A zen-like retreat into a world of fantasy . . .
Okay, I’ll admit it. My idea of romantic bliss can be found in Jean Cocteau’s ethereal film of Beauty and the Beast (which has nothing to do with the Disney version). I don’t know what that reveals about me — a yearning to embrace a hidden wildness? — but those surrealist candelabras get me every time. Imagine my delight to learn that there’s a hotel that embodies all of these fantasies and beyond.
Conveniently located in London’s West End, the Sanderson Hotel is set in a landmarked 50’s building. That may not sound so exciting, but it is. You see, the hotel has been transformed by Philippe Starck into a fantastical Cocteau-like dreamworld that doubles as an oasis of comfortable calm. The Sanderson epitomizes a hip “new luxury” that is tempered with a soupçon of wit – a hotel with modern-day sex appeal.
It also boasts a lushly landscaped interior courtyard garden, which may as well be enchanted. It serves as home to Suka, a restaurant created by acclaimed New York chef Zac Pelaccio. Suka offers traditional Malaysian dishes with a dash of influence from the west — in other words, not your usual London fare. Other restaurants include Spoon+ which serves an eclectic mix-and-match menu. Feeling thirsty? The Purple Bar serves cocktails and 150 types of vodka. The Lobby Long Bar offers appetizers, cocktails and martinis. The on-site Agua Spa specializes in hydrotherapy, yoga and massages.
Each of the Sanderson’s 150 guestrooms are uniquely beautiful. They feature sleigh beds, a rug inspired by Voltaire’s handwriting and oil paintings of soothing landscape scenes that are hung on the ceiling. The private bathrooms are encased in a floor-to-ceiling glass box, draped with layers of sheer curtains. All guestrooms boast luxurious 450-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and pashmina bedthrows. Wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel.
Location: 50 Berners Street, London, United Kingdom W1T 3NG; Heathrow International Airport is 24 kilometers away.
Luxury style: Hip, sophisticated, vibrant and unique. You’ve never seen anything like this — except in an art film. Guestrooms are zen comfortable with sleek, understated luxury.
What we’ve heard: Great for solo travelers and couples looking to have a fantastical experience. The comfortable beds ensure your dreamworld experience will continue through the night. The central location is convenient to many tourist attractions including Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus. The stylish staff is attentive and friendly. The English breakfast is especially praised. Words of wisdom: the seating in the Purple Bar is more chic than it is comfortable. For the full experience, upgrade from a standard room — it’s worth it!