When the opportunity to spend some time at this wonderful hotel came up I jumped at the chance
and it set tongues – and tails – wagging. At last, a trip away with the main man in my life where I
didn’t have to arrange kennels for him. Ferdy, my faithful, energetic pooch is my first consideration
when I spend time away from home. This time it’s in central London where, for a refreshing change,
dogs and other pets are welcome.

The majestic Kimpton Fitzroy presides over London’s Russell Square and has been a landmark hotel
since 1900. After a change in ownership and a £58m transformation in 2018, the hotel has a
completely new vibe and has undergone an overhaul in attitude, particularly acknowledging that
many of us need high-end, pet-friendly destinations. With the open, dog-friendly, green space of
Russell Square is directly opposite, this hotel has just become my favourite in the whole of the Capital.
I am not unfamiliar with this hotel though having lived around the corner for many years more than
a decade ago and on entering the stunning reception I must admit things have completely changed.
Since then there’s been a real shift in the atmosphere, ambiance, and customer care culture from the
previous operator.
The reception team’s welcome was slick and nothing short of perfect, even Ferdy was greeted by
name. That said, it wasn’t overdone or forced and the lovely Doreen made arrangements for us to
head straight to the hotel’s Galvin Bar & Grill for lunch and it couldn’t have been timelier. After a
three-hour drive from Yorkshire, we had worked up quite an appetite.
We opted for a traditional three-course Sunday lunch menu at £38 per head from a relatively limited
but varied menu which actually simplified and made our dish decision decidedly easier and quicker.
Starters arrived promptly and were presented perfectly. The attentiveness of the waiting staff
matched that of the welcome team we had just encountered, and their timing was impeccable.
For starters, we chose a heritage tomato salad with avocado, olive jam & bocconcini, and lightly
curried fish cakes with seasonal leaves and mint yogurt, the curry flavour of the fish cake was
beautifully subtle and they melted in the mouth. To follow we went for the Sunday roast– one
Shropshire chicken and one Torre meadow beef with all the trimmings – the beef was like velvet,
and the seasoning was spot on for my palate.
Hailing from Yorkshire to some extent we regard ourselves as Yorkshire pudding connoisseurs,
particularly when in London. There was a sweetness to the Yorkshires we were served, it was not in
any way unpleasant, but it was different all the same. After pressing the chef twice to reveal his
secret ingredient, he insisted he sticks to a traditional recipe. Unconvinced, we demolished the
Sunday roasts in no time at all and we rather liked the sweet twist in the Sunday staple.

Whilst we enjoyed a leisurely lunch complemented by a light Sauvignon Blanc, our luggage had been
transferred to our ‘one-bedroom king suite. But hang on, this was incorrect; to the right of the most
comfortable king-size bed I’ve ever slept in was ‘bed’ number two, complete with canine crockery
and accessories. Ferdy was impressed, and so was I for that matter, with the plush pet-bed loaners,
pet food, water bowls, and mats.
Overlooking Russell Square my immediate thought was that this room is going to be noisy during
rush hour and that we might well be disturbed by traffic noise the following morning. Living in the
valleys surrounding Shibden Hall near Halifax, Ferdy has little experience with traffic noise.
Four poster beds usually give me the heebee jeebies, but this king bed somehow looked right (later
that night I found just how right it felt too). Maybe it was that the four posts were discreet and
contemporary in design and the playful throws, cushions, and fish-eye mirror above the headboard
gave it a fresher look.
The enormous, bright bathroom felt high-end with touches such as gleaming marble tiling, a
traditional roll-top bath, and spacious vanity with dual basins, but the real highlight was the walk-in
shower. With an oversized bench and one of the biggest and best rainfall showerheads I’ve seen in
ages the pressure was amazing, it felt like standing under a warm, well-regulated waterfall. I had
never come across Vetivert, the hotel’s bath products, but I was pleasantly surprised and it was in
plentiful supply. An additional WC just at the entrance of our suite added extra privacy and
convenience in what felt like an apartment rather than a hotel room.
Briefly slipping into work mode I was glad to find plenty of outlets for various devices, consistent Wi-
Fi and a sizeable desk for me to work at. In addition, the room had two flat-screen TVs and a fridge
stocked with lots of complimentary goodies from beers, chilled water, and fresh milk to popcorn and
crisps. A kettle accompanied by a range of teas and a Nespresso machine with proper coffee cups
and tea mugs on top of the bar completed the in-room amenities.
Once oriented in our beautiful suite, the glorious weather managed to tear us away and we stepped
straight out into Russell Square. Like many Kimptons, the hotel offers bikes that guests can borrow
to ride around the city. With a dog in tow, we did not take advantage of the bikes and more than
14000 steps later we returned fulfilled from a whirlwind yomp around the West End and along The
After a sumptuous shower, and with a satisfied, snoring dog, the evening was drawing in and we were
lured by the chilled music and muted lighting into Fitz’s, the hotel’s glamourous drinking den and
cocktail bar. Once again, the standard of discreet service shone through and table service was
just what we needed. We soon relaxed in the stylish but cosy bar surrounded by dazzling ostrich
feathers, Victorian curios, and crocodile-skin wallpaper, yet this was where we encountered our only
The cocktail menu was extensive but could only be read by using a tiny neon torch that illuminated
the invisible, secret ingredients of the drinks. With my torch batteries fading and the tricky to read
print, the attempt at making choosing a cocktail into an experience actually felt a little awkward and
gimmicky. We gave up on the magic torches and chose two reliable cocktails from memory; an
Espresso Martini and a Pina Colada. They were exquisite.

Wending our way to bed we spotted The Palm Court, located just off the main entrance hall. It
looked like the perfect place for an indoor garden party or a spot of tea in the afternoon – like a
stylish, contemporary Victorian orangery – and we decided we would take our breakfast there the
following morning.
Monday morning arrived and my fear of being disturbed by traffic noise was unfounded, we (Ferdy
included) had all slept through the morning rush hour without stirring. Downstairs The Palm Court
was buzzing with wedding planners, event decorators, florists, stylists, and more, so breakfast in
there was out of the question. We were once again invited into Galvin’s Bar & Grill to dive into a vast
continental breakfast and combined full English (£28 per head).
At check-out, we managed a sneaky peek in The Palm Court and wow, it had been transformed into a
wedding venue with thousands of cascading peonies, pillars, and prosecco fountains and the
transformation was breathtaking. It was going to be a wedding.
Marrying superb yet discreet, high-end service with facilities for pets is something the Kimpton
Fitzroy has pulled off well, very well indeed. As we drove away, I swear Ferdy had a little tear in his
eye as he looked back at the Kimpton Fitzroy, now officially our favourite hotel in London.

The Detail:
Pets and their owners can expect the following:
A selection of hotel amenities and extras including plush pet-bed loaners in your guest room, food,
water bowls and mats
Door hangers alert other hotel guests and staff that your cat, dog, or other pet is in the room
Courtesy bags for walking your dog
No additional charge for pets, no deposit is required
No size/weight limit
No limit on the number of pets allowed
Nightly wine reception — pets are welcome to join the party at select hotels.
The Kimpton Fitzroy offers guests’ beloved pooches the chance to enjoy five-star dog-walking (from
£36 per hour) and doggy day-care, thanks to The Hound Hut. From one-hour walks to all-evening
care, this new and exclusive service allows hotel guests the complete freedom to explore the city in
style, all whilst being assured their pet is being expertly cared for. To book or find out more, contact
Concierge with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. T&Cs apply.

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