Possessing one of the most majestic facades a hotel can have, with towering marble columns and maritime sculptures, London’s second Four Seasons opened this year in an exquisitely refurbished beaux arts building, once the grand headquarters of the Port of London Authority. I arrive via cab (make sure you specify the new Four Seasons at 10 Trinity so that the driver doesn’t confuse it with the one at Park Lane), and the doorman greets me, opening the door with a: “Welcome, Ms Gannon.” I have already checked in via the app, so my keys are ready and I’m shown straight to my room.
In the City of London, right across from the Tower of London and steps from the Tower Hill tube station and the Thames, the location in the financial centre is ideal for business travellers and tourists looking to explore one of London’s most historic parts. Case in point: Samuel Pepys is buried in the nave of St Olave’s church, right behind the hotel.
My executive room is long, high-ceilinged and sleekly modern, all dark browns and beiges, with design details such as tweed wallpaper and an embossed leather headboard. The room’s atmosphere is pierced by a floor-to-ceiling window looking onto a white space-age atrium that somehow blends seamlessly with the historic structure. The glass is frosted, and blackout blinds can be drawn at the touch of a button if you prefer privacy. A sofa bed in the sitting area faces a large mirror with a hidden television. Behind heavy mirrored doors and through a walk-in wardrobe is the most dazzling surprise: a gold-tiled tub alcove in a bright marble bathroom fit for Cleopatra.
For the most part, incredibly attentive: the doormen offer me water while I wait, and the concierge handles tricky reservation requests with ease. Almost everyone greets me by name. Two small miscues, one with my breakfast order and another with laundry, are signs of a new hotel finding its feet, but both are promptly corrected.
It’s not very busy when I stay just over a month after opening, but the restaurant is already packed with Londoners, who also congregate after work in the bar of the beautifully restored art deco Rotunda.
Dinner at the London outpost of the Michelin-starred La Dame de Pic, by French chef Anne-Sophie Pic, is an experience in itself. My main course, the most perfectly tender squares of Hereford beef roasted with coffee and cinnamon leaves (£41 [Dh195]), is almost outdone by the coffee butter and a parade of intricate amuse-bouches, including a matcha cocoa-butter bonbon filled with liquid yuzu. The Four Seasons serves its own à la carte breakfast in the same restaurant; I enjoy a perfect omelette as part of my full English breakfast that includes a bakery basket, fresh juices and coffee (£35 [Dh167]).
The historic touches: a brass plaque at the entrance marking the Liberty Bounds, where people had to stop or risk the Tower of London’s archers; an original Bösendorfer piano in the lobby; and among interesting books in my room, Peter Ackroyd’s London: The Biography.
The spa and Asian restaurant weren’t yet open, but will be soon.
Surround yourself with history in what is sure to become a favourite Four Seasons.
The bottom line
Rooms at the Four Seasons London at Ten Trinity Square (www.fourseasons.com/tentrinity) cost from £390 (Dh1,855), including taxes and Wi-Fi.
This review was done at the invitation of the hotel.