What it’s like staying at the Rosewood London

There are good hotels, there are great hotels — and then there are hotels that frequently play host to the world’s most famous and influential people. In London, there are a few of those hotels, but I’ve been told (and seen from TV shows and flashy paparazzi pics) that the Rosewood London, found in Holborn, is simply one of the best.

So, on a recent trip to Britain’s capital city, I decided to see for myself what makes the majestic property — which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2023 — good enough for the likes of Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and the other who’s-who that would rather not be named.

From my new favorite hotel bar in the world (more on that later) to one of the most mesmerizing, eclectic lobbies I’ve ever experienced (not to mention the room, the storied building and the superior service), I can say without a doubt it’s one of the best hotels this hotels reporter has ever stayed at.

Here’s everything you need to know about staying at the Rosewood London (even if you’re just regular folk like me).

What is the Rosewood London


The Rosewood London is a luxury hotel in the Holborn neighborhood that opened in 2013. The hotel is housed in a truly stunning — and demanding — Edwardian building that dates back to 1914 and has been expanded upon multiple times in the years since. Before the Rosewood takeover, it also had multiple lives as different hotels. Much of the building, like the facade and grand staircase, has been delicately preserved; however, it has also received countless contemporary upgrades to bring it into the 21st century and in line with Rosewood’s beautiful standards.

Related: The complete guide to flying to London on points and miles

Outside the immaculate hotel, it’s a quick walk to some of the city’s most popular areas and attractions, such as The British Museum and Covent Garden. It’s an easy Tube, bus or car ride to the rest of Central and Greater London.


How to book the Rosewood London

If you haven’t guessed, a stay at the Rosewood London doesn’t come easy on the wallet. Standard rates start around $750 per night and can increase significantly during peak holidays and major events.

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Unfortunately, Rosewood is not part of a major hotel loyalty program, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get some great perks, depending on how you book. Folks who carry The Platinum Card® from American Express can book through Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts to snag elite-like benefits such as a 12 p.m. check-in (when available), a potential room upgrade, daily breakfast for two, a $100 food and drink credit, guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout and more.

It’s like staying in a palace


When you imagine a fancy London hotel, the exterior you conjure up is probably very much like that of the Rosewood. It’s grand, stately and has a real sense of place in a city that stretches back almost a couple of thousand years.


To enter the hotel, guests must first pass down High Holborn (a historic route dating back to the Roman Empire) through an impressive carriageway and into a large courtyard. While I was visiting, the courtyard was partially taken over by a pop-up art and restaurant experience celebrating the launch of a new Macallan whisky; it transformed the space into the Scottish wilderness, complete with a sun-like orb hanging dramatically over it all.


That dramatic entrance alone sets the bar ridiculously high, but once you enter the chic lobby, where every direction serves up a feast for the eyes, the bar rises even higher. Although I’ll leave you to experience the majority of those visionary treats when you someday stay at the Rosewood, it would be a crime not to mention a few highlights. For starters, there’s the wood-, glass- and mirror-paneled hallway immediately at the entrance, where people stop to take in its beauty (and then obviously pose for copious Instagram photos).

rooms are chic and comfortable


I stayed for two nights in a Grand Executive Room on a high floor that offered sweeping views of London, reaching from the Eye to the skyscrapers of The City of London.


With more than 300 rooms and suites spread across such a massive hotel, getting to my suite was a journey of the senses in itself. Dark and moody hallways lead past the palatial staircases clad with black-and-white marble.

In my actual room, which was around 355 square feet, I was immediately taken by the simple-yet-chic luxury of the space. It included a geometric carpet designed in shades of brown and tan, pops of tomato-orange accents and understated furniture that made it feel homey.


My room was a sort of “L” shape, with the large, plush bed in one corner, a TV and credenza opposite it and a large round table with two tufted armchairs next to it.


The bed was like sleeping on a cloud (and the views above the city kind of made it feel like that, too). The Rivolta Carmignani Italian linens were superb, and though a pillow menu was available, I was more than content with the luxuriously soft pillows already on the bed. But what was most special about it was that the back pillows on each side were monogrammed with my and my partner’s initials, an amenity I had always dreamed of experiencing.


Those subtle touches set great hotels apart from the best hotels. Another thing worth noting is that Rosewood London is tech-forward in the sense that above the nightstand, there were already USB-C charging ports built into the headboard. Again, luxury.


Though I never turned on the 46-inch TV during my stay, I was glad that two refillable glass water bottles were waiting next to it — a subtle reminder to stay hydrated among all the gin and tonics.

In the side part of the L-shaped room was a small nook with a writing desk, lamp and chair, as well as a nice-sized closet.

The room also featured shelves containing a Nespresso coffee maker; a fridge with beer, spirits, sodas, juices and water; a drawer with red wine, more spirits and lots of snacks; and an in-drawer safe.


The real star of the space was the bathroom. I’ll tell you now: No photo can do it justice.

Though not the largest bathroom in the world, it might have been the most stunning I’ve seen in a while. Like the lobby, the bathroom featured a staggering amount of marble, hammered silver sinks, a large wall mirror and lots and lots of mirrored surfaces (perfect for the vain, not so great for the self-conscious).


A large marble soaking tub demanded a bath, especially considering the luxe Votary soaps that accompanied it.

Overall, the room was everything I hoped for: posh, smart and, most importantly, comfortable.

Scarfes Bar is an institution


More than almost anything, I love a moody hotel bar that’s sophisticated and cheeky, vibey but relaxed and great for people-watching. Scarfes Bar on the main floor — which has a public entrance and special guest entrance — is just that. The bar also claimed the No. 41 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, published annually.

