An Inspector Calls… A review of L’Oscar in Holborn, London

An Inspector Calls… You’ll need deep pockets to stay at swanky new London hotel L’Oscar – but is it really worth the money?

  • L’Oscar is a new – and very lavish – hotel near Holborn Tube station in London 
  • The Inspector was very disappointed with his £450 per night ‘pokey’ attic room
  • The hotel’s restaurant prices are ‘absurdly steep’ – he paid £44 for rib-eye steak 

The general manager introduces himself as we order coffee in the morning. He must have heard that I caused a fuss the night before.

I didn’t really. Just felt that when you are paying £450 for a room (the cheapest on offer) you expect something other than a pokey attic with sloping windows, no bath and a one-way system round the bed because space is so tight.

To make matters worse, we had been allocated a Bulgarian ‘butler’ who kept asking if there was anything he could do.

Sultry: L'Oscar (above) 'would not look out of place in Abu Dhabi,' wrote The Inspector 

Sultry: L’Oscar (above) ‘would not look out of place in Abu Dhabi,’ wrote The Inspector 

‘A better room would be nice,’ I told him. At first, reception said it would not be possible, but when I threatened to empty the place by taking off my clothes and dancing naked on the black glitzy tables under the mirrored ceiling speckled with LED disco lights, we were swiftly given the keys to a superior room.

L’Oscar, near Holborn Tube station in London, is a lavish, new hotel (‘decadence by design’ the website says) which would not look out of place in Abu Dhabi.

All is dark and self-consciously sultry, with acres of silks, velvets, tassels in mustard and mauve, and glass birds on gold wall lights.

This was once the headquarters of a Baptist Church — hence the main bar and Baptist Grill in the octagonal former chapel, where you sit on sumptuous thrones rather than chairs. Prices are absurdly steep (rib-eye steak £44) and we have to ask if the dreadful techno music can be turned down.

Our improved room has a huge bedhead that looks like peacock feathers, complicated lighting and overly-shiny repro portraits of Bloomsbury Set types. But the fixtures and fittings are of the highest calibre, with a marble bathroom, thick carpet and a gorgeous duvet.

We are paying £450, room only. If we had gone for B&B the price would have risen to £520. That means £35 per person for brekkie — which is why we order just two coffees.

Pop of colour: A 'Deluxe Bedroom' (above) features a seating area and private hallway

Pop of colour: A ‘Deluxe Bedroom’ (above) features a seating area and private hallway

I tell the general manager that the original room was a poor reflection on L’Oscar. ‘I shall make a note in your guest profile so that on the next occasion you will automatically be upgraded,’ he says. There won’t be a next time but I appreciate the thought.

TRAVEL FACTS 

L’Oscar, 2-6 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4AA. Doubles from £370, room only. For more information call 0207 405 5555 or visit loscar.com.  

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