One Aldwych review – An elegant oasis amid London’s hurly burly

One Aldwych review – An elegant and tranquil oasis amid London’s hurly burly – words Lee Taylor

After the hustle and bustle of central London, the first thing that strikes you about One Aldwych is the sense of laid back charm that washes over you as you walk in. There is an unhurried friendly feel in the main atrium which also serves as a rather sophisticated bar area.

The frenzy that is London hurries by outside unaware of the calm oasis in its midst. You are right in the middle of theatreland with all the hustle and bustle that means. Convent Garden, as well, is a short stroll away so it’s position is second to none.

 

The door and reception team are all very calm personable and reassuring. It is as far away from the dry corporate group feel as you could hope to get. The receptionist who dealt with us told us to look out for the secret door at the entrance and to ask to enter. When we did so the doorman did indeed show us the hidden door to the secret guest lounge. The kids loved this of course as did we. It’s actually quite a size and you can order food and drink in there in calm surroundings as the world rushes by outside.

We had adjoining rooms which really gave us a feeling of space to unwind in. Again, there was nice attention to detail our 2 kids had their own dressing gowns that actually fit. The rooms were stylish, contemporary and it all looked nicely done.

The kids wanted to race down straight to the pool and who was I to put a dampener on that? The One Aldwych spa is a real asset. The pool is very nice and the underwater mood music a nice touch. The steam room was mightily hot and spacious probably the best I’ve experienced. There are some fun inflatables there too for the kids to enjoy. It was hard to pull them away but with London beckoning it was time to explore.

We dined at the new and refreshingly different Eneko at One Aldwych. Now I’ve dined in many restaurants in Spain and know there is life beyond tapas but if you look around most high streets in the UK you wouldn’t know it.

But Eneko has an identity all of its own. It’s an inventive take on Basque food by the renowned Three Michelin-starred Basque chef Eneko. It’s housed in a rather brilliantly designed basement space, very stylish and contemporary. No football shirts pinned on the wall at Eneko! A sumptuous copper staircase guides you down into a high-ceilinged space. Memories of the Bay of Biscay starter is oysters, spider crab and sea urchins is a seafood lovers’ heaven and the Basque style squid in ink sauce is another. The braised pork cheeks are very tasty and presented with verve. It’s hearty, imaginatively prepared cuisine.

One Aldwych has a laid back sophisticated style that makes you want to linger. It has lots of original artworks and sculptures too some on the walls, some in prime positions but some in little nook and cranny’s where you least except. The bronze rower with his small boat and massive oars graces the stunning bar area and a dog statue covered in old Beano comics that sat near the lifts as if asking to be let in. It adds to the that graceful atmosphere and style of the hotel. It’s an elegant and tranquil cocoon where you can escape and relax before your next foray into the hurly burly of central London.

One Aldwych review – An elegant and tranquil oasis amid London’s hurly burly – words Lee Taylor