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Swissôtel The Howard, London *****

Added on May 1, 2012 at 14:45 Giza Pyramids tme
Swissôtel The Howard and its restaurant have definitively been closed in September 2011. According to Eva-Maria Panzer, Director Communication Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts, the owning company will convert the hotel structure into a residential and office building.

Article added on June 2, last update June 21, 2004
Swissôtel The Howard, London was built by the Barclay brothers, the current owners of The Ritz London, in the 1970's. AJC Designs Ltd was responsible for the 2002 interior redesign of the five-star hotel, which was undertaken when new owners (Marylebone Warwick Balfour) and new managers (Swissôtel, owned by the Raffles Group) moved in. They turned Swissôtel The Howard into a contemporary and more international hotel. Exemplary for this new look stands the lobby with its sandblasted windows, marble columns and elegant, modern chandeliers which welcome the guest.
 
Swissôtel The Howard, London is located at Temple underground station in the heart of London. The hotel building, a concrete block from 1973, is not a memorable landmark, but offers the best panoramic view over the Thames.

Because of the curving nature of the Thames, the hotel's location is unmatched. From all river side rooms you can enjoy the view from Tower Bridge over Tate Modern and the London Eye to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. You can watch the ships pass by.

Right opposite the Thames is the famous Covent Garden with the National Theatre and other places of performing arts, bars, restaurants and street performers. At nighttime, when the lights go on, the entire area takes on a romantic look.

British Airways' London Eye is one of London's latest tourist attraction. Built in celebration for the new millenium, it is the world's largest observation wheel, 135 meters high. It provides a 30-minute slow-moving view over London.

The other half of the rooms enjoy the view to the garden terrace, where, in the warmer periods of the year, you can enjoy a drink, lunch or dinner. This island of peace was created by Mark Gregory, who also designed the garden at The Sanderson. The courtyard terrace is surrounded by an office complex occupied by Deloitte & Touche.

The Temple area is full of history and named after the Knights Templar, an order of soldier monks which was formed to protect the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Pilgrims travelling to and from the Holy Land against marauders. In 1185, the crusading order completed what is today known as "The Round" of Temple Church. Take your time and have a look Temple Church with its effigies and tombs of several Earls of Pembroke as well as knights of the Templar order.

Since the mid-14th century, the Temple area has been occupied by the barristers-at-law, which today are organized in four Inns of Court, namely The Middle Temple, The Inner Temple, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn. These four ancient societies alone have the right to call men and women to the Bar, to admit them to the degree of barrister-at-law. The earliest available records for The Middle Temple go back to 1501. Today's remaining four Societies of lawyers still provide education for students, accommodation for practitioners and the professional and social framework within which barristers-at-law pursue. Don't wait vainly for the invention of a time machine, have a walk around these buildings!

If instead, or in addition to a look at the past you prefer to have a look at the present, just cross one of the bridges near swissotel The Howard, London. Within walking distance on the other side of the Thames visit the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery. Both display works of art of the 20th and 21st century. If you are interested in current affairs, the reputable International Institute for International Studies (IISS) is next to the hotel, just across Arundel Street.

For business meetings and private receptions, the hotel has two function suites, The Fitzalan and The Arundel, both of which enjoy natural daylight.

For the best possible view from the hotel, book a riverside room as high up as possible. If you can afford it, take a one room suite on the 8th floor with river view and a balcony, as tested by Cosmopolis (suite 806) or even a two bedroom suite on the 9th floor with a terrace. In the warm months of the year, the two top floors are an ideal place to stay in London. The 8th and 9th floors were added in 2002, when the hotel was completely refurbished in a modern style. Alison Clarke from AJC Designs Ltd has used decoupage wallpaper technique to add texture to the walls. The rooms from the 1st to the 7th floor have of course been modernized too, but in a somewhat different style (check the photo on the right showing a Superior King Room, the smallest room size).

Swissôtel The Howard, London is a deluxe hotel ideal both for business travellers and tourists who estimate a certain quality of service, design, comfort, cuisine as well as one of London's best views.

Throughout the hotel, king size beds, irons and ironing boards, Lavazza machines for complimentary coffee and tea as well as broadband internet access are standard. Another nice feature that makes a difference - at least in room 806 - are the bathrooms, which not only allow relaxing baths but also a massage shower, which not only offers the usual jet overhead, but also four jets from the side, which can be diverted in different directions.

On the ground floor, the Temple Bar offers a large variety of cigars and single malt whiskies. Last but not least, together with the panoramic view over the Thames, Jaan Restaurant is the hotel's best asset. It overlooks the garden courtyard with its soothing waterfall, a calming and refreshing experience in summer. The cuisine is inspired by modern French cooking, enhanced by delicate Cambodian flavours and scents. Head chef Nam Nguyen and chef de cuisine Tom Thomsen use the finest regional and seasonal produce from the sea, the lakes and the land, an experience you should not miss, even if you do not stay in the hotel. Check our review article.




The hotel offers one of best views of London. Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.


The hotel entrance. Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.
 

A One Room River View Suite, as tested by Cosmopolis.
Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.
 

A Superior King room overlooking the Thames.
Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.


New Fitzalan. Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.
 

Arundel. Photo © swissôtel The Howard, London.

Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
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© Copyright www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.