In a privileged corner of West London where the grass is green and the shopping is solely designer, you will find The Wellesley London – a grand hotel with a spectacular postcode on stylish Knightsbridge. Amongst The Wellesley’s luxurious suites, gorgeous restaurant and opulent décor sits its Cigar Lounge and adjoining terraces, an elegant and beautifully designed space.
We were fortunate enough to be given a tour of the cigar lounge, terrace and attached bespoke humidor by Christian, a charming member of the team at The Wellesley London. Many of the hotel staff are exceptionally skilled in the selection and cutting of cigars and Christian had some fabulous facts about the humidor and the hotel’s cigar collection.
The Wellesley London is home to the UK’s largest bespoke humidor and Europe’s biggest hotel humidor, in no doubt due to the hotel owner’s love for all things cigar-related. The compact space is located just off the main cigar lounge with specially regulated temperatures and humidity to ensure the cigars are kept in optimum conditions. It is divided into two sections, with classic cigars to the right and vintage cigars to the left. A marble map of Cuba snakes its way across the floor and Christian points at the image to show us how the tobacco leaves are sourced from particular fields west of Havana that are known to have the best crop. The hotel owner also travels a few times a year to Cuba to keep up-to-date with his adoring passion.
Befitting the glamorous design of The Wellesley London, the humidor is home to an exceptional cigar collection. Amongst the sticks, we see vintage Havanas, Montecristos, Bolivars and custom-made Behikes; the latter were created in 2005 to celebrate Cohiba’s 40th birthday and just 4000 of this type were made. Each group of cigars has its section kept under a controlled temperature and humidity. Some of them are housed in lavish humidors, one of which is shaped like a grand piano. Ranging in value from £12.50 up to nearly £5000, the collection is incredible. It even contains cigars that were hand rolled by Norma Fernandez, Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller, as part of a unique collection.
Adjoining the humidor is the intimate cigar lounge. Otherwise known as the Churchill Lounge, the cosy and stylish space features low lighting, chocolate brown leather armchairs and 1920s-style furniture with images of famous faces enjoying a cigar hung on the walls. The gentleman’s club-style ambience unfolds out into the cigar terrace, which is a haven of tranquillity within the busy city. Warmed by overhead and under-floor heaters as well as an open fire, all of the spaces can be enjoyed year-round. The other cigar terrace is across the corridor and joined to the Crystal Bar – a spectacular place containing floor-to-ceiling drinks cabinets with rare collections of vintage cognac and whisky, the latter of which can cost up to £5,000 for a shot. It goes without saying that The Wellesley knows how to provide guests with an unforgettable experience!
It is easy to see why the Cigar Lounge is the jewel in the crown of this regal hotel. Its intimacy and privacy make it a privileged place to enjoy a drink and smoke. The atmosphere at The Wellesley London is enhanced by a tasteful design concept with dark colours fringed by gold detail and the flicker of candlelight.