One of the few great cities that combine charm and dynamism in equal measure, London boasts inexhaustible cultural riches and a stellar restaurant scene that befits its status as a world capital. The traveler’s greatest enemy is time. It’s all too tempting to spend every morning in museums, every afternoon shopping and every evening at the theater (adding a gourmet meal or two, of course, and perhaps an afternoon high tea for good measure). Choosing what to leave out of an itinerary is a painful task required of all visitors to the city, whether they stay for a week or a month.
On this occasion, I had decided to focus on new or recently renovated hotels with 100 rooms or fewer. Some of these proved enchanting, but more than one failed to live up to the hype.
Overall, the voluptuous new L’oscar hotel in Holborn, an easy walk from the British Museum and Covent Garden, was the most impressive. We stayed shortly before the 39-room hotel’s official opening in September, but the staff exhibited none of the clumsiness one might expect during a property’s earliest days. Things started off on the right foot before we even exited our taxi, when a friendly bellman opened the car door and gathered our luggage.