Sanderson Hotel in London, UK

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Updated: November 17, 2019

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Review of Sanderson Hotel in London, UK.

Sanderson – Come for the spectacle, stay for the service.

Sanderson was era-defining when it opened almost 20 years ago: surrealist, playful, and utterly pretentious in a theatrical, knowing way. It caught the Y2K zeitgeist and changed the way many people thought about hotels. Nowadays, the grandfather of London’s boutique hotel scene is a little more realistic, a little more settled, and comfortable reveling in its extraordinary features rather than self-consciously preening. Sanderson is a palace of minimalist opulence, a period piece, and a stage set. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but one thing’s for sure: Philippe Starck’s unique vision, which still has the power to surprise and challenge two decades on, has to be experienced to be believed.

Sanderson – Location

  • Address: 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG.
  • Nearest Metro/Subway: Tottenham Court Road, a 7-minute walk (0.3 mile) away, has connections to the Northern and Central lines (and soon, the Elizabeth Line, which will be the fastest way to get across London). Also on the Central Line is Oxford Circus, an 8-minute walk (0.4 mile), from which you can also access the Bakerloo and Victoria lines.
  • Area: Located in genteel Fitzrovia, the delightful tree-lined Berners Street is surprisingly relaxed given its central location just off Oxford Street. It’s an easy walk to almost every major tourist attraction from the hotel.
  • How To Get There: From Gatwick Airport, the high-speed Gatwick Express and slower trains run to London Victoria train station, where you can connect to the London Underground. Other trains connect Gatwick to St Pancras train station, across the street from King’s Cross station, a major London Underground hub. From Heathrow Airport, the Heathrow Express runs to Paddington train station, with onwards London Underground connections. Heathrow is also served directly by the Piccadilly underground line. Consult the Transport for London website and Citymapper app for the best way to reach the hotel.
  • Handy To: British Museum, Oxford Street, Soho.

Sanderson – The Basics

  • Ages: Originally a VIP hotspot, the hotel now welcomes everyone, from weekenders to business travelers and families. Bar access 18+.
  • View: The best rooms (on the top floor) all have terraces from which you can spot Big Ben, Senate House, and the retro-futuristic BT Tower.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
  • Laundry: In-house same-day service.
  • Parking: Valet parking.
  • Extras: Bicycles for guest use, personal trainer, turn-down service, free newspapers.
  • When To Book: With 150 rooms, Sanderson often has availability when others are sold out. August and December holidays are the least busy times of the year; book several weeks in advance for big events such as Ascot (June) and Wimbledon (July).
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: +44 (0)20 7300 1400
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: morganshotelgroup.com

Sanderson – Amenities

  • Pool: No pool.
  • Spa: No spa, but in-room spa services can be arranged on request.
  • Fitness Center: Excellent gym open 24 hours for guests; personal trainers available. Additionally, many of the rooms come with a set of designer weights.
  • For Disabled Guests: The extraordinary hologram and cut-glass elevator, along with the generous room proportions means that most of the rooms are accessible for guests with limited mobility.
  • For Families: The hotel’s Hamleys Family Break package treats children to a VIP tour and £50 voucher to one of the most famous toy stores in the world; the Guest Experience Manager is happy to put together bespoke packages. Babysitting services arranged at extra charge.
  • Activities: Cocktail classes, live DJs at the Long Bar.

Sanderson – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant: The Restaurant at Sanderson (7 am-11 am, noon-2.30 pm & 6-10.45 pm) is located on the hotel’s ground floor with indoor and outdoor seating. It offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch menus. the food style is haute cuisine with inventive, reimagined classics. Raised tables allow diners to observe the chefs at work; no kids’ menu. $$-$$$. Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea (12.30-4 pm Mon-Sat & 1-5 pm Sun) and the Mad Hatters Tipsy Evening Tea (daily 7-9 pm; over-21s only) take place at the restaurant as well.
  • Lounges/Bars: There are 2 stunning bars, both serving cocktails and food. The 80-ft Long Bar features iconic bar stools. Live DJs play Thu-Sat, and it’s open until 1 am Mon-Thu, 2 am Fri-Sat, and 11 pm Sun. • The otherworldly Purple Bar is an intimate, opulent space serving hotel guests, VIPs, and private parties; a huge range of high-end liquors and cocktails on offer; open 6 pm-3 am Monday-Saturday.
  • Breakfast: An excellent selection available at the restaurant 7-11 am daily from £4, or all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for £18. Some hotel packages include breakfast.
  • Room Service: 24-hour service available.

