Stepping into the London Edition, it’s clear to see that Ian Schrager, the man responsible for the legendary nightclub Studio 54, and mastermind of the first-ever “boutique hotel,” has yet again repeated his successful formula. Since it launched in September 2013, the Edition has become a celebrity favorite, with all the attendant publicity that brings. It’s not without merit, either. The open-to-all Lobby Bar is—in signature Schrager style—the communal hub of the hotel, where freelancers click away on free-to-use iMacs during the day and a statuesque, fashionable crowd transforms the space into a lively cocktail bar at night. The Edition’s somewhat unlikely partnership with Marriott seems to be a hit, with Schrager bringing his particular brand of cool to the marriage and Marriott investing a discernible level of service, which transforms what could have been an intimidatingly hip address into what is a genuinely comfortable place to be.
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Stick a pin in the middle of London, and you arrive at the London Edition. The hotel is tucked away just off Oxford Street, London’s brash and busy shopping thoroughfare. Endless retail and dining options lie immediately outside, but smaller, more boutique addresses lie in the surrounding Fitzrovia neighborhood, to the back of the hotel. Bonnie Gull is a popular seafood shack on nearby Foley Street. Fine-dining Dabbous, Hakkasan, and Lima are worth reservations. To the south, you’ll find former red-light district Soho, now brimming with bars and inexpensive restaurants such as Mexican chain Wahaca and Vietnamese-inspired Pho. Contemporary art gallery Lazarides is the place to get your cultural fix.
Need to Know
Rooms: 173 rooms, including 17 suites. From $435. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Berners Tavern is a dramatic and celebratory space to spend a few hours. Its high, ornately-corniced ceiling immediately gives a real sense of occasion, helped by hundreds of mismatched photos that climb the walls in mock antique frames. The food is also sublime, thanks to Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton. Head to the Lobby Bar for a pre-dinner drink, then retire afterwards to the dark and decadent Punch Room where, unsurprisingly, punch is the specialty. Downstairs, there’s also Basement, Schrager’s first nightclub since Studio 54. Spa and gym details: A functional, 24-hour gym, but no spa.
Who's it for: Those who believe a hotel should be a place to party. Our favorite rooms: All rooms are similar in design, with a ski-cabin feel throughout. Calm and neutral, they are designed as a soothing antidote to the drama downstairs. The one-bed Terrace Suites on the seventh floor have spacious balconies that look out across London’s rooftops. The Loft Suites feature windows along two walls. Don't forget: Sign up via the Basement website for guestlist-only entrance. Also, register for the hotel’s newsletter to find out about special events, such as BYOB nights at the Punch Room, where guests supply a bottle of their chosen spirit and challenge bartenders to concoct a punch around it.