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Cafe Royal London Hotel Review: Luxury in an ideal location

The five-star Hotel Café Royal couldn’t be a better place. Overlooking Regent Street, it is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Square and within walking distance of many London attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the London Eye.

But the hotel appears to be doing its best to keep guests from leaving, hosting afternoon tea in a room once visited by Oscar Wilde and boasting a lavish spa offering a wide range of treatments.

Simon Murfitt visited to see if he could win himself.


First impressions

The Grade II listed Café Royal Hotel dates back to 1865 and previous guests have included Princess Diana, Winston Churchill and David Bowie.

From the moment you walk up to its stunning facade until you lie down on your giant bed, everything about the building is exquisite and the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

We arrived early and were offered champagne and water while we waited for our room – nice. We were also surprised by the delivery of a bottle of champagne and some lovely macarons when we got to our room – an even nicer touch.

This is local London: a large junior suiteGrand junior suite (Image: Hotel Cafe Royal)


Rooms at the Café Royal range from a ‘deluxe guest room’ – complete with a king-size bed and marble bathroom – to a seemingly endless list of different suites, each a little more luxurious than the last.

We stayed in a Grand Junior Suite, emphasis on the “grand” in this case. The room is equipped with all the modifications you need, including electric blinds that come down at the touch of a button and a TV in the bathroom mirror.

The marble bathroom alone was the size of a spacious London flat, and the bathtub was the largest I had ever seen in my life.

The staff is ready to help with any request at any time, whether it’s getting your room ready for bed or putting a quick dose of lavender sleep spray on your pillows to help you wind down.

Food and drinks

This is local London: breakfast delivered to the roomBreakfast is delivered to the room (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

Café Royal has a range of restaurants and bars, from Alex Dilling and Brasserie Saint-Germain to pastries from Albert Adria, awarded three Michelin stars and called the best pastry chef in the world.

We made the most of the in-room dining service during our stay, having our breakfast – a perfect full English, boiled eggs and fruit – delivered straight to our room.

We also enjoyed afternoon tea in the Grill Room, also known as Oscar Wilde’s drawing room as it was the famous writer’s favorite room.

It has also hosted the likes of Winston Churchill, Princess Diana and Muhammad Ali, and is where David Bowie left Ziggy Stardust.

The beautiful, ornate setting more than lives up to the illustrious list of past patrons and is made even more special by the talented pianist who plays throughout.

The food isn’t bad either, with delicate cakes and sandwiches to go with the champagne, as well as a wide range of teas – I’d recommend the English Country Garden and the Apricot flavour.


This is local London: the incredible pool at Akasha Holistic WellbeingThe incredible pool at Akasha Holistic Wellbeing (Image: Hotel Cafe Royal)

Deep within the Hotel Café Royal you will find the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Spa, which has an idyllic pool and offers a wide range of massages and other spa treatments.

On the morning of my departure, I experienced the Ultimate Back Reviver, a treatment that included an exfoliation of my skin as well as a relaxing massage, meaning I left Café Royal in a particularly Zen-like mood.

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