Sanderson – Rooms

  • Room Types: Standard • Superior • Superior Double Double • Deluxe • Loft Double Double Suite • Loft Suite • Loft Suite Terrace • Penthouse
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is permitted, by request, on the terraces of the Loft Suites.
  • Best Room: The luxurious Penthouse Suite has 2 ensuite bedrooms, one with a bathtub as well as a shower, a kitchenette, London skyline views to the London Eye, and a huge living area. There are artistic flourishes everywhere – including on the ceiling.
  • For Families: Sanderson’s generously-sized rooms can be transformed into family-friendly spaces: there are some interconnecting rooms, and the hotel can provide extra beds if needed. The Penthouse, Loft Double Double Suite, or Superior Double Double all have 2 double beds.

Sanderson – Local Transport

    The Transport for London website, Citymapper app, and Google Maps will give you the most comprehensive ways to get around London, including walking, taxis, rideshares, and public bicycle information.

  • Walking: Within 30 minutes, you can walk to most of the Central London attractions, including Soho (0.2 mile, 5-minute walk), Regent Street (0.5 mile, 9-minute walk), Carnaby Street (0.4 mile, 9-minute walk), Piccadilly Circus (0.6 mile, 12-minute walk), Leicester Square (0.6 mile, 12-minute walk), Trafalgar Square (0.7 mile, 15-minute walk), Hyde Park (1.2 miles, 25-minute walk), and Buckingham Palace (1.5 miles, 30-minute walk).
  • Subway and Bus: An easy walk to several tube stations: Tottenham Court Road (0.3 mile, 7-minute walk), Goodge Street (0.3 mile, 7-minute walk), and Oxford Circus (0.4 mile, 8-minute walk). Tube and mainland services from Charing Cross (0.8 mile, 17-minute walk) and Euston (1 mile, 19-minute walk). There are dozens of local buses from this area of central London.
  • Taxis, Uber: London’s famous Black Cabs can be hailed from the street or ordered via the Gett app. Uber is also ubiquitous throughout the city – you’ll rarely have more than a 5-minute wait for a cab, although costs can rack up in traffic – you may wish you’d walked.

Sanderson – What’s Nearby?

Recommended Nearby Tours

    There are tours on almost every aspect of London, from Harry Potter to The Beatles and the monarchy. Hotel staff are extremely knowledgeable about what’s available and can assist with booking.

  • Secret London Walking Tour – Fun London Tours offer a lot of options that are fun for locals and tourists alike as they explore aspects of London that not many know about. Starts at Trafalgar Square. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • London By Night Tour – See London, rather than a traffic jam, at nighttime. The company comes highly recommended and offers dozens of other tours. Starts at Green Park. 20-minute walk / 10 minutes by Tube (1 mile).
  • Drink London Tour – Drink your way through many of London’s most historic pubs from St Paul’s to Holborn. 10 minutes by Tube (2 miles).

Best Nearby Restaurants

  • Greyhound Café – Inventive, exciting, and authentic Thai food in a trendy setting with outside seating. 2-minute walk (150m).
  • Ember Yard – Mouth-watering wood-fired Mediterranean sharing plates from the Salt Yard group. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Roka – A haute cuisine take on the traditional Japanese Robata grill. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Homeslice – Offering just 2 options: a massive 20-inch pizza or a single slice, Homeslice has very little margin for error. Luckily, this outstanding pizzeria hits the mark every time. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Corazon – Excellent Mexican food whipped up from scratch at reasonable prices. A great bar, too. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Social Eating House – Exquisite food from the same team as the Berners Tavern, but in a celebrated informal environment. The Blind Pig bar upstairs has a prohibition theme and serves excellent cocktails. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Temper – Sustainable meat smoked and barbequed in the middle of an underground restaurant. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Mildreds – Ever-popular groundbreaking vegetarian restaurant (now with branches elsewhere in the city) that even the most carnivorous will love. No bookings. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Hoppers – Mouth-watering Sri-Lankan food that has people queuing as soon as the doors open. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Bocca di Lupo – Choose small or large portions of the seasonal menu that features dishes from every region of Italy. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Bars and Breweries

  • Brewdog – A bar from the Scottish brewery taking over the world with DIY co-op ‘punk’ ethos and fantastic beers. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile).
  • Liquorette – Kitsch bar, plastered with 1970s posters, serving good pizzas and choice alcohol with the option for cocktails to go: try their signature ‘Cha-Chunker’. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • The Dog and Duck – Tiny pub with dining room famous for serving George Orwell and Madonna. Packed with locals every night. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • The French House – This Gallic bar-restaurant is a true Soho institution. Go to discover its full history and lengthy famous guest list. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Ceviche – Full flavor at this Peruvian bar-restaurant with excellent Pisco cocktails and food that does Lima proud. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Swift – Elegant 2-story bar focusing on excellent cocktails and a staggering collection of over 250 whiskeys. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Bar Termini – Brilliantly simple menu (and prices) showcasing the things this friendly Italian bar cares most about: coffee, cocktails, and negroni. 11-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Best Nearby Cafes

