Hotel Review: Montcalm Royal London House, Finsbury Square in the City of London
Hotels that cater to the corporate crowd can often be soulless affairs, lacking the charm, comfort and style of their more leisure-focussed and boutique competitors. Not so the Montcalm group’s latest five-star offering, situated on Finsbury Square, close to where the hard-working City of London shakes hands with fun-loving Shoreditch. The Montcalm Royal London House, just a short walk from Liverpool Street station, hits the sweet spot between business and pleasure. Its 253 luxury bedrooms and stylish suites, designed by Russell Sage with Tonik Associates, feature the latest technology (10GB internet bandwidth on demand, touch-display controls for lighting and AC/heating) as well as luxurious furnishings and a pleasing aesthetic that combines mid-century styling with highly contemporary design accents.
Entering the modern lobby with its exposed brickwork and copper-pipe lighting, a dapper doorman courteously escorts you into one of the high-speed lifts that whisk you up to the guest floors where floor-level lighting casts a subtly atmospheric glow across the dark silk-lined corridors. Decorated in modern yet soothing colour schemes, all rooms come equipped with a 55” LCD TV, free Wi-Fi, a ‘handy’ smartphone with free local and international calls to selected countries, a Nespresso machine with complimentary coffee pods as well as teas and herbal infusions by Jing. There’s a pillow menu to choose from and a list of fragrances to perfume the room according to your mood. You can also use the futuristic touch-pad controller to select from a range of different coloured ambient lighting to help lull you to sleep in the large and lavishly upholstered bed. If your pampering dial is really set to maximum, you may even want to consider hiring the private butler who is available on request. In the chic white, black and chrome bathrooms, powerful showers and luxury toiletries from Elemis and Hermes help revive you after a hard day of meetings or a night on the town. And they’ve somehow managed to pull off the not-insignificant feat of making all the mirrors extremely flattering…or maybe that was just the effect of too much champagne from the well-stocked mini-bar!
The Montcalm Royal London House boasts two restaurants and bars which are run by restauranteurs Tom and Ed Martin of The Jugged Hare and The Botanist fame. ‘Burdock’, on street level, is the more casual affair, ideal for a quick coffee, snack or business lunch. ‘Aviary’, on the other hand, is a truly first-class dining destination that has already made its mark on many Londoners’ maps. Perched above the tenth-floor rooftop overlooking the capital’s iconic skyline, there are inside and outside seating areas to be enjoyed, British weather permitting. The bar area is popular with city workers kicking back after work, especially on Fridays, so bear that in mind when making table reservations as it can get quite noisy. ‘Aviary’ is the subject of a full and separate review here on Luxury Lifestyle Magazine but, suffice to say, the food is excellent, specialising in meat from British livestock farmers using the best of the country’s heritage breeds. Breakfast is also served up here, buffet-style, with a good range of healthy or more decadent starts to the day on offer, all of which can be devoured whilst taking in that spectacular view across the rooftops.
Downstairs, as well as a gym with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, there’s a very opulent looking, Versace-tiled spa with swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam and treatment rooms. The hotel has not long been open and, when I visited, a team of builders were still adding the final touches to the changing rooms which resembled those of an upmarket New York-style members’ club.
The Montcalm Royal London House is the ideal base for those doing business in this part of the city but wanting something with a bit more panache than the ubiquitous global chains that usually court their trade. It also makes a unique location for visitors to London who don’t want to get caught up in the throng of selfie-stick toting tourists who clog up the pavements of the West End. At weekends, the streets around Finsbury Square are refreshingly quiet in comparison to other parts of the capital, yet are within easy reach of many famous attractions such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Brick Lane, the Museum of London and the Barbican arts complex. Anyone looking to mix high finance with a bit of high style should certainly consider investing in a stay at this coolly cosmopolitan luxury hotel.
Address: Montcalm Royal London House – City of London, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DX
Tel: +44 (0)20 3873 4000