Kimpton Fitzroy offers the splendour of a landmark building plus the modernity of a cool contemporary hotel
For a true hotel lover like me, staying at a newly renovated grande dame entails an awesome kind of hospitality. This is what I was lucky to experience at Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel in London.
No waterfront modern villa can compete with a hotel housed in a building with iconic architecture and the feeling you get the moment you enter it. When I arrived at Kimpton Fitzroy, at the beginning of December, I noticed a team of stuff giving the finishing touches at a huge Christmas tree in a grandioso main lobby next to a marble staircase. I have to confess, I felt like a kid entering a fairytale castle!
The vibes I get from my first moments at a hotel never prove me wrong. This was going to be a once in a lifetime experience!
Kimpton Fitzroy was about to offer me a magic combination: the splendour of a landmark building together with the modernity of a cool, contemporary hotel. Formerly known as The Principal London, Kimpton Fitzroy was launched in October 2018 after an extensive restoration. Overlooking Bloomsbury’s Russell Square and clad in thé-au-lait terracotta, this grande dame was originally designed by Charles Fitzroy Doll in 1898.
Staying at Kimpton Fitzroy
Our superior double room had views to Russell Square, luxurious bedding with elegant textiles signed by Kit Miles, lovely art on the walls and a balcony that made you want to go out and wave at the crowds like a princess. There were astonishing details everywhere such as Penguin clothbound classics on the bedside tables, a red very “London-ish” phone, design tea cups and cool amenities in the bathrooms. Kudos to lead designers Tara Bernerd & Partners who worked with the in-house team to design the interiors of the rooms, respecting the heritage of the building. They did such a great job!
Soon we found ourselves exploring the vast building, which occupies a full block along the eastern side of Russell Square in the hip area of Bloomsbury. We discovered several lobby corners decorated in an exquisite contemporary style as well as a giant gingerbread house at the Palm Court, the hotel’s lounge with the soaring glass ceiling.
Not simply a place to stay, Kimpton Fitzroy London also offers a range of distinctive places to eat and drink, acting as a living room for Londoners and guests alike: First to amaze us was Neptune Restaurant that welcomed us with a Christmas tree decorated with lobsters, in keeping with the impressive oyster and seafood bar of the place.
Next to it, we found Fitz’s cocktail bar (named after Fitzroy Doll and designed by Russell Sage Studios with a glitter ball hanging from the ceiling). We ordered our cocktails and started to observe the sumptuous fabrics and the large fireplace.
Breakfast at Kimpton Fitzroy
The kind receptionist who welcomed us and gave us all the useful info about our hotel told us that we could have breakfast at either Burr & Co or Neptune, the former hosting a buffet every day and the latter offering an a la carte breakfast menu. Of course, we tried both. Burr & Co is a modern city cafe that the city residents love to hand around.
When we stepped into it we saw Londoners working there with a cup of coffee and a croissant, young moms with their babies enjoing a hot beverage and an omelette and elegant gentlemen reading their newspapers. With its own entrance on Russell Square at the corner with Bernard Street, Burr & Co. is the perfect place to meet friends, or to catch up on emails and grab a great cup of coffee.
A more quiet place for someone that loves to take time enjoying eggs Benedict and pancakes is Neptune. I strongly suggest that if you find yourself there you try both.
Why choose Kimpton Fitzroy
The unique heritage and character of the hotel’s architecture and the modern vibes along with the politeness of the stuff made for a delightful stay. The experience was greatly enhanced by the lovely Christmas decorations and activities. During Christmas, the hotel charm is simply irresistible. Every time I went down the stairs to see the tree and the lights, the ornate ceilings and the mosaics on the floor in the main hall, I felt thrilled as if playing in a movie.
This is a value for money 5-star option in an absolutely convenient location (next to Russel Square metro station). Kimpton Fitzroy is fully recommended to anyone who wants to have an authentic London experience. It’s no surprise that it has already become a favorite among the locals, which means you also have on your feet some of the city’s coolest spots for eating or drinking. Above all, the feel of the place is incomparable, aristocratic, timeless, fresh at the same time; for anyone who likes a bit of Downton Abbey-style pampering, Kimpton Fitzroy is a dreamy hotel!
Historic facts about Kimpton Fitzroy
- Fitzroy Doll was the main architect of the hotel and also was commissioned to do the first-class parts of the Titanic.
- The building is one of the most impressive examples of French Renaissance-style architectural splendour in London
- At the main entrance, the ornate terracotta facade is marked by four British queens guarding the entrance (Elizabeth I, Mary I, Mary II and Anne)