  • Kaffeine – Often called the best coffee in London, this Antipodean cafe with 2 Fitzrovia outposts will not disappoint – excellent light bites too. 1-minute walk (100m) and 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • ScandiKitchen – Scandinavian deli with delectable open sandwiches and pastries for breakfast, lunch, or teatime. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Bar Italia – Opened in 1949 as a hub for the Italian community in London, 70 years on, this family-run cafe (with restaurant next door) is a 24-hour hub for the whole of London. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).

Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops

  • Oxford Street – London’s ultimate shopping street offers over a mile’s worth of high street brands and department stores. 2-minute walk (0.1 mile).
  • Berwick Street – The street to come to if you’re into fabric and haberdashery stores, vinyl (Reckless Records, Sister Ray), and graphic novels (Gosh! Comics). There’s also an incredible lunchtime street food market Monday-Saturday. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
  • Old Compton Street – Soho has long been known for its nightlife, especially for the gay community, but Old Compton Street is worth a stroll in the daytime for specialist produce stores, namely i Camisa & Sons, Gerry’s Wine and Spirits, and the Algerian Coffee Stores. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Liberty London – This iconic department store, world-famous for its floral and paisley prints, sits at the northernmost end of Carnaby street. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Carnaby Street – This street, just before Oxford Circus Tube station, made London the height of fashion in the Swinging Sixties and still buzzes with shoppers and many restaurants. 9-minute walk (0.4 mile).
  • Hamleys – For those with children, be sure not to miss Hamleys on Regent Street – the biggest toy store in the world. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
  • Bond Street (0.8 mile, 16-minute walk) and Regent Street (0.5 mile, 8-minute walk), which both lead off Oxford Street to the south, and St Christopher’s Place (0.7 mile, 15-minute walk) just to the north of Selfridges, are the areas to hit nearby for luxury brands.
  • Selfridges – With its designer brands and incredible food hall, this is the one shop not to miss on Oxford Street. 17-minute walk (0.8 mile).
  • Covent Garden – Once referring only to London’s main produce market, Covent Garden now refers to everything bounded by Shaftesbury Avenue in the north, Charing Cross road to the west, High Holborn in the east, and The Strand in the south; an ever-growing warren mixture of artisans, independent boutiques, designer labels, and high-street brands. Highlights include the Royal Opera House, Stanfords for maps and travel-related paraphernalia, Neal’s Yard Dairy for cheese-lovers, and Petersham Nurseries for a graceful lunch spot. 17-minute walk (1 mile).

Nearby Attractions

  • British Museum – Considered one of the best museums in the world with millions of treasures from all regions and eras. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Theatreland – London’s ‘West End’ is as renowned as Broadway for the best, biggest, newest, and longest-running theater productions with dozens of historic theaters spanning from Tottenham Court Road down to the river, with a concentrated cluster on Shaftesbury Avenue. 11-minute walk (0.6 mile)
  • Leicester Square – A pleasant plaza that celebrates entertainment, from the statue of Shakespeare in the center to the street performers and the enormous cinemas that hold the UK premieres of the biggest new releases. 12-minute walk (0.6 mile).
  • Trafalgar Square – London’s premiere square with some of its most important landmarks. Admiralty Arch in the southwest corner leads to The Mall and Buckingham Palace and, of course, Nelson’s Column celebrates the admiral responsible for Britain’s win against Napoleon. Don’t miss the National Gallery at the top of the steps, or its adjoining sister, the National Portrait Gallery for some of the country’s most precious gems. 15-minute walk (0.7 mile).
  • Buckingham Palace – Stroll down the wide avenue, The Mall, from Trafalgar Square and walk in the footsteps of the British monarchy. 18-minute walk (1 mile) to Admiralty Arch (start of The Mall).

Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores

Sanderson – The Hotel

The hotel features groundbreaking architecture.

You would never guess that peaceful Berners Street is just off Oxford Street, one of the busiest streets in London. The hotel’s beauty may not be immediately apparent, but the building is protected by Historic England for its groundbreaking architecture.

The Berners Terrace is very popular.

The Berners Terrace at the front of the hotel is open to guests and the public – a great spot for people watching.

