One Aldwych or St. Martins Lane

Feb 16th, 2004, 01:28 PM
  #1  
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One Aldwych or St. Martins Lane

I will be travelling to London this summer and wish to stay in one of the funky boutique hotels that have popped up all over the city. I wish to be in the West-End so have narrowed my choices to Ian Schrager's St. Martins Lane or the One Aldwych. I already booked myself into the St. Martins Lane when I came across some pretty negative reviews. Some people seem to think that it's all hype and no substance and has lost its title as hippest hotel in London. One Aldwych on the other hand, seems to be drawing rave reviews, would be the same price, in the same location, and offers an on-site pool and spa (which St. Martins Lane doesn't). Should I cancel my St. Martins Lane reservation and move over to One Aldwych!???

justinpatrie is offline  
Feb 16th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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I haven't stayed at St. Martin's Lane, but I have stayed at One Aldwych about a half dozen times while in London on business and it never disappointed. Service was always good. During one stay, I had a circuit breaker fail, causing all the lights to go out when I entered the room at 11pm (I'd just checked in, after an overnight flight and long day of work); they had someone up almost immediately to fix it. The standard rooms are small, but they were very comfortable. The bathrooms are very nice and good sized. The pool looked nice, but I never had a chance to use it. The lobby bar was quite popular, and as I recall the food wasn't too bad (my experience was mostly room service breakfasts, etc.).

I'm not wild about staying right on The Strand, but it was convenient for where I had to be. There is a theater right across the street on one side, but I don't recall noise being too much of an issue.

I last stayed there in 2002. It was considered one of the "in" places at that time, but I don't know if that is the case today. If I was going to stay in that area of London (and had the money), I would certainly consider staying at One Aldwych again.
ms_go is online now  
Feb 18th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Topping for justinpatrie.
Patrick is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I wouldn't stay at either, I detest both of their locations. Try a Mayfair location for something much better - Claridge's, The Lanesborough, The Ritz. Much better!

One Aldwych is in such a dumpy location I hate it.
m_kingdom is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:05 PM
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Obviously m_kingdom didn't read your post. The hotels he mentions may be first class, but none are even remotely what one would call "funky boutique".
Personally I think it's a toss up between the two for location, but I consider One Aldwych right on the Strand to be more upscale than St. Martins. I guess m_kingdom considers the Savoy to be in the same "dumpy" neighborhood as One Aldwych?
Patrick is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:14 PM
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For ""funky boutique"" read pretentious dump (I'd use stronger language actually, but I won't) with form over function. If you want to pay for looks which are now actually out of date, especially in One Aldwych, St Martins Lane is so over now. People who stay there are poseurs and "wannabes".

Claridge's, The Ritz, etc. are classic hotels offering excellent service (generally - let's not have horror stories here) and classically furnished, they will never be out of date.

I had a post theatre drink at One Aldwych, high prices for very average surroundings. Minimalism is never an indulgent experience. It is fine for domestic interiors, but it will never be a lasting hotel look. In even ten years time a classic look will be THE look to have!
m_kingdom is offline  
Feb 18th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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Yes, the whole of The Strand is dumpy, I avoid going there, unless a good theatre production dictates the need to venture there.

Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Kensington, and Chelsea will always THE most desirable location in London for hotels and residential addresses, alongside flagship offices and stores. Stay there, you will enjoy yourself much more, unless of course you are a pretentious wannabe. If you are just pretentious or a wannabe, not both, stay at the Metropolitan, and pose in the bar. The bar was good a couple of years ago, but now people just go there for the people, how nouveau.
m_kingdom is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 08:31 AM
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M_K

Firstly:

"Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Kensington, and Chelsea will always THE most desirable location in London for hotels and residential addresses,..."

If you are going to criticise others about poor grammar and poor English, kindly set a proper example and write your posts in perfect English.

Secondly:

How do you know that Justin will prefer being in Chelsea or Mayfair or somewhere he does not mention? He says he wants to be near the West End and his choice of hotel is within walking distance of the West End. Why would a Sloane Square hotel be better for this purpose?

Consider that Justin may want to be reasonably near to the City, Waterloo Station or perhaps Covent Garden or somewhere else...



wealthy_backpacker is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 11:08 AM
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Hello everyone, thanks for the advice concerning my post! I should mention that I have lived in Central London before so am well aware of the districts and what they represent. Yes, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Kensington are very nice (for some reason the weather was always sunny on high-street Ken, even if it were overcast where I lived in Islington!), but as I mentioned, I do want to stay in the West End to re-visit my old youthful haunts as well as because I am a keen theatre-goer and would prefer to walk everywhere as opposed to relying on cabs or the tube. So, in short I have indeed already considered Claridge's, the Lanesborough etc. but have ruled them out because of their location as well as because I am interested in trying something new. Great, historical hotels are something I've already done the world over, and would like to give the boutiques a try. That being said, I certainly appreciate all the frank advice on boutique hotels.
justinpatrie is offline  
Feb 19th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Boutique hotels are invariably disapointing, of course there will be exceptions, but I wouldn't take the risk.
m_kingdom is offline  

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