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Said to be the only suite in the world with its own zip code, the decadent demi-palace that is the Manor House Wing at Rosewood London, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, welcomes guests via its own private entrance—with the help of its own doorman, of course—and comprises one premier suite, one grand premier suite, one grand premier family suite, three executive king rooms and the extraordinary showstopper, the Manor House.
At first sight, the headliner suite enraptures the eye with an almost mythical aura that elicits uncontrollable amounts of oohs and ahhs. Whilst the building is best summed up as Belle Epoque and English eccentric ridiculousness at its finest, the style of its star attraction’s interiors are a little more difficult to characterize: demure and over-the-top, muted but glossy, stuck in the past, yet still modern. The effect? A country house landmark vibe that meets the razzmatazz of an ultra cool LA-esque party pad.
Designed by American interior designer Tony Chi, the strikingly stylish rap/pop star worthy (Justin Bieber has stayed here) Manor House features bespoke furniture, grand kitchenette, vast dining room, a swish iPad-operated sound system, daily florals courtesy of luxury florist McQueens, complementary mini bar piled with treats from Queen Elizabeth’s grocer of choice, Fortnum and Mason and a curated wine selection hidden away in a temperature controlled fridge. It’s an exhaustive list, but hey, you get what you pay for.
Though the entire suite appeals to all the latest trends, the wing’s personal library is a worthy standout. Piled with uber luxe coffee table books, let’s just say it’s the definition of high rolling rock n’ roll spunk. Portraits paying homage to the likes of Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, and Jim Hendrix hang over a carefully selected mix of knickknacks that celebrate Rosewood’s defining ethos: the locale meets the world. Cute figurine British bulldogs and minute ornamental nods to the British monarchy are juxtaposed with the artistic flair of beaming African masks and oriental portraiture.
The Italian marble clad bathroom also deserves a shout out. Crowned by a vast, half globe and super Instagrammble marble tub, it's over-the-top millennial grandeur at its best. Split between his and hers vanity sink, a separate shower room lined with beehive floors, and a botanical glass shutter boasts a groovy marble seat perfect post gluttonous dinner blackout.
On the other side, there’s the smart Japanese toilet, something I’m not ashamed to say I spent hours fiddling with all its eye-brow raising settings. To be blunt, TOTO know what they are doing when it comes to the lavatory department.
What sets it apart from other London grand dames? For a start, the entire experience is painfully personalized. From Rivolta bathrobes to pillowcases, stationary to business cards, by checking out, your butler will make sure your initials are laced on just about everything.
"So many of London’s hotels have traditional butlers but we want ours to act as personal assistants for our guests," said Michael Bonsor, Managing Director of Rosewood London. In fact, the experience is so personalized Bonsor admits they "often use social media as a tool to find out what is dear to our guests." In my case, they nailed the autumnal blooms, mountains of chocolate, and the cleverly placed LA Taschen (my next destination).
The butlers Bonsor speaks of are also unusually ‘at your service’ for a London hotel. On arrival, I was asked whether or not I would like anything pressed for the evening or if I’d like my luggage to be unpacked into the literally larger than life walk-through closet. I declined, but was nonetheless appreciative.
Manor House and butlers aside, the rest of the hotel oozes quintessential Englishness. Once the former headquarters of the Grade II-listed Pearl Assurance Company, original features to shout about include the carriageway entrance to the courtyard and the gargantuan seven-storey Pavoanazzo marble staircase.
It all sounds grand but you’ll be reassured to know the place doesn’t take itself too seriously. Mish-mashes of laugh out loud curios are hidden away in glass cabinets, sultry model bulldogs and cages of fake birds (one or two are real) line the dark and sultry corridors. The major highlight? Ready your cameras for the rose gold-mirrored ceiling. It’s worth a selfie with.
Food wise, the Martin Brudnizki-designed Holborn Dining Room is an Art Deco, brasserie-esque touch of glam that Don Draper himself would approve of. Must eats include the steak, as well as one of chef Calum Franklin’s glossy pies, and don’t miss the Alice in Wonderland-style Scarfes Bar for a pre or postprandial cocktail and live jazz classics. A great way to end a night in a suite with its own zip code if you ask me.