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Hotel Review: Hotel Café Royal, Soho in London

This luxury hotel in London enjoys an unrivalled setting on Regent Street where the elegance of Mayfair, energy of Soho and sophistication of St. James combine.

By Donna Martin  |  November 16, 2021

All too often, ‘luxury’ and ‘family’ are two words that don’t mix; plenty of hotels and restaurants claim to be family friendly, but miss the mark by a mile. In London, there are oodles of luxury hotels to choose from, many that boast to know their stuff when it comes to kids, but none get it quite as right as Hotel Café Royal in Soho.

Hotel

Hotel Café Royal
Hotel Café Royal’s Cake and Bubbles restaurant facing Regent Street

Nestled on a surprisingly quiet lane just off Regent Street, the hotel is coined ‘London’s Modern Grand Hotel’, and that it is. It has perfected the almost-impossible-to-master combination of simplicity, modernity, luxury and comfort – you’ll find yourself saying ‘wow’ at the grandness one minute, and the next you’ll be cosied up in a stylish lounge chair feeling like you’ve been welcomed into an old friend’s house. 

Part of The Set Collection with hotels in Amsterdam, Paris, Jerusalem and of course London, one of the first things I remember when coming across Hotel Café Royal was the fact that children and families are mentioned all over their website (they even list their children’s club in the main navigation menu). It’s always comforting to know that kids aren’t an afterthought; even though Hotel Café Royal is ideal for couples, single travellers and business people, they’re obviously proud of their family-centric mantra.

Historically frequented by writers, artists, musicians, movie stars and even royalty – Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie and Princess Diana to name a few – the hotel has evolved into a first-class destination in London for accommodation, dining and wellbeing. 

Boasting 160 rooms, suites and exclusive wings, the hotel has a perfect space for every person, family or party. Akasha Holistic Wellbeing takes wellness to a whole new level with its offering of spa treatments, fitness and classes, and 18m lap pool; and the food and drink on offer – including Cake and Bubbles, the first restaurant by three Michelin-starred chef Albert Adrià – will satisfy even the most discerning of diners.

Room

Hotel Café Royal
One of Hotel Café Royal’s swanky rooms

Hotel Café Royal offers an impressive array of family-friendly accommodation, and we’re not talking your standard interconnecting double rooms. We’re talking two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom family rooms and even exclusive wings with up to 13 bedrooms and your own furnished terraces overlooking Piccadilly Circus, a 98-inch HDTV and private butler.

Needless to say, we didn’t need 13 bedrooms; the luxurious two-bedroom Grand Regency suite was just right for us. 

So. Much. Marble. And in such a good way. That’s the first thing I noticed when touring our suite – the bathroom’s floor-to-ceiling Carrera marble gave the space a real wow factor. The walls of the suite itself were adorned with beautiful Portland stone, and a muted but interesting colour palette gave the space a feeling of comfort and style.

We couldn’t have asked for a more family-orientated space than the Grand Regency suite. A separate bedroom for the kids and mum and dad, a comfy living room, kitchen dining table and walk-in wardrobe, topped off with a Bang and Olufsen in-room entertainment system, a rainfall shower, freestanding oversized bathtub (great for my 6’3” husband who never fits in a standard bath), underfloor heating and a mirror TV screen, which the kids thought was the absolute best.

This was the kind of hotel room you’re dying to get back to after a day out. Let the kids watch TV and giggle the night away (the rooms have Whisper Quiet soundproofing) while you enjoy a drink from the minibar and views of Regent Street and Westminster beyond from your snug sofa or exceptionally comfortable bed.

Food and drink

Hotel Café Royal
Enjoying baklava pistachio pillows at Cake and Bubbles

If there’s one thing Café Royal is known for, it’s the fine food, wine and famous patrons. Follow in the footsteps of the celebrities who’ve frequented the bars and restaurants for decades – whether you fancy a cocktail, three Michelin-starred chef Albert Adrià’s ‘Sweet Afternoon Bubbles Experience’ or an evening meal, Hotel Café Royal has something for everyone.

Cakes and Bubbles is the hotel’s pièce de résistance when it comes to dining. Although the restaurant specialises in luxury cakes and, of course, bubbles, it also offers small plates, sandwiches, salads and sharing boards – so whether you fancy a savoury bite or a decadent work of sweet gastronomic art, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

I tried a little bit of everything on my visit, including the mini portobello mushroom burgers with Gruyere, relish and gem lettuce; a beautifully balanced spicy Asian salad with cabbage, snow peas, cucumber, chilli, Thai basil and peanuts; and there’s no way I could’ve left Cake and Bubbles without dessert.

Hotel Café Royal
Sneak out without the kids for a drink at Green Bar

There are some impressive options on the dessert menu, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from a three Michelin-starred chef. Some of the creative sweet treats include ‘After Eight’, a delectable strawberry and chocolate marshmallow; and my personal favourite, baklava pistachio pillows – a pair of the most gorgeous, golden pastry cushions filled with a creamy, flavoursome pistachio cream.

If you have some time sans kids, check out Green Bar and try the Doctor Johnson cocktail – a tasty concoction of Tanqueray, pineapple juice, passion fruit purée and some other lovely sweet enhancements. The atmosphere is pure class with its swanky blues and greens, soft leather and moody lighting, all centred by a giant, eye-catching marble column behind the bar.

For kids

Hotel Café Royal
Kids will have a ball at Hotel Café Royal

Besides having more family-friendly rooms than you can shake a stick at, Hotel Café Royal caters to families and kids in a way most other hotels can’t. From the first browse of their site, your family will feel right at home.

The complimentary weekend and school holiday children’s club keeps kids entertained with activities such as cookie decorating, balloon making, games, toys and movies. The in-room dining menu is full of choice and is perfect when your kids don’t have the patience to sit quietly at a restaurant (in our family, that’s pretty much always). Parents will love dishes like gorgonzola and radicchio risotto, or pan-fried turbot with baby tomato and saffron broth enjoyed in the comfort of your suite, while the kiddos can choose from organic corn-fed chicken, mini cheeseburgers, spaghetti or plenty of other tasty treats.

Hotel Café Royal is perfectly placed just off Regent Street, and although Regent Street might not jump out as the most family-orientated place in London, you’d be surprised how much is on offer for kids, including Summer Streets Festivals, Regent Street Cinema’s Kids’ Kino Club, a kids-only book den at Le Meridien Piccadilly, and let’s not forget the world’s oldest toy shop, Hamley’s. Check out these events (and lots more) here.

In a nutshell

Oozing with style and class, this family-friendly luxury hotel on London’s bustling Regent Street is the perfect getaway for parents, kids, and kids at heart. The interesting history, delicious food, ideal location and beautiful accommodation combine to make it one of the city’s best hotels for business or pleasure.

Factbox

Getting there: With its London location, Hotel Café Royal is easily accessible by car, taxi, bus or tube – Piccadilly station is just steps away.

Rooms start from £250 per night.

Address: 68 Regent Street, London, United Kingdom W1B 4DY
Phone: +44 (0)20 7406 3333
Email: enquiries@hotelcaferoyal.com
Website: hotelcaferoyal.com