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The cynics said that a luxury hotel on London’s Holborn would never work, a statement that has well and truly been blown out of the water since the opening in 2014 of the five-red-AA star, 306-bedroom Rosewood London.
Every aspect of the hotel has gone on to impress guests and critics alike, with the Catey judges being no exception. The superb quality of the £85m refurbishment of what was previously the Chancery Court hotel was highly praised. The sensitive and sophisticated enhancement, by interior designers Tony Chi and Martin Brudnizki, of the original Belle Époque architectural features of the 1914 Edwardian, Grade II-listed building, which once housed the headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company, in particular, was noted.
The judges were also impressed with the way that a large international brand such as Rosewood, which comprises 25 hotels worldwide, has successfully launched exciting restaurant and bar concepts (Scarfes bar, named after cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, and the Holborn Dining Room, which offers a British menu within a brasserie-style setting) that resonate with both the local clientele and the international traveller. Both venues are consistently busy, with the courtyard, landscaped by designer Luciano Giubbilei, providing an outside space rarely found in a central London hotel. The Mirror Room, overseen by executive chef Amandine Chaignot, provides a refined eating and drinking location, while the Sense spa offers a tranquil space for relaxation.
Service, overseen by general manager Michael Bonsor, is described as among the very best in London, encouraged, no doubt, by the fact that staff turnover has consistently fallen since the opening of the hotel to 38% achieved last year.
Positive employee engagement is recorded as 84%, while the hotel accommodated more than 100 transfers and promotions last year. An employee wellbeing strategy, involving a holistic approach to encompass all aspects of staff social, health and family issues, is central to the hotel’s philosophy. The exceptional support provided by the hotel to its 400-plus staff is highlighted by the success of Luis Santos, Mirror Room supervisor, in reaching the final of the 2017 Gold Service Scholarship, and Tristan Knight being named Human Resources Manager of the Year at the Hotel Catey Awards 2016. Indeed, the Rosewood is no stranger to awards – during its first year of operation it was named AA Hotel of the Year, London, 2014-15.
Inevitably, a strong product and service culture, backed up by a caring approach to staff, has translated to a solid performance, with a 5.6% year-on-year increase in revenue recorded in 2016, alongside a 8.9% rise in room rate.
Rosewood London is a world-class hotel that is performing at the very top of its competitor set and a truly worthwhile winner of this year’s Hotel of the Year – Group award.
What the judges said
“The Rosewood London is vibrant, relevant and brings new life to Holborn. The team create a comfortable ambience, while providing the highest level of service.”
“The Rosewood London is a truly beautiful hotel with so much to commend, not least a great successful food and beverage offering that appeals to all markets. Wonderful hospitality and service is led from the top by engaging and inspiring general manager Michael Bonsor.”
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