The lobby is 5 star chic. So is the elevator. The rooms too.
But the functionality is about one star
The rooms (and I've stayed in 3 different ones) suffer from Boutique Hotel Syndrome: no thought was given to anything a traveler might actually need or want.
OUTLETS: Hidden in the corners of the room, not particularly accessible from the bed or desk, hard to find. (PLUS - they do provide a complimentary adapter. MINUS - it's buried in the mini-bar in between the condoms and the cashews, not on the desk where one might actually look for it)
NOISE: The rooms are noisy. There is a very active bar scene and it spills out to the front of the hotel and to the interior atrium every night until around 2AM. There are a few rooms that overlook the back, but if you want a quiet night's sleep, this isn't the place.
SERVICE: If you ask the staff to do something (fetch a taxi, help with bags, etc.) they are quite gracious and accommodating. But you have to ask and that's what separates a great hotel from a good one. The hotel has a large number of non-guests coming in and out at all hours to use the bar, the spa and the gym, and I suspect that is why it's tough for them to figure out who is a guest and who just wandered in to check out the lobby. That's an explanation not an excuse - I'd rather have the doorman ask me if I need a taxi every time I leave the hotel versus walking outside, noting an absence of cabs in front of the hotel and having to turn around and ask the doorman if he could please find one for me. They are extremely helpful once you ask, but anticipating needs is what the service business is all about.
GYM: Excellent. One of the best hotel gyms I've seen, especially in Europe. BUT... they seem to cater to non-guests who have gym memberships (and their personal trainers) which has the effect of making the actual hotel guests feel like intruders.
BAR: Lively, but feels touristy rather than chic and local. Really loud too.
ROOM SERVICE: Excellent food, excellent service... to a point. No attempts ever made to collect the dishes when you're done
BREAKFAST: The buffet breakfast is very ample, very tasty and the servers are very good too. Breakfast is often included in the room rate as part of their package deals
INTERNET: They charge for WiFi, though you don't have to log in daily and the speed is pretty good for a hotel - I was getting about 5 up and 5 down, which is about 1/10 of what I get at home, but faster than connecting via my phone
LOCATION: Excellent location in Fitzrovia, near SoHo and Oxford Circus, you can pretty much walk anywhere in the West End in about a half hour-- cross Oxford Street and continue on Wardour and there are a many excellent restaurant options
BATHROOM: More Starck madness: there's just a curtain and glass separating the bathroom from the bedroom, so if you wake up in the middle of the night and you're sharing a room, be prepared to wake up your partner. The shower has no lip on it to stop the water from coming out, so you need to put a towel in front of it or wind up with a wet floor. The soap dish in the shower is tiny and only holds two bottles: if you're using shampoo, conditioner and body wash, you're out of luck. Excellent products though each item - shampoo, body wash, conditioner, lotion - is a different (strong) scent, and that kind of defeats the purpose.
BEDS: Very comfortable - linens are soft and not overly heavy or light - just right. Lots of pillows too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A lavish "Urban Spa" in the heart of London’s West End, Sanderson offers a retreat from the bustle of the city into a world of fantasy and wellbeing. The landmarked 50s building has been transformed into a surreal Cocteau-like dream world, epitomizing a “new luxury” that is smart, pared down, and tempered with a healthy dose of wit and irony. Sanderson’s indoor/outdoor lobby is a layered and sophisticated environment that is totally original. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- London Sanderson Hotel
- Sanderson London Hotel England