Since the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, the normality of dining at our favourite restaurants and ticking off an overnight stay from our hotel bucket list has changed significantly. Although we remain positive that life will return to normal in a post COVID world, current circumstances mean that we are seeing the hospitality industry be put under intense pressure to deliver on their existing services whilst adapting and adhering to incredibly confusing and conflicting guidelines produced by the UK government.
According to The Economist, in 2018 41% of hotel stays around the world were booked by business travellers. The limitations now put on travel, the suggestion that employees working from home until March 2021 (in the UK) should be encouraged by businesses and the difficulties with groups over a certain size coming together means that Personal and Executive Assistants are no longer booking hotel stays like they used to. If they are, understanding the safety of their Exec is the main priority but as we know, blind booking your boss into a venue especially during a pandemic is not the easiest or most comfortable experience to go through.
That’s why, when I was invited to spend my first overnight stay in London at the Treehouse Hotel since the UK lockdown, I was intrigued to see how the venue had adapted to ensure their guest experience remained high. I was taken back to my days as an EA where I would have an incredibly difficult set of criteria that venues would need to match before I even considered them as a viable option for an away day, a board meeting or an overnight booking.
Nestled just a 5-minute walk from Oxford Street at 14-15 Langham Place W1B 2QS, the Treehouse Hotel is the answer to every assistants’ prayers when looking for an all in one venue. Creative meeting rooms, a restaurant worthy of winning multiple awards, a rooftop bar with 360 views, immaculately presented bedrooms and digital enhancements designed to keep you as distant as you want to be, will restore every business travellers faith in a world where new restrictions on the day to day can sometimes make having fun feel like a crime.
As the first London venue from the SH Hotels and Restaurants Group, the team behind the Treehouse have expertly reimagined the hotel guest experience but before we tell you about our own thoughts on how well the hotel has adapted, take a look at their COVID-19 precautions here to answer any initial questions you may have as to the changes they have made.
The Check In Process
Checking in – it’s your first interaction with staff, your first sneak peak into how organised the front of house team are, and it really lays the foundation for your time as a guest.
Again, the EA in me is always looking for a seamless check in process, mainly because the idea of not knowing if my previous bosses would be satisfied with their initial experience would have me doubled over with worry and anxiety.
Being welcomed into the Treehouse with warm, open arms from staff who you can tell are thrilled to see you, even with half of their face concealed by Liberty print masks, was the ovation I was looking for. Referring back to my earlier mention that the team had implemented digital enhancements throughout the hotel, their contactless check in process was easy to understand and follow as a guest.
Directed up to my room, the staff reminded me of the app specifically designed to assist me with my every need during my stay and I began my time at the Treehouse Hotel feeling calm, collected and reassured that the team had everything under control.
With servicing seals attached to each door indicating the work conducted by housekeeping was undisturbed, again my inner EA was screaming with happiness to know that the small touches to ensure guest safety had been taken into consideration. Too often have I been left wondering if a hotel room has been cleaned to not only a good standard but within the last 24 hours, even when the world has been suffering from a global pandemic.
I was staying in a Lookout King room with views over the John Nash designed All Souls Church. First impressions? From the moment I walked through the door I could have easily booked myself in for an entire week and not felt any reason to leave.
In stark contrast to the traditional and quintessentially British design of many neighbouring residences the Treehouse Hotel bedrooms are causal but quirky, cosy but industrial, classy but not pretentious. The amenities are of course limited in line with COVID-19 safety precautions yet as a guest, you are not left wanting as your trusty app fills in any gaps.
A beautifully comfortable bed, one of the best showers I have had all year and the perfect window nook to sit and sip my pre-dinner champagne whilst overlooking a city I had missed terribly throughout lockdown, so far the Treehouse Hotel was ticking every single box and more.
The Rooftop Bar
Or more fondly known as ‘The Nest’, you cannot go wrong with a beautiful interior featuring cascading greenery and warm autumnal tones, a 360 degree view over London and a cocktail list that will make any Londoner happy.
The perfect spot for an evening with friends, pre-dinner drinks as I experienced or a place to settle with your laptop in a bid to mix up your WFH status, The Nest incorporates live music with a beautiful menu of bar bites and a beautifully curated drinks menu. Simply one of the best experiences I have had at a rooftop bar in London.
The menu at Madera is a combination of Mexican cuisine and experiential dining with views over London that elevates your experience as a guest.
Active throughout the day offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and an energetic weekend brunch, authentic Mexican flavours are the heart of everything that is to offer on the menu.
My personal recommendations? A margarita is obviously a no-brainer along with the guacamole and warm chips to start. Moving on to the Ceviche Blanco, the Halibut Ensenada, Corn Fed Chicken over rocks w/ sweet-chipotle, onion, poblano pepper served w/ pico de gallo, tortillas, frijoles negros and Street Corn. Two of us dined together at dinner and that was plenty for us both…
Impeccable. There is nothing to be improved on and I would not hesitate to return at any time in the future. Any person boss, Exec or business traveller would be more than happy with the service provided by staff throughout their stay.
Our Final Verdict
If you’re going to invest your time, money and personal safety into any venue right now, the Treehouse Hotel is our #1 recommendation for personal and business stays in London.
Visit the Treehouse for more information and take advantage of their offers here.