One Aldwych London Hotel Review.
There’s nothing quite like a hotel that not only looks good, offers high end service, an amazing location, the type of crisp bed-linnen you want to curl up in (the list goes on) and actually does good too.
Since I arrived back in London in March, one of my favourite things has been getting to explore parts of London as a visitor. I’ve rediscovered more than one area that has changed a bit in the 7 years since I last called London ‘home’.
One Aldwych is located right in the heart of London’s theatre land, is steps from Covent Garden, Waterloo bridge, the Thames (and the Southbank). You can even see The Lion King show posters from the hotel’s lobby. It’s pretty much location-perfect for a weekend trip to London.
Sustainability at One Aldwych.
This is always one of my main points of interest when staying at hotels. It’s not often, however, that I’m presented with a list as long as my arm of measures that have been put into place to improve a hotel’s environmental footprint. One of the best things about the way One Aldwych are doing it, is that as a guest you’ll hardly notice. There’s no cutting corners here.
Luxury and Sustainability have never been so compatible.
Here are just some highlights of the many things the hotel is doing. For further information, see the ‘Responsibility’ section on One Aldwych’s website.
- Luxury Eco Certification for environmental friendliness
- The hotel’s stunning swimming pool is chlorine free (a mineral based cleaning system is used instead)
- The hotel’s main restaurant, Indigo, is totally gluten (and mainly dairy) free!
- Use of a vacuum water drainage system throughout the hotel which reduces water consumption by a massive 80%
- Bio-degradable packaging for all amenities
- Bathroom amenities are natural and free from parabens, SLS and synthetic preservatives
- Opportunity for all hotel guests to make their stay carbon neutral, through a partnership with Sustainable Travel International (STI) and Leading Hotels of the World.
- Recycling. This is not your typical recycling though. Pretty much everything in the hotel is recycled, down to the cooking oil which is collected for Bio Fuel.
The Pool and Spa.
As someone who used to work for a 5* hotel in central London (that was a few years ago..) I know how many central London hotels have swimming pools. And it’s not many. As well as the pool being chlorine free (goodbye horrible chlorine feeling and smell), that makes the pool at One Aldwych that little bit more special.
After checking in for my stay at One Aldwych, it was nearly time for my pre-booked spa treatment – I’d opted for an aromatherapy shoulder, neck and back massage. I decided to head down early and take a dip in the pool – which is an experience of being totally immersed in bright turquoise blue – and relax in the steam room.
For my aromatherapy massage, organic oils (which smelled divine) are used. After accepting that my treatment could not go on forever and had to end, my therapist happily told me that I did indeed have a lot of tightness in my shoulders. Hmm, what to do…
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Food & Drink at One Aldwych.
Indigo, the hotel’s main restaurant is entirely gluten, and mostly dairy – free. But the thing is? I had no idea until the hotel management told me the next day. I know so many people that struggle with food intolerances that it’s wonderful to find a place that puts those needs first (instead of as an after-thought) while maintaining a delicious menu. I enjoyed a 3-course feast at Indigo with a friend, washed down with an amazing bottle of Pinot Noir.
The hotel is also a popular spot for that most quintessentially English of treats – Afternoon Tea.
The chefs at Indigo work with suppliers Yun Hidder, who are out foraging in the English countryside every day to collect fresh, seasonal vegetables, herbs and produce for the menu. Focus is put on using local produce that is sustainably procured, and organic where possible.
ENEKO at One Aldwych, just next to the hotel, was closed on the night that I stayed, but is renowned not only for its creative take on traditional Basque country cuisine, but also as the chef – Eneko Axta – is the owner of the world’s most sustainable restaurant.
Sleeping at One Aldwych.
One of the best things about hotel stays has to be the crisp bed linen and a chance to soak in a tub. In my book at least!
Room sizes are pretty generous (certainly by London standards) at One Aldwych. Most have bath tubs and separate rain showers, and are bright and airy with views out over the rooftops of London. The rooms are also really quiet and well insulated against the hubbub of central London’s streets.
What I Loved most about One Aldwych was the amazing (and healthy) food, the spa & pool area and the location. After checking out (not before I’d indulged myself with room service brekkie!) I went for a stroll over the Thames, across Waterloo Bridge – which has one of my favourite views in London.
This hotel has really taken its commitment to sustainability more seriously than I’ve seen before… even the stunning flower arrangements are not allowed to go to waste.
Have you stayed in any eco-friendly hotels in London? What were you most impressed by? Let me know in the comments below.
A Londoner by birth Ellie has lived in the UK, Netherlands, India and now Canada. Prior to blogging, she worked for 12 years in hospitality and online travel. Ellie started this blog during a sabbatical trip in 2015 around South Asia, to help conscious travellers find the best inspiration for their next sustainable trip. When not travelling, she is happiest with wine, pasta and a good (travel) book. Ellie is also Founder of Soul Travel Consulting which helps travel brands communicate their sustainability initiatives.