A bright red sofa welcomes guests.

Guests are welcomed to the hotel by the sight of this plump Dali-esque sofa. Turn left for the reception, right for the Long Bar and restaurant.

Rooms are bright and spacious.

Thanks to the building’s design and its many windows, rooms are generous in size and light-filled. Philippe Starck’s vision for the interior means that the beds stand at an angle in the middle of the room.

Rooms features signature Philippe Starck designs.

All bedrooms except the Penthouse share essential Starck design elements: a cool color palette of silvers with pops of chartreuse, a bathroom separated by glass and curtains, and jaunty angles.

All rooms feature soft furnishings and workspaces.

All rooms have soft furnishings and a workspace. In the smaller rooms, this is combined, but in the Loft Suites, there is vast amounts of space, enhanced by Starck’s sleek minimalistic designs.

Philippe Starck weights feature in many rooms.

There are signature Philippe Starck weights in many rooms.

Mod-cons include entertainment systems and USB ports.

The hotel interior was refreshed in 2015 by Starck protegee Tim Andreas, who helped integrate mod-cons such as entertainment systems and USB ports, while maintaining the purity of Starck’s vision.

Larger rooms feature standalone tubs.

Several of the larger room types feature freestanding tubs as well as the walk-in showers found in every room.

Glass bathrooms are a signature feature.

Glass everywhere you look give bathrooms a dreamy, ethereal feel. Curtains fly closed at the flick of a switch for privacy.

The design pays respect to old English manor houses.

Luxurious textures and materials such as drapes, marble, the odd claw-foot sofa, and huge rugs give a nod to old English manor houses.

Loft Suite Terrace balconies offer wide views of the city.

The Loft Suite Terraces have balconies shrouded with foliage. Looming overhead to the north is the BT Tower, an icon of the London skyline; to the south you can just catch sight of Big Ben.

The floating staircase and 32ft stained glass window are magnificent.

The extraordinary 32-feet stained glass window and floating staircase, which formed integral parts of the original building, make an unlikely but glorious backdrop to the hotel’s pool room.

The pool table is unique.

The pool table itself is a camp baroque fantasy in purple, silver, and gold.

The courtyard has a Japanese garden.

The Japanese garden in the courtyard is part of the reason the building is protected as an architectural gem. It offers a tranquil place to drink, eat, or enjoy afternoon tea.

The restaurant has a contemporary design.

The brutalist cement columns beautifully juxtapose the delicate pendant lights, warm woods, and drapery in the restaurant. Dining at bar-like tables – literally – elevates the whole experience.

The Long Bar is famous for its "eye" seats.

The famous Long Bar. Eye up a seat, admire the ceiling dripping in florals and sip on one of the delectable signature cocktails any time of the day or night. Live DJs make it a fun evening spot at weekends.

The Purple Bar holds cocktail masterclasses.

One of the most intimate and decadent places for a drink in London, The Purple Bar offers hotel guests exclusive access at certain times of day. Ask about the cocktail masterclasses held here.

The tube station nearby runs Central and Northern lines.

The hotel is a 6-minute walk away from one of the handiest tube stations in London; the Central Line runs east-west and the Northern Line runs north-south.

The British Museum nearby displays magnificent treasures.

The hotel is situated in Fitzrovia, which neighbors Bloomsbury where you’ll find the British Museum, a treasure-trove of wonders from all over the world. 11-minute walk.

Roka nearby is known for its Japanese grill.

Tucked away behind Goodge Street station, a 4-minute walk from Sanderson, is Roka, renowned for its Japanese grill. Its Shochu Lounge bar is a wonderful place for a drink, too.

Sainsbury’s Local mini-mart is close by.

The closest mini-mart to the hotel, Sainsbury’s Local, is right where Berners Street meets Oxford Street, the most famous shopping street in the country. 2-minute walk.

Kaffeine serves some of London's best coffee.

The hotel is situated a minute’s walk from some of the best coffee in London at Kaffeine.

Greyhound Cafe serves excellent Thai food.

A minute’s walk north from the hotel is the Greyhound Cafe – Thai food with massive flavours and portions.

Homeslice serves some of London's best pizza slices.

Homeslice has some of the best pizzas in London, and there’s one in Fitzrovia a 4-minute walk from Sanderson. There’s another one in Neal’s Yard if you’re in the Covent Garden area. 4-minute walk.

ScandiKitchen is known for its open sandwiches and salads.

Londoners love the ScandiKitchen for its superb open sandwiches and salads; it’s a convenient 6-minute walk from Sanderson.

Liquorette nearby serves good cocktails.

