This hotel which opened in July is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection and is owned by Dominus Group, which owns many other properties around the UK, including the Dixon which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and is managed by Maddison Cairn (The Cairn Group).
The hotel is a completely new building behind the original façade. The design is by two companies – Key Interior and Designs and ICA Studio, and has been inspired (for some reason) by the many meanings of ‘lost’, which have been “translated… into visual expressions and representations throughout the hotel”.
In the lobby there is a very spooky mannequin facing the wall with a jumper over her head, while behind reception there are images of lost keys, old photos, credit cards and a passport. Above is a Murano glass light installation and there are brass picture lights and modern art on the walls.
We arrived at 1545. There were two reception staff but neither were welcoming: no smiles, no greetings, just a head down over the keyboard. I gave my name and room reservation, and then identification, and when, after a minute or so I made an inquiry about whether the room was the one requested (a twin), I was told to ‘wait a minute’.
Eventually, with an apology, we were told that the room wasn’t ready but would be in an hour. So we stored our bags and went for a coffee in nearby Paternoster Square. In fact, we got a call only 30 minutes later, returned and finished the check-in and picked up our keys. Throughout our stay when passing reception we would smile and say hello, but we rarely got a reply or even eye contact.
The hotel has six floors with the 145 rooms on floors 1-6. Room categories begin with Standard rooms (17-20 sqm), some of which have no view because they are looking onto surrounding buildings. Superior rooms are slightly larger (22-24 sqm) and do have a view, and then Deluxe (22-28 sqm) which are on the top floor. Finally there are seven Junior Suites (30-36 sqm) which also have a bath. Around 10 per cent of the inventory are accessible rooms, and these are Standard rooms but with a larger footprint (26 sqm). There are five interconnecting rooms.
Rooms look out onto the surrounding streets including Ludgate Hill and Creed Lane. The rooms are modern and smart without being anonymous – oak floors lead to a geometric carpet, with the furniture having rounded edges – almost art deco, and the lams and brushed metal plugs are in a pale gold. The bathrooms are marble, with white porcelain and black slate fixtures and lovely, flattering lighting. There are two colour schemes – royal blue on floors 2, 4 and 6 and burgundy red on floors 1, 3 and 5.
All rooms have plenty of charging points all around the room including both USB docks, Nespresso machines, two bottles of water, laptop safe, Penhaligon toiletries in the bathrooms in large containers (attached to the wall in the case of the shower – good for sustainability), and a heated mirror.
Food and drink
The hotel has Found, which is both a restaurant and a bar, and Tattle, the coffee shop which is just by reception. The restaurant is attractive, with a lovely glass sculpture of colourful little birds hanging over a long table to the left (this is where the buffet breakfast is laid out), while to the right there’s a long bar with a vivid blue resin top, and then comfortable seating with windows looking out onto a small street (Creed Court).
The menu in the restaurant is short but has a good choice of both starters and main courses, including a vegetarian option. Staff here were attentive and friendly. The menu was still being finalised when we stayed in August.
The hotel does not have meeting rooms.
The hotel has a good size and modern gym on the lower ground (basement) level.
This is a lovely hotel in a superb position just steps away from St Pauls.
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in September started from £325 for a Queen Guest Room
3-5 Ludgate Hill; 0204 5530 555; hilton.com