Arrival/Check-in: The hotel’s outside entrance was so unimposing that we almost missed it. Reception is positioned in the right-hand corner behind a long bronze counter riddled with cracks and a wall of shimmering green polished resin. The lobby’s functional art was designed by Ian and Richard Able. Five-foot-tall silver sculptures of thin human forms stand inside each of the large arched windows, and the sounds of a French vocalist play softly in the background. The concierge/bellman asked if he could assist us with our bags; and even though several guests were checking in simultaneously, within a few moments we had our keys and rode the elevator to our room. (30/30)
Guest Quarters: The hotel was formerly the Marlborough and recently underwent a $40 million makeover, giving everything that fresh, newly installed feel. Inside our standard room was a double bed, small table and an apple-green upholstered chair. An office chair was stowed under the bedside table which, although it was obviously intended to double as a work desk, was barely large enough for a laptop. The hotel provides complimentary Internet throughout the property, something we greatly appreciated. One small window in the corner looked out on a courtyard with a view of air conditioning ducts. The compact bathroom was modern with a frosted window that could be opened. (24/30)
Services/Amenities: The Bloomsbury Street Bar and Restaurant is on the ground floor of the hotel, its seating spilling out onto the sidewalk. We enjoyed our complimentary breakfast and stopped by the concierge desk to ask about theater tickets. Gary, who frequently attends the shows himself, was eager to share his suggestions of what to see, and we chatted about the currently sold-out hits. After providing us with a theater map, he gave us directions to the British Museum, just a stone’s throw from the hotel. (40/40)
The Experience: The public spaces in the 174-room hotel are chic, and its large collection of art makes you feel as if you’ve stepped into a gallery opening. The Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury is quiet and not pretentious, a contemporary property where the personable staff genuinely engages with guests in the intellectual and academic center of London.
Total Score: 94/100
Radisssson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street
London WC1B 3QD, United Kingdom
tel 44 20 7636 5601
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