Sanderson London Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Sanderson London Hotel
Exceeded Expectations ... Brilliant, as the Brits would say!
This is one place that certainly lived up to all the hype. Not one bit disappoited. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to the deluxe room at no extra charge. Yes, this hotel is extremely modern (some would say strange), but in this case, it works. Bravo, Ian Schrager.
The only thing I would say is that you should try to bring someone that you're entirely comfortable with to share the room with you, as the sheer curtains, even though they say the pink one is "opaque", you can still pretty much see what is going on in the sink and in the toilet areas from the bedroom when the bathroom lights are on. The shower is back in the corner, so no problem there. Otherwise, you have to use the toilet with the light off to avoid a public display of your private moment.
The pictures on the ceiling were a riot (we would never get away with that in earthquake-prone California), and the Long Bar was fantastic. Yes, it is jammed with somewhat-beautiful people (not supermodels, don't get carried away), and most are not wearing runway fashions, they are wearing business suits, as the early 30-something London executive crowd tends to drop by straight from work.
I found the Purple Bar to be somewhat depressing. Yes, it's for guests only, but I never saw more than one person in there ... I guess it would be great for closet alcoholics that don't want to be seen drinking in public, but the Long Bar is much more inviting and not as intimidating as some of the other users make it sound. The bartenders are fantastic.
The space-travel elevators were fun, as was the funky furniture in the lobby. Fantastic service, and a really super-friendly non-pretentious staff too. They didn't even have that stiff British formality you sometimes find in London hotels; everybody was very approachable.
This is a VERY sexy place, great for a special splurge for a romantic date (wasn't my case this time unfortunately, but maybe the next time around).
If you can afford it, and your idea of a nice London hotel doesn't resemble something out of Buckingham Palace, stay at the Sanderson!
The Best - Thanks to Tripadvisor
Wow - The Sanderson Lived up to all my expectations. Great Staff, Great Location, Atmosphere, everthing.
Perfect for every occassion - all my requests were met - free late check out, reservations booked and confirmed for us. Perfect.
Ask for a Long Apple Martini at the Long Bar - HEAVEN!
My first date!
I was taken to the Sanderson by a lovely man that I had just met and he couldn't have picked a better place - I was very impressed and will remember it for the rest of my life.
Sanderson -- Vast Improvements
I stayed at Sanderson for the fourth time from April 25 to April 28. My room was booked at the Ian Schrager Hotels website at a promotional rate of 310 quid for what previous experience taught was a nicely-sized, deluxe room -- including a guaranteed upgrade and a complimentary bottle of Champagne. I figured I would be upgraded to a deluxe room with treadmill.
From the very beginning, I could tell that a new days has dawned across the Ian Schrager empire; I first witnessed, last December, that staff at Clift had become friendly, proactively helpful and faultlessly sincere and polite. The maids there were greeting me in the halls, for crying out loud. I wish everyone who makes ridiculous assumptions that non-English or new-English speaking people cannot provide a "wow" level of service could have seen Clift's staff in action. "Friendly" translates around the globe.
But back to Sanderson...after a warm welcome and assistance from the door/bellman my travel companion and I had a few laughs with the front desk staff. We were early, so they kindly offered us a cuppa and to have our luggage stored. We declined the cuppa and instead went to Agua Spa to confirm our appointments which we'd made on the nifty (though not failsafe) "Customization" option you can choose through the website -- this service purports to allow you to customize your room amenities and dinner reservations around town, and they offer to meet other special requests.
As a test of the system, I made two requests.
First, I asked the concierge to book a table at Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road one month in advance of my visit (GR takes reservations one month to the day in advance only and it fully books within an hour). It is notoriously hard to book, and I wanted to see what pull the hotel had at culinary hot spots around town. Disappointingly, I never heard from anyone at the hotel about this request, nor was it mentioned at check-in. Luckily, I had gotten up at 1am where I live, one month in advance, and made reservations under the name of my traveling companion.
On a less grand scale, I also ordered a bowl of ripe pears to be placed in the room prior to our arrival (nitpicky, but not impossible to obtain nor too pricey!)...in the end, we checked in and found Sanderson also failed the pear test, but it was one of only a couple relatively minor stumbles. Still, it matters when you offer a service and don't follow through.
But any fruit frets were dissipated when, upon entering our room in the afternoon, we were stunned to find we had been upgraded to a "Loft suite king w/balcony, tub and shower, landscaped terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows " (room 607) -- these rooms are not only Phillipe "Carved glass furnishing, glass walls and diaphonous curtains" Starck at his greatest, they also feature an expansive wood-planked outdoor terrace given privacy by a hedgerow of bamboo, planted in oversized gray flowerpots. Across the way is Chaplin's furniture store and Fitzrovia, Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Soho beckon just down Berners Street.
Sanderson service was exceptional from beginning to end. The turn-down lady at night, the desk staff, the bar staff (especially Purple Bar) and room service were all a pleasure to interact with -- good looking people with a mind for the customer. A great recipe for hospitality!
This Agua Spa experience was an improvement over my most recent -- I walked out last December after they were 25 minutes late getting me in for my treatment. This time everything ran like friendly clock-work. Gabby was my therapist, and she did a great facial and massage (Eve Lom facial). A guy in a spa? Eeeek! Well get over it...a good looking woman pampering you for 90 minutes has to appeal to somebody, I would think...
Beauty in the details contributes a differentiated, positive experience in a hotel. To that end, it's worth pointing out that the complimentary welcome bottle of Champagne could have been Cuvee Eurotunnel 2004, but it turned out to be Laurent- Perrier NV and that ain't bilge water. It was a nice touch to see that a hotel charging me 5 quid for a packet of mini-bar crisps stepped up to form when it was their turn to splurge.
