One Aldwych

An art-filled Covent Garden hot spot
Editor's Note: One Aldwych is closed through spring 2019 for renovations.

The elaborate Edwardian exterior of One Aldwych belies the fashionable hotel you find inside, where a fantastic 400-piece contemporary art collection seamlessly melds into the décor.  A canine sculpture, Beano Dog, made of colorful comics, stands guard at the check-in desk, and Boatman with Oars anchors the lobby with paddles stretching to the ceiling.

You’ll find a private screening room with 30 large leather armchairs where One Aldwych often offers movie nights complete with a glass of champagne or a martini (as well as dinner at the onsite Indigo restaurant). However, the hotel is better known as a pre- and post-theater drinks spot. One Aldwych is situated amid the bustle of Covent Garden and mere steps from the West End theaters. The hotel’s Lobby Bar is easily one of the city’s most glamorous places to sample modern mixology. It’s just as artful as the rest of the hotel.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • There’s nothing Edwardian about Four-Star One Aldwych’s approach to fitness, as the hotel boasts an impressively modern fitness space that is packed with TechnoGym equipment and includes a giant chlorine-free lap pool with underwater music system. You can also book spa treatments, linger in the steam and sauna rooms and get advice from a personal trainer.
  • The stark, open spaces of One Aldwych act as the perfect backdrop to the stately and impressive floral displays created by the hotel’s on-staff florist. You’ll be awed by the creations in the Lobby Bar, and the simple arrangements of orchids in the Lounge at One.
  • Lounge at One is a guests-only space with plenty of seating, lots of silence and amenities like a host who is at your beck and call for food, drinks and even an iPad to play with.
  • One Aldwych’s pool is a monstrous 56-foot chlorine-free lap pool that takes the “work” out of your workout thanks to mood lighting and an underwater sound system that pumps in soothing music for all of your hard-earned strokes
Things to Know
  • One Aldwych isn’t shy about encouraging guests to go further afield and explore the West End, with concierges who are eager to book shows or tell you about the latest exhibit at the nearby British Museum.
  • Turndown service includes a note about what’s happening around the neighborhood, and you can expect to be torn as to whether you should stay in and enjoy the luxury hotel’s lap pool with underwater sound system, or cruise the quirky boutiques of Monmouth Street.
  • There’s no need to leave One Aldwych for a movie when you can nab a spot in its screening room and enjoy a cocktail or glass of Champagne while taking in the latest blockbuster.
  • Try the show-stopping One Spritzer, mixed with housemade raspberry and rhubarb syrup, aromatic bitters and champagne. The cocktail comes in a beaker-like bottle with smoke coming out (courtesy of dry ice).
The Rooms
  • The guest rooms at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star One Aldwych are soothing, simple and sophisticated, providing a nice counterbalance to the busy and exhausting city outside.
  • All of the rooms showcase a minimalist design style, with stark white bedding, white walls, and gray-hued carpeting and curtains.
  • The dark wood of the headboard and desk break up the mellow palette, but the rooms are far from sterile or unwelcoming — you’ll find original pieces of artwork in each room, along with a plate of fruit and flowers that provide bright spots of color.
  • The adjoining bathrooms are filled with chocolate-colored granite and modern fixtures like a bright stand-alone bowl sink and luxurious power shower. Both spaces have large windows overlooking busy city streets, which promise all the natural light London has to offer.
  • The rooms themselves are not large — an Executive room is 258-291 square feet — but the space is used smartly and there’s little chance you’ll feel cramped.
The Restaurants
  • One Aldwych’s basement restaurant Axis is doing its part to dispel the myth that British cuisine is lacking, and this dish proves it has a strong case. The local lamb is accompanied by braised shoulder, potato terrine and wild garlic for a full plate of British fare.
  • Indigo is Axis’s more informal sister restaurant, and it serves modern European fare in a space that overlooks the Lobby Bar from the second story. Theatergoers will appreciate the special two- and three-course dinners available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and 10 to 10:15 p.m. that let you see the show and still have a bite to eat in style. 
  • Afternoon tea is a British tradition, and One Aldwych follows it. You’ll find piles of savory selections like goat’s curd and chive quiche mingling with sweet desserts like lemon drizzle cake, all accompanied by English tea (or a floral martini if you’re feeling like going out on a limb). 
  • If you want to witness the pure artistry that is modern mixology in classic drinks, then pull up a seat at the Lobby Bar with a view of the bar and enjoy the show the bartenders put on with each drink. You’ll witness rims being swept with rinds and exacting shots poured with ease.
Getting There
1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ
LCY (35 min-1 h)   LHR  
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