The Leonard London is a friendly, cozy hotel with understated Old World charm
by Sid Sehgal
We choose a hotel to stay in for many reasons. For some, location is everything. For others, charm and history are great attributes. For still others, price, service, and functionality are foremost. The Leonard London, a boutique hotel that we stayed in while in the vibrant British capital recently, struck us with its understated Old World charm.
Located near Marble Arch, a few minutes’ walk from Hyde Park, The Leonard (15 Seymour Street, London//Tel: +44 (0) 20 7935 email@example.com) offers 49 rooms and family accommodations.
It’s a good place to stay not only because it is nestled in the very core of Central London, but also because it is comfy, convenient, cozy, full of antiques, and has a long history. The hotel has been carved out of a Georgian townhouse, and you feel like you are in a historic, nobleman’s house.
In fact, the hotel is only a 15-minutes’ journey into the city and 10 minutes to popular attractions such as the London Eye, Madam Tussauds, and the Opera. The Paddington-Heathrow rail link is less than two miles away, and the luxury boutiques and stores of Bond and Regent streets are just a short stroll away.
It is also near the Hyde Park, and so you get an added bonus of being able to quickly escape the hustle and bustle of the city. You can spend a lazy afternoon boating around Serpentine Lake, or catch one of Hyde Park’s popular concerts.
As can be expected, the individually designed rooms come with the basic mod-cons: mini-bars, flatscreen TV, DVD players, iPod docks and free Wi-Fi; and the suites – which looks very elegant indeed — have separate living areas, and some even come with double-height ceilings and Juliet balconies. The luxury apartments have kitchen facilities. There’s a British restaurant, a lounge with a fireplace, a bar, and meeting rooms are also available.
But perhaps the best reason to stay in this boutique hotel besides independence, and understated luxury, is the warmth and friendliness of the staff. The staff goes beyond and above their usual duties to make guests feel comfortable and welcome.
For example, when one of the staff learned that I was from Thailand he offered to bring me spices not only from Thailand, but also from Nigeria. In another instance, when I told a member of the staff that I wanted to go to Ascott to play polo, he brought me to the business center and gave me some suggestions and options on how best to get there. And these are just some of the things they do to meet guests’ needs and exceed expectations consistently. They even remembered our names, a feature I find most charming.
Of course, there’s more to The Leonard London that makes it one of the best boutique hotels in London, as some industry award-giving bodies have honored it. But if only for the warmth and friendliness of its staff, we will always remember The Leonard.