When you’re booking your stay at one of the capital’s fanciest hotels, there is often a list of requirements that even the most unflappable reservations manager might be surprised by. ‘An extra bed for your child, sir? Absolutely fine. Unlimited flowers and champagne for your wife or partner? That will be our pleasure. Tickets for sold out shows? Not a problem. But you want to bring your dog to the hotel? Out of the question. We are a luxury establishment, not a kennel.’
This is very much not the case at the ultra-luxurious Kimpton Fitzroy, proudly located on Russell Square, a stone’s throw from both Bloomsbury and the wider delights of central London. Here, the happiness of one’s canine companion is so prized that not only do the rooms already have dog beds and water bowls hopefully put out in them, but the hotel has recently announced a collaboration with the trendier-than-possible The Hound Hut, building on last year’s successful introduction of a pet-focused bespoke menu.
For £36 an hour, you can swan about the hotel happy in the knowledge that Fido is going to be walked and spoilt; as the manager comments, ‘If your pet fits through the door and into the lift, they’ll be welcomed at Kimpton Fitzroy London at no extra charge and we’re confident this brand new experience will help create the perfect stay for both pets and owners alike.’
For their human companions, the Kimpton Fitzroy remains a classy experience. The first thing that you notice upon entering what used to be known as the Hotel Russell is the sheer scale of it; the original designer Charles Fitzroy Doll also was responsible for the dining room on the Titanic, and it all but screams opulence, with the lavish marble fittings offering an experience of luxurious grandeur as soon as you enter.
And the bedrooms are tastefully and stylishly fitted out, too, with vast marble bathrooms, walk-in showers, views over Russell Square and the kinds of bath that you want to sink into and never emerge from. It’s a nice touch, too, that the minibar offers complimentary beers and soft drinks, which so often one is charged through the nose for.
In fact, the whole food and drink side of the hotel is one of the classiest in town. It would not be a London sojourn without a meal with Larry, and we head to the Galvin Bar and Grill with high expectations, which are then duly met. The Galvin brethren Chris and Jeff are synonymous with superlative standards in all their restaurants, from the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows to the much-missed Galvin Bistrot Deluxe, and this is another excellent restaurant; we order the signature dish of the crab lasagne to start, as unctuous and buttery as ever, and follow it with a couple of fine steaks.
Larry, trencherman that he is, makes appreciative remarks about the quality of the sauces, at some length and with some vigour; he is not wrong, because a peerless bearnaise is one of the best I can remember having, and his peppercorn sauce is no mean shakes, either. The sommelier recommends a fine Syrah, and we are a pair of very happy diners.
As, it must be said, I am with all the component elements of the Kimpton Fitzroy, from its canine catering to pleasant touches like the ‘social hour’, where guests can sit in the bar for an hour and have a complimentary glass of wine or a beer; a nice touch and one that’s seldom found in places of this nature. But along with the general ethos of hospitality, stylishness and warmth, this fine place is one of London’s best hotels – and the polar opposite of a dog’s dinner.
For more information about The Kimpton Fitzroy, including details of offers and details of services offered by The Hound Hut, please visit www.kimptonfitzroylondon.com.