The London EDITION is one of the city’s hottest hotel openings last year and has received much acclaim since its arrival.
Behind the game-changing Fitzrovia design hotel is hospitality guru Ian Schrager – a pioneer of the boutique hotel experience who brought us Sanderson and St Martin’s Lane. The inaugural EDITION Hotel opened a few years ago in Istanbul’s Levant district and a number of the brand’s hotels are set to open globally over the next few years, under the expert management of Marriott.
The London EDITION took over the tired old Berners Hotel and occupies a row of five Georgian townhouses. It boasts a central location, just off Oxford Street, within walking distance of Soho and Covent Garden.
I visited The London EDITION for a weekend staycation and was wowed by the hotel’s cool design, social scene and attention to small detail.
The lobby is a constant hub of activity and is beautifully-designed with a restored stucco ceiling, original fireplace and futuristic stainless-steel orbs by Ingo Maurer. It’s an inviting space with plush green velvet seating, a billiards table and complimentary work station in the lobby with Apple iMacs.
Check-in was friendly and dedicated and a member of staff accompanied us to fully introduce us to our room. A Schrager signature is eye-catching artwork in the public areas and we couldn’t help admiring the stunning Louis XV Gobelin Tapestry behind the reception desk, contrasted by a glowing installation by Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn at the back of the hotel.
Our Loft room was long and spacious with a gorgeous king-size bed and an open-plan seating area. The unique style is contemporary with retro design touch and a dash of chalet-chic. The room is designed with walnut wood panelling, pale wood flooring and a natural colour palette of caramel and cream.
The living area features a plush sofa, comfy armchair and a low coffee table with a chic orchid and design books. I loved the addition of a cream cashmere blanket for curling up on the sofa and the pretty hydrangeas – a detail that can sometimes be overlooked by design hotels. The view from the window was simply office buildings, so we kept the sheer curtains closed to keep the atmosphere of the room.
The hotel’s art focus extends to the rooms with a contemporary interpretation of one of Vermeer’s iconic paintings by Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens. The portrait is both eerie and beautiful and the girl’s captivating gaze seemed to follow me around the room.
The king-size bed was extremely comfortable and covered in sumptuous linen, plenty of large pillows and a gorgeous faux-fur throw nonchalantly draped over one side of the bed. In front of the bed is a 46 inch flat screen HDTV with movies on demand and a stack of premium magazines including Vogue, GQ and The Gourmand.
Other room features include a super-wide desk and retro chair, iPod docking station and an extra-large built-in wardrobe filled with a handy umbrella, clothes brush and ironing board. Not only is there a minibar filled with premium drinks and gourmet snacks, but there’s a marble bar counter with a selection of spirits, a mini cocktail shaker and fancy glassware.
To top it all off, we were welcomed with a retro sweet shop bag filled with large strawberry marshmallows – the Chef’s sweet of the day. At evening turndown, complimentary mineral water was placed beside the bed.
The sleek, minimal bathroom was covered in tiny white mosaics, with a powerful walk-in rainforest shower, wooden towel rail and wide Corian Grohe white sink – the cool kind that you might find in a nightclub.
It had clever storage with a pull-out drawer below the sink featuring a proper hairdryer, face tissues, vanity essentials and the all-important bathroom products. We also had the luxury of plush embroidered bathrobes and slippers for lounging in.
I’m never usually excited by hotel own-brand toiletries, but The London EDITION’s range is very special and almost reason enough to stay overnight.
The products have been created exclusively for the hotel by cult perfumer Le Labo and have a luxurious, intoxicating black tea fragrance. They smell amazing on both men and women and perfectly capture the stylish, sexy ambiance of the hotel.
That evening, we decided to eat healthy and went for some vegan food at Planet Organic, however if you’re after something a bit more sparkly for a Saturday night, try and score a table at the hotel’s renowned Berners Tavern by Executive Chef Jason Atherton or Roka and Dabbous just a short walk away.
Of course, we couldn’t resist checking out the hotel’s lively atmosphere with a round of cocktails in the buzzing Lobby Bar. The bar attracts a well-heeled crowd elegantly lounging at the bar and low tables with glam waitresses serving cocktails in designer LBDs.
Davide Segat’s cocktail menu is innovative and well-edited, with a focus on aromatic drinks using house-made bitters and potent spirits. I tried a refreshing Summer Cup and Steven went for a Golden Age, made with Johnnie Walker Black Label, aged cherry brand, yellow Chartreuse and Fernet Branca.
Another drinking destination in the hotel is the reservations only Punch Room. Nestled at the back of the hotel is an oak-panelled den that feels like a cross between a private members club and the library of a country manor house.
It serves Punch Bowls for 2-8 people and has a cosy feel with low-key vintage soul, jazz and blues playing. It’s ideal for a quiet, intimate drink but we preferred the atmosphere and open-plan design of the lively lobby bar.
At night, the charming door security multiply and manage the queue behind the velvet rope for the members-only BASEMENT nightclub inside the hotel (Ian Schrager was behind Studio 54, after all). The vibe seems distinctly non-glitzy with a cool ‘street style’ crowd and YOYO’s Seb Chew at the helm (ie. properly good music).
In the morning, breakfast is served in the gorgeous surroundings of the acclaimed Berners Tavern. The breakfast menu is full of tempting dishes, from healthy chilled citrus salad and cold-pressed kale juice to indulgent Hazelnut waffles with berries and cream and the ultimate Full English.
My Eggs Benedict were sustantial and delicious, with perfectly-poached eggs, thick griddled ham and creamy Hollandaise atop a fluffy English muffin.
However, Steven’s enormous Buttermilk pancakes with summer berries, maple syrup and vanilla cream was the winning breakfast dish. No less than five freshly-flipped pancakes were doused in high quality maple syrup and topped with fresh whole berries, with the most indulgent vanilla cream served on the side.
Our Earl Grey tea was presented nicely in a silver pot with fine china tea cups – clearly everything is done with flair at Berners Tavern.
The London EDITION is the hotel to stay at if you appreciate cutting-edge design and a lobby that’s constantly bringing its A game. While the hotel has plenty of dining and bar amenities, I was a little surprised that a property of its size didn’t have a spa for some pampering and relaxation.
With Ian Schrager’s vision and Marriott’s signature warm hospitality, The London EDITION is without a doubt one of the city’s finest design hotels.
Room rates at The London EDITION Hotel start from £285 per room per night. For more information and booking, visit: www.edition-hotels.marriott.com/london
Chérie City was a guest of The London EDITION Hotel
Photos by Chérie City (Berners Tavern by The London EDITION Hotel)