Of the two B&B facilities that I lodged in during my Oct 2012 visit to London, Arosfa Hotel is the better one. Both B&B's are located on Gower Street, on the same row of historic Georgian townhouses.
Location: Directly across Waterstones Bookshop and Torrington Place Bus Stop, it is easy to remember the exact whereabouts of this B&B. Plus, it is the "end unit" in the row of terraced townhouse units. Compared to its neighbors, Arosfa's frontage has a special curb appeal; it presents a beautiful first impression to the guest, with the black string "curtains" on the drawing room windows, the well-kept flower boxes, the cream-painted portal set against the dark-grey brickwork.... The facade simply has that special je ne sais quoi that sets it apart.
Drawing Room: Spacious, cozy, inviting. The sofa and couch arrangements just makes one want to cozy up. Lots of books, big flat-panel TV, water and lemonade, coffee/tea/chocolate/hot water tray, two PC's connected to a printer. B&W pictures of 50's Hollywood actresses and NY architecture adorn the walls. It reminds me of someone's living room, instead of a semi-public room. The foyer is equally warmed by framed art that almost look like originals, gold-framed mirror, silver mini lamp, etc. And the light tan wallpapers are those of embossed rosettes. I am quite impressed by the fine attention to details. I've stayed at 3.5-star hotels that look less spectacular.
Room: Mine was Room 12, 2 floors directly above the entry door on the ground floor. Somewhat strange, but there were two doors to get into the room (hmm?). The first is directly in front of the stairwell, and there is a 24-30 inch distance to the second door which opens to the room. Not that the two doors provided 100% noise insulation, because I still heard walking in the stairwell. In the "anteroom" is a chair which came in handy as a makeshift tabletop. The room is rectangular, longer than it is wide (which is not wide, at all), but there was enough room for me to walk without hitting anything. Bathroom is SUPER COMPACT. It reminds me of a train's first-class sleeper car, en-suite bathroom...toilet, mini washbasin, shower stand. However, everything was in perfect working order and are immaculate. It looked to me somewhat newly remodeled, using retro-looking fixtures for that old-time ambiance. The windows were retrofitted to have to double glass panes, which significantly cut down any outside noise.
Room 12 Amenities: Small armoire for hanging clothes and stowing bags, flat-panel TV, hair dryer, mini countertops, coffee/tea/condiments/cups/heating pot, fresh fruit, in-room phone, radiator heater, ceiling fan, mirrors, reading lamps, just look at the pictures to see that the room has so many special touches that add class, setting it apart from the ordinariness of other B&B rooms in this price category.
Bath Amenities: This is really nice!....They provide the same toiletries that 4-star hotels in the U.S. provide: Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, shower cap.
Breakfast: FULL English breakfast. Not fond of sausages, I requested for extra bacon instead. But the great thing is that you can ask for more eggs, or toast, or whatever else was on your plate, and the innkeepers happily provided. I didn't though. Between the continental breakfast buffet and my cooked-to-order full breakfast, I could not eat any more. Beverages consisted of juices, water, coffee, tea, chocolate. Unlimited refills, naturally :=)
Innkeepers and service: Tessa and Attila ARE THE BEST. I could not have asked for a warmer, more accomodating, more knowledgeable pair than these two. At any time, one or both were always available (from 0700 - 2230), so when I returned late in the evenings, there was always somebody to welcome me. Such a nice, warm feeling that welcoming greeting and smile imparts! And not to forget Frankie, their 4-month doggie who works double time as PR manager, resident mascot, and official greeter, the trio pack a mean punch! Service quality couldn't be beat! Attila was always available to help me with my bags, and both were quick to respond to my requests.
Arosfa is clearly on my short list of B&B's to stay in, on my next visit to London!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Arosfa Hotel is a refurbished 200-year old Georgian Town House in the heart of historic Bloomsbury district, the former home of the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Everett Millais. The cool white garden squares and wide streets of Bloomsbury have been a pull to thinkers for centuries, and it sometimes seems like every second house has a blue plaque denoting that a great writer, scientist or philosopher once inhabited the building. It was in Bloomsbury that Karl Marx created communism, Virginia Woolf defined the twentieth century British novel, and Charles Darwin first conceived the theory of natural selection. The imposing bulk of the British Museum, home to seven millennia of human art and artefacts, dominates the area, and there are plenty of other academic institutions including Birkbeck College, the beautiful University of London Library, and RADA, London's grandest drama school. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arosfa Hotel London
- Arosfa London