Top 40 London hotels: Readers’ Choice Awards 2021
What was your first impression of the place?
Large, imposing and historic. The white neoclassical building – with its rising Corinthian columns and its statue of Old Father Thames holding a trident – was built in 1922 to house the London Port Authority, well served by its position overlooking the river and the Tower of London (c was the second tallest building in town at the time). The Maybachs and Jaguars frequently stop on the sidewalk, not least because the building, renovated and reopened in 2017, also houses a private club on the second floor (unfortunately inaccessible to guests). The lobby’s equally awe-inspiring marble rotunda would feel cavernous were it not for the warm bar that beckons you across the room – with a sexy curved copper top and baroque cabinet of backlit bottles – and the lounge tables scattered throughout. the room under a dome.
That looks interesting…
The building’s history adds to the sparkle. On the one hand, the rotunda was bombed during the Blitz in the early 1940s, and rebuilt later. The United Nations Ballroom, lined with richly carved original walnut woodwork (whose paintings pay homage to former local residents Samuel Pepys, the great London Restoration chronicler, and Samuel Chaucer, who worked nearby) is worth seeing. detour. It was the site of the first United Nations general assembly in 1946, as well as the dance scene of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (whom Brangelina is said to have fallen in love with). And the legacy of the site goes back even further: during the excavation of the basement, some archaeological finds were made, including cellars with chalk walls and animal remains, which were sent to the Museum of London. Archeology. That said, the overall feel of the building doesn’t look like a museum at all. Clever designers have infused public spaces, hallways, and bedrooms with a sleek and sophisticated masculine palette of gray, gold, and blood-red carpets, with stylistic nods to the roots of the building’s Art Deco era (light fixtures, furniture) and fanciful modernity. flourishes, like the light sculptures designed by Cerith Wyn Evans, a Welsh artist whose work is also on display at the Tate Gallery.
How was your room?
The first thing you notice once you walk through the heavy door is the silence. The room itself is literally noise-canceling, with the plush carpet, slate gray quilted headboard wall, chunky windows, and stacked screens creating a blackout. (Extremely useful in recovering from jet lag.) Acoustics aside, the room looks a bit like James Bond’s lair, with houndstooth wallpaper and a glamorous gold-accented minibar with cut crystal glasses. and Plymouth and Sipsmith Gin ready to toss in a martini. Suitably enough for Bond, everything in the room is technologically wired through the bedside iPad, be it room service, television, or air conditioning. The bathroom is also very chic, lined with gold, white, and gray piazza tiles that extend to the edges of a large tub and marble sink. There are 100 rooms in this vein, including nine ultra-large Heritage Suites in the building’s former management offices. (The top two floors are private residences; 10 of these have recently been added to the hotel inventory.)
The soaps and shower products are Bottega Veneta. They quickly found their way into my bag.
What else will you find here?
Downstairs there is a large spa with a Moroccan hammam and a 14-meter swimming pool. And if you need a spare shirt or tie, there’s a Brioni shop in the lobby.
And the food ?
An international menu is served throughout the day in the Rotunda Lobby, where the ‘Bright Young Things’ tea service is also staged in the afternoon. But the real highlight here is La Dame de Pic, a leather banquet space serving inventive French cuisine imagined by Anne-Sophie Pic, the only French female chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. Its gourmet sweets change with the seasons, but when I was there in the spring, they included (take a deep breath here): pumpkin consomme with bergamot; Jerusalem artichoke garnished with a curry and coffee marshmallow; langoustines in carrot juice; cauliflower mousse with mimolette cheese; steak washed with coffee and cinnamon leaves; and a Dover sole with a hint of roasted asparagus, itself notched with tiny spoonfuls of apple jelly and geranium leaves in a green apple, green anise and pine bud sauce, as if it had been made by wood nymphs. The restaurant is a wonderful feminine antidote to the dominant masculine atmosphere of the rest of the building. There is also a Sino-Japanese restaurant called Mei Ume which boasts its Peking Duck and which opened a few weeks after my stay at the hotel.
Why is it worth booking?
There is obviously no shortage of hotels in London, and this one, near the relatively un-touristy financial district, is also well served by the region’s trendy social hub, The Ned. But Ten Trinity Square is a clean and simple adult hotel. He’s calm, good-looking, understated, and has a historic pedigree that makes you want to wear the best of whatever you’ve packed. (Conversely, it’s not a great hotel for kids; I spent all of my time telling mine to come down.)