Hotel Focus Magazine Feature, Summer 2004 - 'One of a Kind’

Square Meal Review of Hotel Focus Magazine Feature, Summer 2004 - 'One of a Kind’ ?

Square Meal checks into London’s friendliest five-star

The moment you set foot in One Aldwych, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. And although the impressive setting may have you believe that it’s all down to the look of the place, you’ll soon realise that there’s more to it than that. For while this one-of-a-kind property is at once chic, business-like and very cool, it also exudes a welcoming feel rarely experienced alongside contemporary luxury.

One Aldwych has its staff to thank for this. Whether your visit involves a stay in an impeccably turned out bedroom or a meal in one of two great restaurants, we bet it will be the service that impresses you most. The same is, of course, true of events. ‘We were blown away by the service,’ confirms Damian Wilson. He stages annual VIP launches for Save the Children’s Christmas fundraiser, Festival of Trees, in the sleek surrounds of Private Rooms One and Two. ‘The staff are just fantastic. Nothing’s too much trouble, they treat you like royalty and they’re able to predict the unpredicted,’ he enthuses.

Certainly, the look of the place helps too. ‘Being a boutique hotel, One Aldwych feels unique and that rubs off on your events. Whereas more mainstream properties can make you feel like you’re just the “exhibit of the week” the experience here is much more individual,’ says Wilson, adding that the discreet and relaxing manner in which staff deal with guests also helps attract high-profile people. ‘I think it’s quite telling that all the celebrities we invite actually come,’ he says.

Indeed, so discreet is the hotel that we’ve only been able to get quotes from this particular events client (and, being a charity, it did what it does best – volunteered). But with excellent service matched by function rooms that epitomise contemporary chic, we can only assume that others will be singing its praises too.

What we can tell you is that the uber-chic screening room (one of One Aldwych’s USPs) has been used for ‘very high-profile product launches’ as well as private screenings hosted by ‘several Oscar-winning actors’... Catching our drift?

From receptions beneath the skyline mural in fine diner Axis (available for exclusive use) to hi-tech meetings in a well-equipped function room, it appears size is the only restriction to what kind of events can be held here. It’s certainly no large conference venue, however weddings are a particular favourite with the events team. They like the the broad use of facilities – ceremony in Private Rooms One and Two, Champagne reception in Private Room Three, speeches and slide shows in the Screening Room, dinner in Axis, and the first night in a suite.

But for the real secret of One Aldwych’s success, we must once again return to the service. As Wilson puts it: ‘I often find that even when an event looks good on paper, you can arrive at a venue and all they find is problems. One Aldwych, on the other hand, is not like that at all. Here, the staff only find solutions.’

Movie motivation Get a feel for what’s on offer at One Aldwych by taking part in the hotel’s great-value meal and movie offer. Just £38.50 will buy you a glass of Champagne, a three-course meal and a movie in the chic Screening Room. For further details and a current film schedule, log on to www.onealdwych.com and click on ‘Special Offers’.


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