The Ned, London’s new £200m hotel, opened its doors earlier this year within the former grade 1-listed 11-storey Midland Bank headquarters, designed in 1924 by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, located adjacent to the Bank of England. I’ve been walking past The Ned on my commute for the past few months and have wanted to pop in, but a recent opportunity to stay was something I leapt at the chance to experience having heard many marvellous things about the place.
The Ned London Luxury Hotel Review
Walking through the doors is, frankly, awe-inspiring; the grandeur is everything that I’d hoped for but failed to see in my stay earlier this year at The Grand in Brighton and even arguably that at The Grosvenor Hotel. With over ninety African verdite columns in the former banking hall, to old safety deposit-box signage and plush furnishings, The Ned’s interior has been brilliantly thought through to remain in keeping with the glamour of the building’s original use. It’s genuinely quite extraordinary, radiating luxuriousness, vintage charm and style that harp back to the days of transatlantic ocean liners at the turn of the century; think along the lines of the Titanic’s opulence and you’d almost be there. Quite charming.
Alongside the impressive grand entrance-come-food-hall, The Ned boasts nine restaurants, a spa, rooftop terrace with swimming pool and over 250 bedrooms. Wood panelled bank tellers’ cabins from the original bank hold booth seating within many of the restaurants, whilst a leather-clad bar in Cecconi’s gives The Ned a rather grand feel. Most impressive was the original circular reception desk that greets guests walking through the front door, transformed into a stage for jazz performances, a gorgeous piano and jazz band playing upon my arrival.
The ground floor and main hall of The Ned is a mighty fine place to be.
The Ned Room
The Ned features twelve categories of room, referencing the golden years of the Edwardian era, spanning from “The Crash Pad”, the smallest rooms, to gorgeous sprawling suites. On both occasions, I stayed in a ‘Cosy’ room, snug but by no means lacking in luxury; gorgeous period furniture, a leather-top drum table, a pair of carved oak chairs, drinks cabinets, velvet draping, Thomas Crapper bathroom sinks and floral wallpaper based on an original 1920s design.
The period design has been carried through to the bathrooms too, gorgeous marble mosaic bathrooms containing the most dreamy walk-in rainforest shower, along with a range of full-size Cowshed products that even the most discerning and opulent of guest would be hard to make their way through.
My stay was memorable and I was impressed with the room itself, excelling my lofty expectations in cleanliness, quality and comfort. If I was critical, I’d pull The Ned up on the slamming doors in the hallway that woke me in the early hours on several occasions and would also address the dimly-lit areas of my room that single-track spotlighting couldn’t cope with, but on the whole, I felt the room provided acceptable value for money north of £300 per night for central London. It was smart, charming and well furnished.
A major perk of staying at The Ned is the exclusive access guests have to the eighth-floor rooftop, home to a beautiful pool lined with Italian marble, whilst views stretch from St Paul’s Cathedral to the heart of The City, including the Gherkin. Cosy bars are nestled in two domes, whilst a rooftop restaurant is also present serving gorgeous dishes to patrons. Consequently, the roof space is a quaint hangout that is a pleasant place to kill a couple of hours… and I did, with a gin-based cocktail or two.
The Ned London: Review Verdict
It’s the personality of The Ned that shines through, a blend of romantic and traditional nostalgia with a healthy dose of contemporary personable service. The Ned oozes design integrity and carries this impeccably from its grand reception hall, through to its rooms and private rooftop terrace, whilst excelling in maintaining a sharp focus on suave sophistication and customer service – and it’s a really cool place to be, whether it be for a late evening cocktail or overnight stay.