sq m Penthouse Suite, which comes with a car, and Olivia von Halle silk pyjamas. Personally I found 27sq m King Room #405 more than ample.

Of the many standouts in Yabu Pushelberg’s interiors are soft bedroom colours contrasting with dark green wall tiles in the bathroom: lie in its tub to look through to the bed, though from the bed you see a ceiling-high mirror instead of bod-in-bathtub. There’s Hollywood lighting, a Toto washlet, and a framed genuine formal letter from a recent PM to his Deputy with, thanks to artistic licence, 98% of words frustratingly blacked out.

Charles Oak, GM, The Londoner
Lobby, The Londoner | Credit: Andrew Beasley

I smiled, a lot, at The Londoner’s thought processes. I appreciated having well-labelled light switches, and ample wall hooks in the main room for the bird-handled stylish umbrella (their’s) and the distressed denim jacket (mine, and fashionista de rigueur, all ages). And the room has USB ports and electric sockets (UK), wherever.

Walk out, a few minutes, to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square or wherever. Recover, 24/7, in The Londoner’s futuristic gym, in one of four floors newly created underground. The pool, nail bar, barber and spa naturally operate normal hours, only.

King room, The Londoner | Credit: Andrew Beasley

Decision time. Breakfast lightly in the lobby’s Champagne Bar, or healthily and/or more heavily in day-long Whitcomb’s, perhaps borrowing superficial glossies or today’s polysyllabic newspapers for celeb- or private equity-updates. For main meals, you have Japanese or, at all times, a cave-like Residents’ Lounge, a club free to all inhouse guests – its complimentary antipasti trolley is outstanding (try the aged parmesan cubes, marinated artichoke hearts and truffle grissini, and buy a flute of perfectly-chilled Charles Heidsieck Brut).

Whitcomb's, The Londoner | Credit: Andrew Beasley

As General Manager Oak says, The Londoner is a lifestyle venue, the hub of town. Add more warmth, from young head concierge, Tom Wardley, another star player whom you quickly also rate as a real friend.


Lead image: Penthouse, The Londoner | Credit: Andrew Beasley

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, both part of Almont Global.

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