Most travelers know of the great hospitality offers in the British capital, but if they are looking for original accommodations with a touch of exclusivity and a certain amount of whimsy, they should visit these two unique hotels: 40 Winks and Sanderson.
This small hotel that seems out of the imagination of Lewis Carroll or Tim Burton has been highly praised for its whimsical nature. It could have been a favorite of the great painter Salvador Dalí. 40 Winks, opened in 2009, is located in Mile End Road in Stepney Green, one London’s most fashionable neighborhoods. The house it occupies was built in 1717, and with almost 300 years of age it has acquired a bucolic air that reminds us of the legendary Georgian London.
It has only two rooms, one double and one single. There are certain details that separate this hotel from the rest, including beautifully hand sewn Egyptian cotton sheets. Over ninety percent of the hotel’s customers come from Europe, Scandinavia, the Far East, South and North America … Despite being a very small hotel, in a short time, it has achieved full recognition in magazines like Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Grazia, and Elle, among others. Its charm lies mainly in the quiet serenity of its rooms and lounges, in its uniqueness and heterogeneous decor. If you decide to stay, do not to miss the monthly experience Bedtime Story Nights, a decadent, and glamorous pajama party, seasoned with excellent cocktails, sandwiches and stories told by a group of actors and musicians.
A fancy decor and a unique and luxurious environment are some of the attractions of this five-star hotel located on Berners Street in the West End. It is next to the busy shopping area of Oxford Street, and just a short walk from the British Museum. The current architecture of the hotel was created by French designer Philippe Starck, who completely transformed a building from the 1950s, giving it an unusual decoration in which ethnic decorative elements are tastefully intertwined with baroque furniture. As they arrive, the travelers find a multicolor atmosphere with surreal touches inspired by the work of Jean Cocteau.
American designer, Tim Andreas from the Banjo Architecture and Design, was commissioned to remodel the rooms. The Pennsylvania-born artist brought an air of modernity combined with luxurious details and some eccentric elements. The top attraction at the Sanderson is its penthouse. It is accessed via a private elevator and is decorated with eccentric furniture and hand-woven carpets. The layout of the splendid accommodation ruled out any interior walls. In fact, the dressing room and the bathroom are located inside an ornate crystal structure. This fabulous suite has two bedrooms, mini kitchen and fantastic views over central London. The hotel also has a 10,000 square feet spa that offers a variety of beauty and relaxation treatments. Guests can enjoy a diverse cuisine and other entertaining activities such as an open-air dinner in the Berners Street Terrace, the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea in the yard, cocktails in the intimate Purple Bar or the pool room with its evocative old European atmosphere. ■