Now for me, 2014 has been the year of the suitcase, the carry-on luggage and the overnight tote. I have bags under my eyes. Travel-weary, I found myself stomping up Tottenham Court Road in London’s late August.
I love the UK, and I miss it. But, it is hard to be a visitor in a familiar city. Having lived and worked in London for a number of years, a two-year stint in Hong Kong has left me homeless and hopeless in the motherland. I needed a base for a weekend. A mere 2 hours in and I was finding the city overwhelming.
I was in search of myHotel Bloomsbury, my much needed bolt-hole for the next 24 hours. Standing on the curbside – drenched – and lost, a sympathetic bystander directed me off to Bedford Square.
A London hotelier’s landscape is now maculated with the bijous and the boutique. This is a competitive space. Amidst great swathes of non-headline hotels, selecting an appropriate bed for the night has become something of a minefield, even with my knowledge of the city. You usually have to opt for one of the isosceles balance of price, comfort or location. Remarkably (and I think that this is quite a feat) myHotel Bloomsbury has managed to fine tune that stasis.
With a formidable location in central London, and a surprisingly modest price point, rooms are spacious, unlike similar London offerings of this size - where cramming people in seems to be a key part of the business plan. This is my second myHotel experience, having spent time at their Brighton offering when it first opened several years ago. Bloomsbury was a very different proposition - understated and subtle. The brash and bold myHotel Brighton is something of a showstopper. I rather liked that myHotel Bloomsbury was not trying too hard.
The hotel’s interiors were designed by Conran & Partners - the collaborative design studio founded by Sir Terence Conran. The myHotel brand is strongly influenced by eastern philosophies, and the C&P team allegedly engaged with a Feng Sui consultant to help oversee their development of the space. That said, fresh off the Hong Kong boat, I was not overwhelmed by a sense of the orient. The employment of eastern philosophies in the coordination of the space, perhaps remains intrinsic – and certainly not – overtly aesthetic. To be honest, rather a plus point for me.
Breakfast is served in the award winning GAIL’s Kitchen. GAIL’s triumphs are easy to spot all over London, and the formula works. This is exactly where I wanted to boost up my laptop and listen to the chatter. That’s a big tick in my book - I’m on the constant prowl for the world’s perfect cafés. And, yes breakfast is also lovingly curated, with an artful platter of compote and grains, fresh coffee and juice. Artisan and bohemian – this is London at her best.
The creative pack are settling in here, moving comfortably within the Conran interiors. Pragmatic and perfect for a pit-stop, this is myHotel indeed. Checking out with a pack of media moguls (sporting Oliver People's lenses), I bounced out of London once again.