Staycation review: Sanderson Hotel London
Sanderson Hotel is situated right in the heart of London’s busy shopping district, and a short walk from both Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road stations. It advertises itself as a “lavish urban spa in the heart of London’s West End”, and that it is. With its quirky grand interior, you would never guess this stunning building used to house a textiles factory. By retaining some of the original features, such as varied and odd room shapes and a huge stained glass window in the billiard room, this hotel offers a luxury and almost fantasy-like experience for its guests. For the truly extravagant types, there are some cocktails available in the quaint Purple Bar, some reaching a price of £350.
On arrival, guests are greeted by friendly and smartly dressed desk staff, with the option of a short concierge tour service and assistance with luggage. The lobby area is a multi-coloured wonderland, with seating of all shapes and sizes. The area is light, airy and grand. The elevators, filled with a space/cosmos themed 3D wall design and relaxing spacey music, lead to the spa and bedroom floors. The corridors are a deep pastel purple and lit from the floor, lined with dispersed dim white floor lights. This is eery at first, but it soon becomes apparent this is to aid the relaxed feel that the hotel achieves so well.
The rooms are crisp, white and spacious, with wooden floors and huge grey and red patterned rugs positioned under the beds. Huge comfortable double beds, smack bang in the centre of the room, are surrounded by stylish mirror side-tables and a white desk, laid out with all the essential room service information and stationary. Sheer white curtains separate the room from the bathroom, which is equipped with a stylish shower, toilet and contemporary sink and hanging mirror. All rooms come with a TV, air conditioning, art on the ceiling and an umbrella in the closet for that temperamental London weather. The cleanliness and general standard of the rooms is exceptional.
The Staycation package includes a luxurious spa treatment at the hotel’s Agua Spa. On entering the spa, the first thing that hits you is the lack of walls. The separate areas are divided by high draping white curtains, mapping out a waiting area, relaxation room (where we are offered water while we wait) and stairs leading up to the treatment areas (also divided by curtains). The spa comes equipped with a fabulous (and huge) steam room, showers, changing area and hair drying facilities. Chilled water and glasses are available at every turn. The staff members in the spa are efficient, relaxed and friendly, while ambient music plays quietly to help create a heavenly relaxed space. This really is the true embodiment of a luxury spa.
We were treated to a relaxing honey and milk massage treatment. This involved a body brush, followed by hot honey massaged into the skin. I can only describe this as heavenly. The honey is then flannelled off with a warm milk wash. This was followed by a moisturising massage. The staff is incredibly skilled and professional, with the modesty of the guest preserved at all times with a swiftly and expertly rolled towel here and there. Guests are made to feel at ease and completely relaxed at all times. I must compliment the staff on their excellent manners and knowledge of the benefits of various treatments; this really was the most relaxing and enjoyable hour I’ve ever experienced.
The spa treatment was followed swiftly by Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea in the outside area of the restaurant. This comprised of a fabulous selection of teas, cocktails, sandwiches, scones and various sweets, all presented on stylish tableware and a traditional tea party cake stand. We began with a beautiful array of colourful sandwiches (yes, the bread was actually pink and yellow). These included cucumber and black pepper on beetroot bread, and the most delicious ham and english mustard on yellow saffron bread. The scones were light and crumbly, accompanied by tiny jars of strawberry jam and clotted cream. The various stunning sweets included Queen of Hearts strawberries and cream mousse, and Passion fruit jelly, Coconut pana-cotta and exotic foam and the strangest lolly I’ve ever eaten. The Blueberry lollipop was rich and fruity, with a strange effect of feeling warm on one side, and crisp and cold on the other. The entire spread was expertly presented and cleverly constructed. A real joy to eat; very sweet and very filling! It really was like a very bizarre afternoon tea. They definitely achieved their aim to invite guests to “tumble down the rabbit hole”.
Dinner consisted of Malaysian cuisine, with many different meat and vegetable sharing dishes on offer. This really is a cuisine for sharing, and the quality of the food just begs for the opportunity to try a little of everything. Particularly tasty dished included a chicken satay, a gorgeous coconut rice, some stunningly flavoured mixed greens and the most delectable vegetable spring rolls with a garlic and chilli sauce.
The decked area of the restaurant was slowly transformed throughout the afternoon into a concert venue, with a short set from Saint Lou Lou at 8:30pm as part of the Sanderson Sessions. The outside area was swamped with candles and large lanterns, transforming it from a simple seating area to a magical wonderland. Saint Lou Lou’s set was only a few songs long, but they performed well with enthusiasm.
After a fabulous night’s sleep, breakfast was a must. Despite the early hour, the staff was bright, smiling and attentive. There is a buffet range of pastries and cereals, along with various cooked options, along with teas, coffees and a vast array of juices and smoothies. Quick and efficient service make for a great breakfast experience, with tea served in the pot and food arriving within five minutes of ordering.
For those looking for a truly luxurious place to retreat, the Sanderson Hotel is definitely for you. The fabulous spa is a good enough reason to visit alone, but the quality of the rooms, service and food at this hotel is simply stunning. Special praise should be given to the staff, who attend to every want and need their guest requires. Their attentiveness and friendly attitude make this hotel a fabulous retreat right in the heart of London. Truly an exceptional hotel.
For more information about the Sanderson Hotel London and to book, click here.