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The Rookery - Clerkenwell

(2 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

The Rookery hotel is located just north of the City, London's financial district in Clerkenwell (pronounced 'Clarkenwell' if you're visiting). In Dickensian London it was a notorious locale for London's underbelly, but the Dot-Com boom made the Clerkenwell Road London's own 'Silicon Alley'. The Rookery is a hotel where 3 large townhouses have been joined to form a stylish, quiet and unique place to stayThis led to Shoreditch and Hoxton at the east end and Clerkenwell and Smithfield at the west end getting 'up-scaled' and before you know it, these dead zones north of the City became the epitome of re-gentrified, urban cool (hmm, kinda). Inside The Rookery polished wood panelling, stone-flagged floors, open fireplaces and liberally sprinkled antiques lend the hotel an historical atmosphere. There are 33 rooms, all en-suite, with free broadband, Wifi access and air-con. All the rooms are named after former residents of the building, throughout its two-and-a-half century lifespan. Four posters, roll top baths and heated brass towel rails are the kinds of detail which greatly contribute to the romance of a successful city-break.


Hazlitt's Hotel - Soho

(4 votes, average 3.25 out of 5)

Hazlitt's Hotel occupies a group of historic Georgian houses Hazlitt's Hotel in Soho - A boutique hotel, popular with authors, centrally placed with discreet servicein Frith Street, just off Soho Square. It was built in 1718 and although upgraded to modern standards in the 1980s, it still retains an authentic charm to its interiors. The rooms are tastefully decorated, with antique beds and furniture (though of course, with modern mattresses and support). Also, like the Rookery, it has no restaurant, but an excellent and reasonably priced breakfast is served to your room. Hazlitt's Hotel is named after the radical essayist William Hazlitt, who originally lived at number 6 Frith Street, one of the three houses which were conjoined to make the hotel in 1986 (the same blueprint has also been applied to 'The Rookery', their sister operation). Recently a fourth building was added to create more space in the reception area, and eight extra rooms.


The Ritz

Built in the Belle Epoche style in 1906 and opened by former Savoy manager, Cesar Ritz, The Ritz Hotel was the first steel framed building constructed in London.

It has become famous for its afternoon tea, which is currently the highest priced available in town, and unfortunately - the longest waiting list. Although undoubtedly luxurious, Tea at the Ritz: is taken in the Palm Court with an extensive options list, including champagne.it has always been usurped in the Egon Ronay or AA ratings, by the Savoy, Dorchester, Claridges, Connaught and the Berkeley.

It overlooks Green Park, on the south side of Piccadilly and houses a 24-hour, High-Rollers casino in the basement.


The Berkeley

Perhaps less well known than the others, The Berkeley Hotel was acquired by the Savoy Group in 1901. Originally the hotel stood on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, but moved to a purpose built site in Knightsbridge in 1972. Although this was at the expense of being located in a grand, architecturally significant building, it was compensated by the ability to offer services which older buildings are unable to.The Berkeley: is the only hotel in the West End to have a pool on the roof.
The hotel has a rooftop pool, still unique in the capital to this day, though this is as much attributable to low demand caused by the weather, than the engineering challenges. It offers panoramic views over Hyde Park and the surrounding streets of upscale Knightsbridge.


The Dorchester

(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Opened in 1931, The Dorchester Hotel was amongst the first to use reinforced concrete to create large internal spaces without the need for supporting columns. During the Second World War numerous cabinet ministers stayed there, due to its reputation for the strength and safety of the building, including Lord Halifax and Winston Churchill. In 1942 Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower, also stayed at the hotel giving his name to one of the suites. The Dorchester: a favourite with Hollywood A-listers, rivalling the Savoy.
As it's reputation grew, so it became a popular destination with the stars of the entertainment world - including: Joan Crawford, Duke Ellington, Charlton Heston, Peter Sellers (who unfortunately died there), Warren Beatty, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears.

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