This former insurance headquarters is now a marble-and-glass Edwardian fantasy, thanks to international design star Tony Chi.
Design junkies and history buffs alike will adore London’s Rosewood Hotel, the Belle Époque beauty in High Holborn near Covent Garden and the West End theaters. This former insurance headquarters is now a marble-and-glass Edwardian fantasy, thanks to international design star Tony Chi. His eccentric interiors showcase a stylish whimsy—for example, guests might see an adult-size birdcage full of songbirds in the lobby, or faux zebra head puffing on a cigarette—while retaining the building's Old World glamour. The Holborn Dining Room, done in black and white marble that's accented by lipstick-red leather banquettes on brown hardwood booths, serves classic British cuisine made with ingredients sourced from the courtyard's pop-up Sunday market. The on-site delicatessen has takeaway pastries, porridge, and British cured meats for picnics in nearby Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The jewel box Mirror Room, with its yellow sofas and Limoges china, is the spot for afternoon tea or Sunday brunch. The Scarfes Bar, named for cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, whose satirical paintings depicting historical figures in the U.K. adorn the walls, comes in a warm color palette set against mahogany, with leather armchairs planted in front of a fireplace. Contemporary furniture blends with the monochrome Italian marble bathrooms in the 306 rooms (the signature suites have fairytale-worthy staircases and crystal decanters filled with whiskey). In the midst of all the classical elegance, Rosewood still provides high-caliber technology, including 46-inch LED TVs and Geneva sound systems.