Oscar Wilde once wrote that one should either be a work of art or wear one. Soon you’ll be able to stay in one.
After four years and $48 million in renovations, the writer’s former London pied-a-terre will reopen in December as the Belmond Cadogan Hotel.
The Cadogan Hotel was an important location in Wilde’s life. After losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry (over Wilde’s homosexuality, a crime in England at the time), the writer was arrested at the hotel on April 6, 1895. There’s even a poem — entitled “The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel” — chronicling the whole ordeal.
Besides having major historical importance to the literary and LGBTQ worlds, the hotel is likely to become a London destination for several other reasons.
Renovations have restored and preserved many of the hotel’s original design details from the 1800s, including wood paneling, stained glass windows and working fireplaces. There are 57 rooms in the hotel, all decorated with taste that any aesthete should enjoy.
There are several new dining options inside the hotel, including a tea lounge, terrace cafe and classic British bar. The main restaurant, helmed by chef Adam Handling (of The Frog Hoxton), will offer a menu of sustainable and contemporary British fare.
Every morning, a breakfast of pastries, croissants, bread and crumpets is delivered to guest rooms. Afterwards, guests can spend time in the private gardens or hotel tennis courts.
If you’re staying at the hotel, take one other travel tip from Wilde when packing your suitcase. In “The Importance of Being Earnest,” one of Wilde’s characters remarks that he never travels without his diary. “One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”