The Londoner is quite the blockbuster, if we’re to borrow from the language of its Leicester Square setting. But unlike a forgettable summer flick, this long-awaited luxury hotel has plenty going on under the surface.
Toeing the line of building restrictions meant there was nowhere to go but down, so architects Woods Bagot devised an ‘iceberg’ design, where eight of its 16 storeys would become the capital’s deepest habitable basement. ‘It’s the first hotel of its kind in London,’ explains designer Glenn Pushelberg, who, along with George Yabu, founded lauded firm Yabu Pushelberg.
With all 350 rooms and 35 suites above street level, the duo deliberated how they might coax guests ‘beyond the first or second storey of subterranean space’. If the spa, hair and nail salon, barber shop, gym and fitness studios won’t draw them down, then what about the two private screening rooms, or even the ballroom?
Some 400 artworks are on display throughout, including pieces by Antony Gormley and Idris Khan, while cascading lighting, mirrored surfaces and a bronze central staircase nod to the drama of stage and screen.
‘We leaned into theatricality and brought each of the hotel’s spaces to life with a unique character,’ says George Yabu. These imagined cast members have certainly left their mark – the ceiling of a dining hub that swirls like script is inspired by a screenwriter, for example. ‘Everywhere you look, there is something beautifully unique.’
The six restaurants and bars include a sleek Japanese concept on the rooftop, 8 at The Londoner, and The Residence, a series of spaces at the heart of the hotel reserved for those with a room.
Sealed off from the hubbub of Leicester Square, but with city vistas aplenty, The Londoner is the urban counterpart to a sprawling country estate that offers little reason to leave. From £400 per night. thelondoner.com