The Bloomsbury, London’s timeless gem
A stone’s throw from the British Museum, Soho and Covent Garden, The Bloomsbury Hotel is a hub for the local area, offering guests a vibrant and fun place to come and stay, relax, meet and socialise.
Coinciding with a wider rejuvenation of London’s literary district, The Bloomsbury is renewing with its tradition as a home away from home. The neo-Georgian Grade-II listed building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens on Great Russell Street, was built in 1928 as the YWCA’s Central Club for ladies residing in London.
A member of the Doyle Collection, the privately owned and managed group of luxury hotels in Ireland, the UK and US, it has been redesigned in collaboration with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio responsible for transforming hotels, restaurants, bars, private members’ clubs, including the Beekman in New York, The Ivy, Soho Beach House Miami, and Scott’s.
London’s Literary Heartland
The Bloomsbury borough is experiencing a transformation not seen since the heady days of ‘The Bloomsbury Set’ in the first half of the 20th century, an influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forster and Lytton Strachey. Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism and economics. The new Bloomsbury crowd are still rooted to these creative roots, with many companies such as Google taking root in the locale.
Escaping from an unusually chilly June drizzle, up the original flight of Portland Stone steps to the side of the building protected under a new glazed canopy, we were greeted in the intimate reception area. Sitting by the fireplace in the lovely Lutyens inspired sitting room, check-in was processed, a comforting cup of tea in hand. With its colour palette of muted greens and pinks, accented with an eclectic mix of furnishings, artwork and lighting and heritage-inspired botanical wallpaper, the room provides a feeling akin to that of a British private home.
The transformation of The Bloomsbury has been a long-term focus for Bernie Gallagher, Chairman of The Doyle Collection, whose vision for the brand is to create a group of hotels at the forefront of cool design and product innovation with superb service, that are deeply rooted to their local area.
The Bloomsbury luxury Studio Suites take on an elegant vibe, designed in earthy, natural tones, with wooden parquet floors and warm-coloured rugs, complete with free-standing bath and fine bathroom amenities. All rooms and suites at the hotel come with free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and Italian marble bathrooms.
Portraits of some of the area’s poets and artists adorn the walls while art books and poetry booklets are an invitation to indulge and browse, cuddled in plush armchairs. The wood-panelled Seamus Heaney Library, just one of an array of heritage-style meeting and event spaces available, is filled with the work of the area’s former residents. There’s also a 24-hour fitness gym and fitness suite.
The quintessentially English Dalloway Terrace, an indoor/outdoor restaurant, fully heated in winter, offers the peace and charm of a secluded garden. Ideal for alfresco brunch, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, it is named after the eponymous character created by Virginia Woolf. After dinner, the intimate Bloomsbury Club Bar with its members’ club feel brings old school romance and the magic of bygone era of glamour to the hotel.
The vibrant Coral Room, with its original panelled walls in their high-gloss lacquer finish in vivid coral, a colour that Lutyens was fond of, is where we chose to meet our London friends for cocktails. Five bespoke Murano glass chandeliers were specially created for the place. British illustrator Luke Edward Hall was commissioned to create 36 original pieces of art. One them highlights the once in-use remarkable basement swimming pool, presently lying under cover just waiting to be reactivated.
The bar itself has a high-gloss moulded timber front and the back bar features antique mirror and brass detailing to reflect the iconic heritage of the hotel and building. Remarkably quiet in the morning for breakfast the atmosphere evolves throughout the day, buzzing as night falls, with conversations and laughter.