After a long flight with my four weary teenagers, stepping into the stylish entrance of the Bloomsbury Hotel in London gave me pause. The front entrance was an architectural beauty in itself, with stone carvings, ironwork and a covering of ivy. We were certainly underdressed in our overnight flight attire. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry too long: As the bellman grabbed my luggage and welcomed us in, I realized that stylish was not equivalent to snobbish. The warm greeting was only the first breath of our delightful stay.
They call the Bloomsbury the Grand Dame of London for good reason. But can a hotel with chic design and beautiful renovations truly be family-friendly? The answer is yes. As I opened the door to our room, I heard my daughter squeal with delight as an assortment of fruit, treats and a sweet teddy with a Bloomsbury sweater welcomed her to London. I was overjoyed that our temporary home married style (elegant furnishings and marble bathrooms) with the small surprises that make a family with kids feel appropriately placed.
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The hotel’s location is unbeatable — only a few minutes from restaurants and a short walk to Covent Garden or the British Museum. Train lines nearby will get you anywhere in town quickly, and the station where you can catch the Eurostar is a few minutes’ ride, a plus for families combining Paris and London.
Steps away from the Bloomsbury are the busy streets of London, but the entrance is tucked into a side street, offering a more quaint check-in experience. Shoppers beware: The chic boutiques in this area can create havoc on the family wallet.
The recent top-to-tail renovation of the 1930s building nods to the elements of historic design, but the lovely rooms feel fresh and aesthetically pleasing, with luxe bedding, colorful walls, bathrooms with heated marble floors, and space for storage. Despite the standard rooms being on the smaller side, they didn’t feel crowded or tight.
Fluffy bathrobes and deluxe toiletries for children are mainstays in 5-star hotels these days, but the Bloomsbury differentiates itself by tailoring amenities to what interests your kids. For example, Harry Potter fans may get a magical surprise in the room. Littles can “camp out” in a tepee setup if you choose a studio suite option. Children can also enjoy their favorite magazines waiting in the room upon arrival, plus a special turndown treat of milk and cookies.
Complimentary cribs and fee-based rollaway beds are available, as are DVD players and kids’ DVDs. Guests have free WIFI in the bedrooms and in most public areas, luxury car service, a 24-hour fitness center and more.
Dining options within the hotel include the Bloomsbury Club Bar & Dining Room or Dalloway Lounge and Dalloway Terrace, named after the famous Virginia Woolf character and both open year-round. We enjoyed a lovely meal at the Dalloway Terrace surrounded by stunning flowers that create the feel of an oasis in the heart of a busy city. Meals for children under 5 are complimentary before 7 pm with the purchase of an adult meal.
An added plus for parents: The Coral Room Bar is stunning. As a mother of teens, knowing I could say goodnight to the kids in the rooms and treat myself to a handcrafted cocktail at the end of a day of touring was a pretty sweet amenity.
Editor’s Note: The Bloomsbury provided a media stay for us to review the property for families. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Amy Annis except where noted.
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