We ended up spending both of our two late nights after dinner at Scarfes. We got in easily without having reservations, which I assume was because we were hotel guests.


The first night, we sat at the actual bar, which was lit by a three-stick candelabra. We listened to live music from a piano and sipped on my favorite drink from the “Greatest Hits” menu: the Crescent City, made with The Macallan 12-year-old whisky, discarded banana peel and lightly sweet pandan (21 British pounds/$26).

The bartenders were quick to make conversation despite busily crafting gorgeous cocktails. They explained the caricature-like drawings of notable Brits (like Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis) drawn by famous cartoonist Gerald Scarfe (the bar’s namesake), scattered small and large around the gentleman club-like space.


The second night, we returned to a less crowded setting. We were able to grab a table under a massive bookshelf containing interesting books and fun bric-a-brac trinkets that added so much texture to the already texture-filled space designed by my favorite firm, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. That evening, a woman sang melancholy ballads while a man played guitar, and I sipped on another Crescent City (or two … or three).

You’ll never go hungry


At the Rosewood London, there are a few different places to eat or drink beyond Scarfes Bar. There’s a charming sit-down restaurant, a spot dedicated to the quintessential British pie, an art-inspired afternoon tea room and more.


During my quick stay, I got to experience the seasonal Macallan Estate pop-up terrace experience, Amber Meadow. Though it was the last night of the roughly two-week experience (and has since changed to its next seasonal offering), it’s worth highlighting the experience. It was like transporting out of London, through the Scottish woods and into a heated dining room where we ate foods like grilled miso-glazed aubergine with mushroom puree and a delicious soup that felt just right for the setting. Drinks included cocktails made with the new Macallan whisky, like the Foraging Old Fashioned, made with sous-bois verjus, evaporated nougat, palo cortado and edible moss.


The other dining options at Rosewood London include the Holborn Dining Room, with its stately ionic columns, red leather chairs and booths. The menu features a mix of British classics and seafood- and meat-heavy dishes like pea and mint soup (11 pounds or $13), dressed Devonshire crab (21 poiunds or $27) and 50-day aged Cornish rare breed sirloin with pickled walnut salad and Bearnaise sauce (35 pounds or $45). The restaurant also hosts a traditional Sunday Roast every Sunday afternoon.


If you’re in a hurry or just want a taste of British comfort food to take away, you can stop at The Pie Room to grab a savory treat like a hand-raised pork pie (9 pounds or $12) or the dauphinoise potato pie comte and caramelized onion pie (12 pounds or $16).

Another all-day option is The Mirror Room, which has a breakfast menu offering a continental breakfast (35 pounds or $45) and dinner options like sharable confit tomato focaccia (11 pounds or $14). Main dishes include roasted butternut squash (25 pounds or $32) and a 45-day aged Scottish beef fillet (52 pounds or $66). To wash it down, stop at The Champagne Bar, in the middle of the restaurant, for a glass of bubbles.

Afternoon tea is like a museum you can eat and drink


The one thing you must do (and that I simply could not fit in and wholeheartedly regret) is the Rosewood London’s Art Afternoon Tea. We all know tea time is a big deal across the pond, but no place does it quite as beautifully as the Rosewood.

Instead of your regular dainty tea sandwiches and pastries, this over-the-top tea set is inspired by an artist, with nibbles and bites to reflect that. While I was there, the menu and interior design were inspired by the life and work of David Hockney. It’s now offering a menu inspired by British jewelry maker Garrard, a company that has designed for the royal family since the 1700s. That tea set costs 85 pounds (or $107) but can be upgraded to include a glass of Dom Perignon for about 160 pounds ($202).

It’s a great retreat from the busy city

Another reason to stay at the Rosewood London, besides the beautiful space and incredible restaurants and bars, is that the large hotel is a great place to spend a day without ever having to leave.

Wake up in the morning and head to the Fitness Suite for a workout, grab breakfast in the Mirror Room, then book a treatment like the 150-minute Sense of London journey (370 pounds or $468) that includes a custom massage and facial, at the Sense Spa. Follow it up with a nap in your room, dinner at Holborn Dining Room and a nightcap at Scarfes Bar, and you’re set for the perfect day.



The Rosewood London offers accessible rooms for travelers with various physical limitations — but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by simply clicking around on the website. In fact, I couldn’t find any information about those rooms, which is a true disservice to potential guests. However, after talking to a reservations specialist on the phone, I was informed that there are accessible King Executive Rooms with a roll-in shower.

As someone with a wheelchair user in my family, I always advise travelers who need accessible accommodations to call the hotel first. This way, they can check what’s available and make sure that they have a booking confirmation for that particular room type before they arrive.

Checking out


The morning of my departure from Rosewood London, my heart was both full of joy and dread about leaving. Though I don’t have the accolades or star power of many of the hotel’s A-list guests, I did feel like I had been treated like royalty in a space for a king or a queen — at least a really modern one who appreciates modern art, sleek design and bit of cheeky luxury.

For me, the room was an incredibly comfortable respite from the madness that is London. Scarfes Bar served the best kind of style and cocktails. Also, the hotel’s location made it easy for me to walk and explore some of the best attractions the city has to offer (and don’t even get me started on those monogrammed pillows).

Walking out, I knew that the Rosewood London had made it on my list of best hotels I’d ever stayed in. If it’s not already, I think it deserves a spot on your list of must-visit hotels.

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