W1B 4DY Travel Guide
Next time you find yourself looking up at the flashing neon signs of London’s busy Piccadilly Circus, or wading your way through the shopping crowds on Regent Street, know that there is a completely different world right underneath your feet. No, we’re not talking about the equally frantic tube station down below, but the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre at Café Royal Hotel.
Akasha is one of the last pieces of the Café Royal puzzle, which include the rooftop Dome Suite (where we had this view), the upcoming changes to the Ten Room restaurant, and the opening of the classic Domino Room. The contrast with what happens above ground couldn’t be bigger, in a vast subterranean space that aims to bring together the four basic elements of nature: earth, water, fire, and air. Read on to find out what lies beyond that staircase.
Our standards for hotel minibars may have permanently shifted following a recent visit to London’s Café Royal. Not a feature we usually pay a lot of attention to, the luxurious, leather-encased cabinet housing a selection of premium liquors and fine glassware inside its Empire Suite was a stand out in an already pretty impressive 2,000+ square foot space.
When we last spoke about Café Royal (our pick for Best Hotel Renovation in 2012), the historic Grill Room and Domino Room – haunts of Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw – had been restored to their original splendor. Now, just over half a year later, six Historic Suites (of which the Empire Suite is the largest) are being added to the range of hyper-modern rooms the hotel already offers.
HotelChatter 2012 Awards / Hotel Renovations / Set Hotels / London Hotels / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
It's that time of year again: the 2012 HotelChatter Awards! Between last Friday and today, we're showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to..
Between the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, 2012 was a big year for London. Everything went off—thankfully—without a hitch, and in the aftermath of the festivities, we got loads of shiny new hotels to gawk at. To say the least, it's been a tough job just trying to keep up with it all.
Most hotels aimed for a pre-Olympics opening, and most inevitably failed (but does a hotel delay really surprise us at this point?). Our winner for Best Renovation of 2012 falls in this category, having recently re-opened its doors after four years of renovation work: we're talking, of course, about Café Royal.
Modern meets history is an oft-used phrase to describe hotels that mix the traditional with the contemporary, but there are few where the description is as apt as it is here.
Having shown you the view Britannia enjoys from the roof, we’ll now take you inside on a brief tour.
Our visit to Café Royal London last week was memorable for a number of reasons: we’ve been watching construction around Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street progress for several years, and now we could finally see both the historic public spaces and thoroughly modern hotel rooms coming together.
But the highlight for us was standing next to the famous statue of Britannia on the roof, looking down on Piccadilly Circus and beyond to St James’s and Westminster. It was a very London moment, and one that, when the hotel opens, will be reserved for guests staying in the Dome Suite. The suite, with its spectacular circular space crowning the hotel, features an 85m2 (915 square feet) terrace, accessed through an arch underneath the statue.