A solidly bohemian air permeates this handsome new hotel in the heart of Fitzrovia, which opened to much fanfare in the fall of 2013. This is the second hotel in Ian Schrager's venture with Marriott with the aim to combine Schrager's signature style with Marriott's service; and the idea - judging from the London Edition - has thus far been a success. Doormen flank the entrance to a lobby-bar with towering stucco ceilings displaying a shiny stainless steel pendant light created by German industrial designer Ingo Maurer. Rooms are cleanly decorated in deep tones of chocolate and oatmeal, with huge beds and faux fur blankets strewn about while bathrooms have cavernous freestanding tubs or sizeable showers. Service is exceptional and personalized: arriving guests are personally escorted to rooms upon check-in, whereupon they receive a knock at the door with an offer of herbal iced tea in summer or a tiny chocolate pie in winter. But really it's all about the nightlife here, sophisticated
though it is. Berners Tavern, the main bar-restaurant, is gorgeously designed, with old paintings filling almost every inch of available space on the cool mid-gray walls. Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton runs the kitchen, though the vibe is kept casual. The exclusive Punch Room is the more intimate of the two dedicated cocktail bars, with its creatively prepared (and communally served) alcoholic punches. And finally, the Basement nightclub - which is literally in the basement - is a natural addition for Studio 54 founder Schrager. A fashionably-mixed crowd, relaxed ambience, and culinary expertise combine to create the recipe for this winning contemporary hotel.