I was rather excited to stay at the Kimpton Fitzroy in London, mainly because I’d taken a sneak peek at Instagram, not even their Instagram, just a search, and had stumbled across an outpouring of gorgeous-ness of British glamour and quirky details, and couldn’t wait to indulge. Suffice it to say it didn’t let me down.
Why We Love This Hotel
Ignoring for a second the fact that the location is pretty perfect, this hotel wins for me both because of the stunning style that is tucked around every corner and also because of the wonderful British service. Plus, I adore it when a hotel has a restaurant or bar that I fall in love with; well the Kimpton Fitzroy has FOUR!! Yes, four drinking and dining venues are now firmly on my must-return-to list whenever I’m in London.
The hotel is located right on Russell Square in Bloomsbury, known as the literary heart of London. Just around the corner, less than a minute’s walk away, is the nearest London Underground station, Russell Square, which is on the Piccadilly Line. A lovely 5-minute meander across the charming Russell Square takes you to the British Museum. Covent Garden is a 15-20 minute walk away, which wasn’t even a problem for little legs as there’s lots to look at on the way.
Best Time To Visit
There can be no bad time to visit London. Although late Spring and Summer bring the most visitors, early Spring is a great time to visit as the city’s parks are in full bloom. Even on rainy days, the museums and galleries beckon, and Christmas time is just magical with the lights of Regent Street, Bond Street, Oxford Street, and Covent Garden.
How To Get There
As Russell Square is on the Piccadilly line, your arrival couldn’t be easier. If you are arriving by air, Heathrow Airport can also be found on the Piccadilly Line, so you won’t even need to change trains. We traveled from the South Coast of England, so came into London Waterloo train station, the underground journey took around 15 minutes. If you are traveling by car, the hotel offers valet parking which is definitely worth taking them upon.
Style & Character
A Grade II listed iconic landmark building houses the hotel; restored to its former glory, it now stands proud and rather spectacularly overlooking the square. The historic building originally opened in 1898, underwent a £75 million GBP renovation, and now takes its name from the original architect, Charles Fitzroy Doll.
Climb the steps (yes, the door will be held open for you), and you’ll find yourself in the most stunning entrance hall, carved from marble and limestone with pillars, a sweeping staircase, and a huge mosaic floor. It’s quite a sight and is left free of people checking in and out by the clever placement of the reception desk just around the corner. The luxurious guest rooms are dressed in neutral tones with flashes of color to amuse and add a distinctly British touch (I adored the old-style, bright red telephones!) with standout bathrooms that also reflect that love of marble. Each of the dining and drinking establishments are style statements in their own right but more on those later.
Service & Facilities
From the first welcome, through the friendly and helpful check-in team, to the concierge desk (where they don’t hide behind the desk but instead come and find anyone looking remotely lost to provide actual help) to the many kind people who served us food and drink; we found the service here to be exemplary. Nothing is too much trouble and they seem rather delighted that you are there! You perhaps get a hint of this when you realize they welcome children and pets (rare in central London hotels). Everything is about you, the guest, and your experience. The staff all seem to enjoy working here, and their enthusiasm is infectious.
There is a 24-hour fitness center on-site, with TechnoGym cardio machines, air-conditioning, free weights, bottled water, and towels provided. If you are looking for a more private workout experience, a yoga mat can be found in every room. The hotel boasts nine meetings and events spaces, with the flagship being a beautiful, double-height ballroom that can house up to 450 guests.
They do the extras very well here; a hosted happy hour held was popular and sociable, umbrellas are available to borrow, complimentary bikes are provided, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi, which is easy to sign on to and, more importantly, doesn’t require you to re-sign on every 2 minutes!
The 334 guest rooms and suites are beautiful spaces, flooded with natural light, designed to make you swoon, relax, and feel instantly at home. They all include large flat-screen TVs with useful hotel information pages, extra-comfortable beds with soft linens, Nespresso machines, and tea-making facilities, as well as a very welcome tuck box with savory and sweet treats. The tech is good, too, as well as the Wi-Fi. Our room had USB sockets by the bed and a DAB digital radio. The bathrooms are a joy to behold; sleek marble and nice and roomy with toiletries by acclaimed perfume designer, The Perfumer’s Story. We had a large rainfall shower, while some include soaking tubs.
When choosing your room, you have rather a lot of choices; they range from 172 sqft City Singles to a 915 sqft suite! If you are visiting just the two of you, the Superior Doubles are a good choice, although I would suggest the Deluxe Park View for that bit more space and the view. If budget allows, the suites will really make your stay a memorable one; significantly larger than the rooms, they also include living spaces and two televisions!
For a traveling family like ourselves, the Deluxe Two Double Bed Rooms are simply perfect. Plenty of space to spread out. Ours had a separate living room with a second television which meant everyone had somewhere to escape to. For a romantic escape, the Corner Suite is a dream space, over-sized with a separate living room made all the cozier by the ornamental fireplace, a dressing room, a four-poster bed, and once again, the bathroom is a place to spend time, and here the rolltop bath has been strategically placed in the window bay for an ultra-luxurious soak.
Food & Drink
Eateries at the Kimpton Fitzroy include Neptune, an upscale seafood restaurant; Fitz’s, a glamourous cocktail lounge, Burr & Co. a coffee house, and the divine Palm Court, which serves afternoon tea and light suppers.
Start the day with a huge breakfast at Neptune, where they serve that ultimate combination of both a generous buffet and an à la carte menu too. The restaurant is a sea of art deco angles, rose shades with gold accents, and lots of greenery; the result is beautifully sophisticated and elegant.
You can also opt for a casual pastry in Burr & Co. or, at the very least, return for a coffee and sit back to catch up on some work or with a friend. The coffee shop has echoes of a Victorian coffee house with a modern twist and lots of rather delightful eccentric accessories. I found this the ideal spot to put in some quality time with my Kindle and a glass of wine; a rare pleasure.
The Palm Court is simply gorgeous, and I can’t imagine it’s possible to enter without smiling and falling a little in love. I wanted to describe it as an orangery, but this isn’t technically correct, rather, it has a large vaulted glass ceiling, but somehow orangery seems to conjure a more appropriately romantic vibe. Every inch is packed with plants, there’s so much light, large sofas, and lots of beautiful things. Afternoon tea is the classic meal to take here, but we found it just as inviting at night when it’s quieter but no less beautiful.
For dinner, return to Neptune to tuck into local seafood accompanied by a carefully curated wine list; the raw bar, which would not only struggle to look chicer, also has a reputation as the best in London.
Finally, all London evenings, not just those when you’re staying at the Kimpton Fitzroy, should surely end at Fitz’s. The cocktail bar oozes glamour and opulence; beautifully lit, it feels like a decadent speakeasy with velvet chairs, an utterly fabulous oversized spinning disco ball, ostrich feathers, and smooth jazz tunes. They serve bar snacks alongside their inventive cocktail menu, so there’s really no need to rush your visit.
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