London calling: A night at Westminster’s five-star boutique hotel, The Londoner

It’s not usually the loo that’s the first thing that catches my attention when entering a hotel room, but this one quite literally took me by surprise.

Before slipping into the plush robe and slippers that I hoped were waiting for me in the closet, I grabbed my phone to capture a video of my spacious quarters at The Londoner to share on Instagram — as one does to be the envy of those stuck at work back home — while the bed was still in pristine condition. As I stepped backwards to get a better angle of the soaking tub, my movement triggered the sensor-activated toilet lid behind me. I turned my gaze and was impressed to find that this wasn’t an average run-of-the-mills toilet but a premium self cleaning Japanese Toto Washlet with a heated seat. What luxury! 

From a secret whisky room to a spa that’s four levels below Leicester Square, there’s even more to The Londoner than meets the eye.

For peat's sake

Home to 350 hotel rooms and suites, The Londoner offers a mix of bars and restaurants that are open to the public, as well as spaces that are exclusive for hotel guests only. As a scotch aficionado — the peatier the better in my books — I was immediately drawn to The Whisky Room.

“Hidden behind a secret door in our guest-only residence is The Whisky Room, which is a velvet-lined parlour boasting some of the rarest and most exclusive whiskies you can find in London,” explains Patrick Katzenberg, the hotel’s general manager. “Our collection includes over 50 bottles spanning the world, dating back to pre-prohibition America (1903), from distilleries that closed many years ago, and from batches of less than a thousand ever made. Some of our favourites are the Karuizawa 42-Year-Old and the Glenfiddich Time Re:Imagined Series.”

Once you locate the secret entrance through the powder room, you can even stash a private bottle that’s kept in a secure spot until your next visit. Looking for something special? The Londoner is the only hotel in the world to house Glenfiddich’s Time Re:Imagined collection featuring three luxury single malts developed over 30, 40 and 50 years.

Deep relaxation starts here

Towering over London with views of Big Ben and the London Eye, The Londoner rises up eight floors from Leicester Square. But what’s not visible from the exterior is that it also transcends six floors down. It’s here, four levels below the bustling streets, where you find the hotel’s serene pool and spa area. 

“The Retreat is one of our most beautiful spaces, which is an entire floor dedicated to wellness experiences,” says Katzenberg. “We have an aquamarine pool and hydropool surrounded by private cabanas, a sauna, steam room, hair salon and gentlemen’s grooming parlour.” Services include deep tissue and relaxation massages as well as a CBD hibernation massage.

“For spa treatments, we work with luxury, sustainable brands to provide intensely rejuvenating experiences, from a gold hydralifting facial to a pre-natal massage,” he says. “The Retreat is also home to a stunning fully-equipped gym, yoga studio and Refuel bar, with serves delicious superfoods and smoothies perfect for a post-workout boost.”

The epitome of luxury

Conceived as a “super boutique hotel,” The Londoner is known for its lavish rooms and suites, but the crème de la crème is the luxurious Tower Penthouse, a two-storey suite complete with a Calcutta Tucci marble bar and unforgettable views of the skyline. 

“It epitomizes luxury living in the heart of London. What sets The Tower Penthouse apart is the little additions that make a stay truly memorable,” he adds. “These include a complimentary beverage trolley tailored to our guests’ preferences, as well as a visit from our mixologist to create any concoctions you may desire. In addition, a Fortnum & Mason luxury hamper, Olivia von Halle pyjamas, curated itinerary of unique cultural experiences and much more await in this spectacular suite.”

This story first appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of OFFSHORE. To subscribe to the magazine, click here