After formalities, the desk clerk escorted us to our deluxe room on the 6th floor overlooking the central courtyard. There's a casual yet comfortable feel to it, with beautiful furnishings and decor, a bed so comfortable you don't want to leave it, a pretty funky bathroom, and all the other mod cons a traveller needs. These included a large flat screen television, free WiFi, iPod dock, Nespresso machine, well-stocked mini bar, a 'good' hair dryer and some lovely coffee table books and magazines.
The ethos of Rosewood is for their guests to feel at home. If you need more towels, coffee, tea, milk or just a simple question answered, call the front desk. The staff are responsive, friendly and professional.
The hotel has recently undergone a major refurbishment so everything in this heritage building is just fabulous.
DINING There are several places to eat, drink and relax. Scarfes Bar was first place we discovered on Friday night, returning again Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. One of the first things you encounter is the substantial bar with comfy stools, in a large and rather grand room which is more akin a sophisticated drawing room. There is a roaring log fire at one end, surrounded by bookcases filled with over 1,000 antique books hand-picked by a Portobello antique dealer. Seating is in leather or velvet sofas and chairs, with either round dining tables or low coffee tables. Lunch is served from noon to 3:30 p.m. In the evening, you enjoy bar snacks and light dishes accompanied by live music six nights per week.
The Holborn Dining Room is open from 7.00 am to 11.30 pm on week days, with slightly shorter hours on weekends, and has the hint of an American Diner crossed with a grand brasserie. Food is produced from locally sourced seasonal produce.
The Holborn Delicatessen This would be one of my favourite places if I lived in London. The Deli has its own dedicated entrance on High Holborn. It's perfect for goodies to take back to your room, or for passers-by to pop in for take-away goodies: home-made pastries, sandwiches, salads, porridge, soups, or something from the vast selection of delectable sweet treats. There is also a selection of oils, vinegars, chocolates, coffees, teas, wines & champagnes, and, hampers & goodies to give as gifts.
The ever so elegant Mirror Room offers all day dining as well as afternoon tea. The decor of this room will entice you to enter, even if it's only to admire the decor. With mirrors on the walls and ceiling, the tables are laid with Limoges china, beautiful crystal and silverware. Dining here is both luxurious and a series of taste sensations with food expertly prepared and presented.
There are several alcove rooms designed for private functions, one of which is a guest chefs' kitchen for master classes.
In keeping with the philosophy of the Rosewood, a selection of teas and coffees can be served here as you relax and read, or chat with friends.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
The Hotel also has a Gym and Spa, both of which look fabulous. Sadly I didn't have time to experience them.
The Rosewood at 252 High Holborn (WC1V 7EN), is within easy walking distance from the West End, Covent Garden, the British Museum and Holborn Tube Station. Next door is a Little Waitrose for the little things you forgot to pack, and around the corner is Kingsbury Street which is dotted with a number of good restaurants.
Even closer to home, tucked into a cute little lane, is the Ship Tavern. Eat downstairs for bar snacks and meals, and upstairs in the Oak Room for a full restaurant menu. Directly opposite is Thiwanya, a very good Thai Restaurant which we stumbled into on a busy Friday night.
In closing for elegance, luxury, comfort, variety, and location, the Rosewood ticks all the boxes. Pricewise, it is surely at the upper end, yet with the number of booking sites on the internet, it is possible to get a good deal.