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One Aldwych, Covent Garden, London
Occupying an interesting Edwardian corner building in Covent Garden overlooking Waterloo Bridge (it was designed by the same architect that did the Ritz in London and Paris and used to house the Morning Post), this independent family-owned five-star hotel is a characterful and stylish place to stay in the centre of the city. A refurbhas not only brought the design and technology bang up to date, but it's also improved the eco-credentials, with LED lights throughout and Evac toilets that use 70% less water. Indigo is the only restaurant in a five-star hotel in the UK to receive coeliac accreditation, with an entirely gluten and dairy-free menu and cocktails in the lobby bar come with a scratch-and-sniff menu in a collaboration with the local independent perfumers Floral Street.
If you forget your swimsuit, it's not a problem - there's an amazing variety of shops in the neighbourhood.
The hotel is in the heart of London's West End, surrounded by theatres, pubs, restaurants and designer shops.
By car: around 2 hours from Brighton, 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol and Birmingham, and 4 hours from Manchester.
By train: there are direct trains to London Waterloo from Salisbury (1 hour 30 mins), Portsmouth (1 hour 30 mins) and Exeter (3 hours 15 mins). The hotel is a five-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Ideal for city-breaking couples wanting a central location in an upmarket stylish hotel. The enormous bronze sculpture of an oarsman that looms from behind the bar sums up the independent spirit of the hotel.
Service & Facilities
The concierge are part of the exclusive Clefs d'Or club, which means they will satisfy any guest request so long as it isn't illegal. We loved how eager the spa therapist is to share her knowledge of the products she works with too. Small or medium dogs over the age of one are welcome and given a bed, bowl and towels, and treats from Bow Wow London, a grooming parlour that's just a bone's throw away.
- Swimming pool
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 310 is our favourite, with a view directly across Waterloo Bridge. We love the 100% pure wool blankets, which are all handwoven on pedal looms in the Isle of Skye by Skye Weavers.
Classic Room, Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Studio Suite, Suite, Signature Suite
Facilities include: ensuite shower or bath, Mitchell & Peach toiletries, tea and coffee facilities, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Cocktails in the lobby bar include a partnership with Floral Street perfumers, with a scratch and sniff menu to help you choose your concoction. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea is enchanting, with fluffy candy floss and "fizzy-lifting" tea.
Indigo: modern European cuisine. Open daily for breakfast, weekends for lunch and Weds-Sun for dinner. Afternoon tea served, from £58 per person.
Lobby Bar: coffees, cocktails, sandwiches, salads. Mains from £10.