The LaLit London
What We Love
- Naan and wine pairings at the onsite bread bar
- Some guest rooms feature views of the Shard
- The opulent mother-of-pearl ceiling at The Headmaster’s Room, one of the two hotel bars
- Daily afternoon chai service in the mezzanine gallery
What To Know
- The hotel was a boys’ school in the late 19th century
- Guest rooms on the top floor boast 30-foot ceilings
- As a nod to its Indian owners, the basement spa offers Ayurvedic treatments
- All guest bathrooms are equipped with temperature-controlled floors
- Free WiFi
When the Lalit Group, a formidable family-run hospitality empire that already presides over twelve hotels in its native India, set its eyes on the British capital for its first overseas venture last year, it promised to deliver a sophisticated version of the Subcontinent. It’s why the staff offers subtle Hindu namaskaars and the bar serves up rum-spiked lassi. Guest quarters, which were all classrooms in a past life, are now swathed in ochre silks and velvets, though it’s the intricate headboards, embroidered with peacocks that gallantly steal the scene. It’s a flawless cultural double play that sets this 70-key, South Bank stunner apart from its urban contemporaries. Feast on Keralan lobster bisque, redolent of coconut and cognac, and Himalayan morel mushrooms, slathered with mint and plum chutney, at Baluchi, the hotel’s buzzy upmarket Indian restaurant. Though the building’s red-brick Tudor exterior and steely black gates, the former setting for St. Olave’s Grammar School, seem like surefire previews for a quintessentially English experience, inside, the gold-flecked tapestries and Hyderabadi chandeliers deliver a far more cosmopolitan stay.
In the Area
The hotel’s central Tooley Street address puts it squarely in the tourist zone, conveniently situated near attractions like the Shard, London Dungeons, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the HMS Belfast, a WWII cruiser with a whopping nine decks. It’s also surrounded by “listed buildings,” or points of historical and architectural significance, including The Shipwrights Arms, a proper English pub (read: plenty of local beer) that dates back to the 19th century, and author George Orwell’s former residence. Also within walking distance: the Unicorn, an up-and-coming theater catering to younger crowds, and Tate Modern.
How to Get There
We have stayed in many 5 star hotels in London including the boutique ones also, I had so many high expectations for our anniversary celebration and it just lacked the service, style, everything and felt staged!
I cannot fault the host but as soon as we got there (just before check in) we were told our room wasnt available, and he upgraded us to the suite - I know it was a nice gesture but I had heard this story on here several times and it seemed staged. The hotel was empty so this was not difficult but I appreciate it nonetheless and the wine and cake, but they got our years wrong and when wine was delivered to the room the staff just barged into our room straight after ringing the doorbell!
The room was spacious BUT lacked any soul, empty, souless and no character. The bathroom literally had a toilet, tiny sink area and a shower, thats it, no bath, in fact my bathroom at home is bigger. Quite shocking given the space. The room was really noisy, it was a suite but lacked anything suite like. I asked for ear plugs as I could hear everything felt like the window was open when it wasnt. They didnt have any ear plugs or cotton wool (staff at night were confused)
I was looking forward to cocktails on the terrace i was shocked to find it was a sheesha joint that attracted young clientele....why!?!? why does a 5 star place need to have sheesha?! it felt like you were on a cheap terrace on the edgware road. Ordered our cocktails, they came after 15/20mins, no nibbles or water like other 5 star joints. Cocktails were awful and we planned to stay there till our dinner reservation elsewhere.....the waiter lacked any enthusiasm and was yawning most of the time. We swiftly left and went to our fav bar - the Gong Bar at the Shard - yes cocktails are pricier but the service is second to none! - please I urge management to go and see how other bars are run!
Onto our night cap, we fancied a coffee and ice cream after our dinner - came back to a souless bar. Ordered ice cream - told they had no coconut so got a chocolate scoop, i dont even know what it was but it was not chocolate it was foul!
The breakfast was okay. I ordered the masala dosa and found it to be the best, hats off to that chef! but I had to ask the waitress 3 times to bring water! 4th time lucky.
We had 10% off at food outlets there, I told the breakfast waitress and she said she could not apply it to the bill and that she would (I told her we were leaving and she said she would do it asap) she didnt apply it.
I did not want to ruin my husband's stay by moaning there because it would have ruined our whole celebration so I did email the duty manager earlier this week and have had no response!
Clearly on great reviews are responded to.
I reckon this place will shut down as swiftly as it opened.
What a fantastic hotel. From the moment we arrived to the second we left we were made to feel extremely welcomed by Naz 🙏🏼. We had one of the average rooms, a junior classroom I recall. And it was perfect for our one night stay.
The bathroom was just lovely with a big shower. The bed was confortable and the room was equipped with modern technology including electric blackout blinds. We requested an iron and the staff arrived promptly with an iron and board.
The room comes equipped with complimentary toiletries (including a toothbrush and paste which was great as I forgot mine!) soft drinks and a few snacks which were all complimentary and Naz made sure we were aware to enjoy and to help ourselves- which was very much appreciated after tackling London’s traffic to arrive at the hotel. We ordered drinks from the bar for room service, I had a cocktail which was amazing. Unfortunately we didn’t have opportunity to eat in the restaurant which boasts fantastic Indian cuisine- next time!
The hotel building is stunning, an old grammar school- I don’t need to say anything more as the photos will speak a thousand words. The best hotel I have stayed in for service and feeling welcome, as well as the decor. An all round winner. I want to go back. Loved it. Thank you LaLit.
We stayed here 4 nights. Our room (senior classroom) was spacious with high ceiling. Overall, the hotel was very clean and quiet. The location is convenient for those wanting to visit Tower of London, Tower Bridge,HMS Belfast or other locations. The London Bridge tube station is a short walk away (5-10 min.)
Although we were happy w/ our room, there were some issues with the service. Our room wasn’t cleaned on two occasions when we returned to the hotel in the late afternoon. One time we didn’t get bath towels, and they were only delivered to our room after calling about it twice.
There were also a couple of more small issues (not enough coffee capsules and milk) that should have been taken care of automatically.
We enjoyed our stay, but our high expectations weren’t quite met.
Went for Sunday afternoon lunch and I am truly impressed with the Lunch menu. The menu had a theme based on school term times.
Very innovative and traditional Indian dishes, I was greeted by Chef Jomon who took excellent care of us.
They presented one of the finest Indian dishes, the quality and food quantity was mind blowing.
The food presentation was Michelin standard and the desserts were truly amazing.
Prices were fantastic, could hardly find any issues with this hotel.
I would rate this hotel the same as Quilon restaurant in Taj Buckingham Gate.
Would definitely recommend this hotel to family and friends.
Beautiful hotel. Nice staff but service was slow and lacking. Seemed as if all the staff are new and nervous. Not great for a hotel of this calibre. Plus ladies toilet was broken. Place was quite empty on Saturday night. Lacked atmosphere.