The room appeared freshly painted -- it was impeccably clean and the Starck design touches (aside from a few small holes in the diaphonous room dividing curtains and hardwood floor scuffs) were in day-one condition...this is particularly relevant in Sanderson's case, since it made such a fuss about its cutting edge look. There's nothing more pathetic than highly trumpeted technology and design that either doesn't work or fails to achive a basic "wow." I've been in hotels that think they're XBox, but are really just a bad game of Pong.
I walked out of the Sanderson with a nearly-confirmed, positive re-estimation of the Schrager chain. It's damned expensive to stay at Sanderson, but it's more expensive at other places and a lot less fun -- a certain place on Park Lane, for instance. Thus, given that i got all the design and all the service I expect at the rate, and given the amazing room upgrade, I felt that the 1078 quid with tax, 2 Agua Spa facials (at 98 quid each with added charges for spa entry and gratuity), phone calls, mini-bar crisps and half-bottle of white wine, and room service breakfast was numbingly expensive for 2 nights but worth every penny in the most hedonistic way.
All this place ever needed was a smile and a sense of competence to match the aesthetics of its physical and human resources, and right now it's sunshine on Berners Street, even when it rains (hard during our visit, with thunder and lightning!). But we were next on our way to an overnight at Clift in San Francisco. Would it be as good an experience? Only a 10 hour plane ride stood between us and the answer....
(Continued on Clift review page)
The hotel is a lot of fun but is definately not for everyone. If you're more for traditional this hotel is probably not for you. Everything is unique from the lips chair in the lobby to the space theme and music in the elevator. One thing you'll notice is theres curtains everywhere which creates a sort of sexy atmosphere. Both the Purple Bar (for guests only) and the Long Bar are beautiful and serve great original martinis. The restaurant Spoon isn't cheap but your meal looks like a work of art. The pillows and sheets in the rooms are really comfortable and the bathrooms are definately something different. Watch out for the showers tho they tend to flood. The spa, Agua, is excellent and very relaxing. The whole experience overall was just a lot of fun and the service is great
What a hotel! I have stayed in another Ian Schrager hotel in London, so my expectations were already high. From the moment we walked through the door, we were greeted exuberantly by Peter and the front desk staff. We were treated to a tour of the hotel's highlights by Peter and shown to our room. Nothing could have prepared us for a room like this...simply superb in its subtelty! Booked for a late dinner at Spoons and was not disappointed...great food, great wine recommendation by the Sommelier. Then, had drinks in the Purple Bar...quite an extravagance for for hotel guests only and well worth it. We are planning a trip back just for the spa!
The Sublime Sanderson
I stayed at the Sanderson for 16 days on a business trip last summer. I loved the design of the hotel, from the Lips sofa that greets you inside the door, the diaphanous curtains throughout the Long Bar and many panels of faceted Venetian glass.The room was spotless, well-appointed and attended to twice a day by the housekeeping staff. All sheets, pillowcases, even the duvet cover were changed every single day. The bed was a heaven of comfort. And the air conditioning, during one especially steamy London week, was blessed and chilly relief.The shower was finally one in the U.K. that an American can figure out -- it was wonderful, always plenty of hot water. I loved the innovative Philippe Starck designs. The bowl sink was set into a red Venetian glass table that afforded lots of room for necessities. Four large plastic bin-drawers were perfect for storing toiletries. Just pull one out and put it on the red table.The staff was wonderful -- from check in on. Thom, the Concierge looked after every need and tracked down an errant package and gave me twice daily updates, then tracked me down in the restaurant and personbally handed it to me.Breakfast in the Long Bar was an ample buffet and each morning Chai would specially make me a giant espresso, taking the ordinary coffee away saying, This isnt for you!I had dinner at Spoon+ twice and lunch once. The food was superb, and the sommelier made glass by glass recommendations that enhanced the food superbly.The Long Bar is quite a scene, starting at 4 each day. By 6 you cant get near it. How fortunate there is the Purple Bar, just for guests. Their vodka martinis are the best!Although it is pricey, I would jump at the chance to stay at the Sanderson again. They treated me royally, and my experience couldn't have been better.
What a Hotel!
My husband and I stayed at the Sanderson in November 2002. What a hotel! It fits in the category of minimalist chic, yet it is very comfortable. The bed was large and soft, and very comfortable, with a 400 threat count duvet cover. There was a stereo and CDs in the room, which was a nice extra that you normally don't have in hotel rooms.
There was lots of storage space for bags and clothing. The bathroom was huge. The hotel is very well located, in the heart of the Oxford area, and we walked to all the sights and shopping. The restaurant there, Spoon, is the best restaurant I have ever eaten at (really!), and the room service was honestly the best I have ever had. My husband and I enjoyed the bars there, the Purple Bar and Long Bar. Really, we didn't have to leave the hotel for a night out if we did not want to. The staff was also extremely accomodating at all times. And, the rates were reasonable. I just came back from another trip to Europe and I wish there were "Ian" hotels where we stayed. If you're going to London, you can't go wrong with this hotel.
What a hotel. This is a great place if you're hip. We loved it when we stayed here as part of our honeymoon recently. Can't wait to go back.
Interesting hotel in concept and design, but does all minimalist content just hide the fact that it is a converted office building? The Long Bar is cool, and the garden patio pleasant, but the Purple Bar and Pool room seem juvenile. All of this may appeal to some, but when the phones go down, help rather than sarcasm or platitudes would be appeciated. This is not a business friendly hotel, except for the "working girls" at the bar, I guess!
TripAdvisor Reviews Sanderson London Hotel
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