Rosewood London


Scarfes Bar has become a popular meeting place for Londoners, and the restaurant, also with street entrance, Holborn Dining Room, is deservedly popular. The main building, set back in its own courtyard, is for hotel guests only, and is a haven of calm and relaxation.

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The hotel occupies the former headquarters, until the mid-1990s, of Pearl Assurance. This purpose-built flamboyant Belle Epoque Edwardian building has rare and lovely marble panels and pillars, Cuban mahogany and French walnut fittings. But its most remarkable feature is a solid Pavonazzo marble staircase that soars to a dizzying 166-foot high cupola.

Style & character

Before Rosewood took over, this was the Renaissance Chancery Court, a Marriott hotel, and it was dead dull. Now it has been transformed by interior designers Toni Chi and Martin Brudnizki and it’s elegant, sophisticated and laid back, a grand city hotel in the new style.

Rosewood London via Luciano Giubbilei

Service & facilities

When it first opened in 2013, there were reports of uneven service, however there was no sign of this on our visit, and the impression is that the team have settled in now. Staff were efficient and courteous and the butler who looks after some of the suites, including ours, was professional, well-informed and proud of his job.

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Wi-Fi


Bedrooms, designed by Tony Chi, are suave and sophisticated with a subtly homely feel, lovely marble bathrooms and superb, easy to use lighting. And it’s amusing to think that one is sleeping in the former Edwardian headquarters of an insurance company, albeit a very grandiose one.

Rosewood London via Chic Collection

Food & drink

Light meals and a creative buffet breakfast are served to hotel guests in the elegant Mirror Room, laid out in front of the fire, decorated with quirky things (including budgies in a gilded cage) striking artworks and books. The Holborn Dining Room is open to all, a grand brasserie style restaurant serving excellent, if not particularly imaginative, English dishes.

Scarfes Bar, inspired by the atmosphere of a drawing room and the sophistication of a gentleman’s club, features a roaring fire, a collection of cosy velvet armchairs and shelves filled with over 1,000 antique books hand-picked by a Portobello antiques dealer. A creative menu of cocktails and complimentary live music seven nights a week add to the conviviality and certainly give true meaning to the phrase ‘get scarfed’ at Gerald’s eponymous bar where potions and paintings meet.

In the heart of the courtyard, German gin brand and partner Monkey 47 has transformed The Terrace into a luxurious Black Forest winter retreat offering hot and cold cocktails. Inside the cosy Monkey 47 Winter Lodge, guests can experience the home of British Wing Commander Montgomery “Monty” Collins and the inspiration that resulted in the creation of Monkey 47 Gin. Cuisine by Holborn Dining Room Executive Chef Calum Franklin including his famed pie creations, festive mince pies and his special Christmas pate en croute. 

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