It’s an eventuality that, should you find yourself becoming a regular caller to the country’s capital, running into its nationally-renowned landmarks will quickly become part of the daily routine. The same could be said for when harbouring in the cities selection of hotels; as tourism continues to progress at a steadfast pace, the inevitability of chain hoteliers dominating the sphere comes as no surprise to most of us. Accessible, practical and affordable, these options provide a substantial service for a justifiable price. But should you find yourself searching for something below the surface – something different -London’s lesser-known boutiques come in an abundance; but none quite take the top spot from YTL Hotel’s, The Academy.
Nestled away within the literary heart of Bloomsbury’s backstreets, the boutique could easily be missed amongst its Georgian townhouse neighbours. But, what comes as more of an unexpected surprise, is that this humble little hideaway is home to one of the industry’s most prestigious titles of “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” As a proud – yet quietly gratified – member of the exclusive club, it would seem only logical that the hotel welcomes a customer base of bookish, yet highly stylish, individuals.
Inspired by the areas former residents – think Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes and E.M Forster – it’s a given that the boutique would take the opportunity to honour these scholastic trailblazers. Intertwining their own interior eye with accreditations towards the intellectuals has succeeded in delivering a fresh take on traditional Georgian design.
And with townhouse living proving to be the centre of inspiration for style, all guest rooms are designed to feel like a home away from home. Jewel-toned furnishings and contemporary décor make for the perfect spot to hunker down with a novel, if you’re feeling inspired by the erudite flavours that flow throughout the West End air (not to mention a location which boasts a handful of London’s most academically standing Universities, including RADA and University of London).
Marble adorned bathrooms inject uncompromising luxury into guest rooms, whilst chequerboard coffee tables and clashing colour palettes suggest notes of contemporary Manhattan sophistication. This is a deliberate move – of course – as New-York-based interior designer, Alexandra Champalimaud, took the opportunity to deliver a sprinkle of her hometowns poise to our side of the Atlantic.
Not one to over-compensate, the hotel offers only the necessary (a short but sweet breakfast menu is available, alongside a selection of refreshments and snacks for throughout the day) but refuses to scrimp on quality. With Nespresso machines available in each room, alongside an array of Aromatherapy bathing products to delve into, guests will feel at the height of satiated indulgence.
A far cry from its more central competitors, The Academy proves that tranquillity can be discovered in a city that refuses to sleep; you just have to read between the lines.