Also in Fitzrovia, 5 minutes from Sanderson, is the Liquorette, which serves cocktails to go or to stay in their 2-story bar that channels 1970s California retro.

Brewdog is a Scottish craft beer outlet nearby.

Scottish craft beer chain Brewdog is open much of the day for burgers, brunches and an ever-expanding menu of their own brews. It’s an easy 5-minute walk across Oxford Street towards Soho.

Corazon is renowned for its tacos.

Corazon, a marvelous Mexican bistro, is a 4-minute stroll away that has the friendly feeling of a neighborhood bar; don’t go anywhere else for tacos.

Ember Yard serves Spanish and Italian fare.

Ember Yard delivers Spanish and Italian wood-fired delicacies a 4-minute walk from the hotel.

Dog and Duck is extremely popular with locals.

The Dog and Duck is always rammed with locals so you might not get to drink inside, but if you get a spot, there’s decent pub grub too. 8-minute walk.

Mildreds close by serves excellent vegetarian food.

Mildreds: making vegetarian food cool since 1988 in its beautiful Soho dining rooms, 8 minutes from the hotel.

Temper serves an excellent grilled menu.

If smoke and fire is your thing, you can’t do better than Temper, an underground den with an enormous open grill in the middle, a block from Mildreds. 7-minute walk.

Social Eating House offers fine dining in an informal setting.

Fine dining in an informal setting at Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House. Don’t let the sign to the right that says ‘Opticians’ throw you off the scent of the Blind Pig bar, upstairs. 6-minute walk.

Hoppers serves superb Sri Lankan curries.

There will be another hot restaurant to queue outside soon, but for now it’s Hoppers’ turn – superb Sri Lankan karis (curries) just 9 minutes from the hotel. Almost opposite is the joyous Peruvian bar-restaurant Ceviche.

Bar Italia is a WWII-era 24/7 pub.

Set up soon after WWII, Bar Italia was originally a place for immigrants to get together to remember the old country. Now it’s home to everyone and anyone, 24 hours a day. 9-minute walk.

The French House is known for its wines, champagnes, and food.

A block away from Bar Italia is The French House, which offers a huge range of wines and champagnes by the glass or bottle, as well as gorgeous food in its upstairs dining room. 9-minute walk.

Bocca di Lupo serves excellent Italian fare.

Bocca di Lupo serves outstanding Italian plates by region. The same team run the Gelupo gelateria opposite the restaurant. 9-minute walk.

The Liberty department store has an unmissable design.

The magnificent 1930s mock-Tudor facade of the Liberty department store is unmissable; it’s just 8 minutes from the hotel. Pedestrianized Carnaby Street, lined with independent shops, is out the back door of the shop, and the streets around it are teeming with restaurants.

Gosh! Comics (8-minute walk) is one of the many quirky niche-interest shops you’ll find on Berwick Street. During the day, market stalls line the street.

Gerry’s serves liquors from around the world.

Trust Gerry’s on Old Compton Street to get you in the mood for a night out in Soho – they have liquors from every corner of the globe, just an 8-minute walk from the hotel. At the other end of Old Compton Street are the wonderful cocktail bars Swift and Bar Termini, opposite each other near Cambridge Circus.

Regent Street has a lot of high-end boutiques.

Regent Street, a 9-minute walk southwest of the hotel, is synonymous with high-end fashion and is lined with a number of flagship stores. Here you’ll find designer wear by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Sandro, Kate Spade, and Karen Millen.

Hamleys on Regent Street is the world's largest toy store.

Hamleys, also on Regent Street, a 10-minute walk from the hotel, is the biggest toy store in the world, covering 7 floors. Sanderson can organize packages for children.

Shaftesbury Avenue has several theaters.

Except for Broadway, nowhere in the world can beat the offerings of London’s West End for shows. This is the view at night down Shaftesbury Avenue, an 11-minute stroll from the hotel.

Chinatown is a foodie haven.

Just south of Shaftesbury Avenue are the bright lights of Chinatown, a haven for great food (though you have to look for the authentic stuff among numerous overpriced and touristy restaurants), plus hidden cocktail bars… 12-minute walk.

Leicester Square is popular for its cinemas and plaza.

Leicester Square, a 12-minute walk, often hosts movie premieres – or just sunbathers – in its verdant well-kept square set around a statue of Shakespeare. It’s situated just south of Chinatown and Soho, east of Piccadilly Circus, west of Long Acre (which leads to Covent Garden), and north of Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.

This elegant, becolumned building is the National Gallery. It’s the UK’s best collection of art from the mid-13th century to the 1900s. 15-minute walk.

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