By Matt Pomroy
The Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is leading the way in upscale hospitality for high-end business travellers
The term ‘bleisure’ – a portmanteau of business and leisure – has become a somewhat-overused marketing phrase by the hotel industry, as they look to cater for business travellers who expect more from their accommodation than just a bed and passable buffet-breakfast.
However, there is an understandable sense that for bigger deals, important meetings and CEO-to-CEO interaction, an airport-adjacent Holiday Inn is really not going to send out the right message.
The City of London has long been the hub of financial dealing and trade in the British capital and the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is a game changer for those in search of classy, luxury accommodation in such a key centre of business.
While the hotel only opened in 2017 – following a five-year restoration project – the building dates back to 1922. Created in the Beaux Arts style, it was constructed as the headquarters of the Port of London Authority and opened by David Lloyd George, then the British Prime Minister.
An imposing symbol of Britain’s former imperial trading might, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city as hundreds of people would visit every day to pay dues on goods that had been brought up the nearby River Thames. There, in the central room on the ground floor, under the grand dome supported by marble columns, traders would queue at the walnut and brass counters as business flourished. That dome is now a central lounge dining area and bar, but business still goes on here, albeit over long breakfasts or single malts and cigars.
The hotel itself is not overly large, with just 134 rooms including 11 suites, allowing individual rooms to be a generous size, and it finds an elegant balance between the historic and modern as art deco lamps and ornate detailing sit well with high-tech rooms and guest facilities.
For the business traveller, there are services including airline reservation, translation, same-day laundry and dry-cleaning, one-hour pressing services, fast and free Wi-Fi, onsite barber and everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel, but the historic element elevates everything with a wow factor. For a business event you can hire out the UN Ballroom - the site of the very first reception of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946. Fully restored it also comes with state-of-the-art technology and space for up to 200 people.
For smaller gatherings, Thames penthouse is a modern alternative with large entertaining space surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, a bespoke bar, open plan seating area and kitchen and a 1,500-sq.-ft. terrace overlooking the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. It really does feel like a seal-the-deal setting and dinners can be arranged for this space.
The gym equipment is ultra-modern and includes cycling machines with Netflix on the screen, so you just need to put in your Netflix login and then you can catch up on a series while working out and maximise your time - multitasking in 2019 with get-fit-boxset binge or just catching up on the news. On the bottom floor there’s a 1,680-square-metre day spa with a reception clad in 24-carat gold and eight treatment rooms as well as a Hammam Suite for steam treatments, 14-metre pool and a smaller pool kept at 32 degrees and offering hydro massages for post-work relaxation.
If you don’t want to hire a space for in-house business dinners the hotel is home to one-Michelin-starred La Dame De Pic restaurant. From French chef Anne-Sophie Pic – voted the best female chef in the world – the setting is light and convivial with excellent innovative French cuisine and three-course set menus for lunchtimes. If you want something more laid back, Mei Ume serves Chinese and Japanese cuisine and there a lovely bar serving inventive pre-dinner cocktails. The Rotunda Lounge serves breakfasts, afternoon tea, drinks and casual light dinners. The Lounge – straight ahead from the hotel entrance – is easy to find for visiting clients and ideal to hold informal business breakfast meetings.
Tower Hill tube station is just 30 seconds away from the hotel’s doorstep and a few minutes cab ride to the heart of London’s financial district, or a ten-minute walk. If you have business in the City, then this is as close as you can get, while staying in the most elegant style possible.
For all of London’s history and grandeur it often has a problem when it comes to hotels – especially compared to those in the Middle East. Hotels in London are often new builds and fine, but with no sense of history, or they are classic old hotels that now feel outdated and a little creaky. This is why the Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square is such a remarkable property, and gracefully manages to encapsulate modern luxury in a spectacular historic building.
Luxury business travel to the English capital really doesn’t get much better than this; it will be tempting to extend your stay once your meetings have concluded. fourseasons.com