The Philippe Starck designed Urban Spa

Sanderson was opened in April 2000 and was the brain child of New York Impresario Ian Schrager and world renowned designer, Philippe Starck. The concept was to create a true Urban Spa expressed evocatively by Ian Schrager: 'When we thought about doing a true "Urban Spa" in London, we were serious about not merely paying lip service to this concept. We wanted to create a completely integrated environment - one devoted to your physical, emotional and spiritual health - in an exquisitely beautiful setting, and all in the middle of one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth. Whether in your room, the restaurant, Courtyard Garden or the Agua Bathhouse, the feeling evoked is one of genuine sanctuary.'

Everything about the hotel is therefore ravishingly beautiful but pared down and tempered with a healthy dose of wit. The hotel is theatrical and at times feels more like a glamorous movie set but never takes itself seriously for too long. Priceless 1950s abstract stain glass by John Piper and 1960's mosaics explode with colour and would be equally at home in the Tate Gallery. At Sanderson however, these pieces are juxtaposed with a giant, out of proportion Louis XV armoire or a hand carved African chair. As you enter the hotel you are immediately met by Salvador Dali's curvaceous red lips sofa set against flowing sheer white curtains. From the 18th-century, silver silk opera curtains dramatically drape the Lobby, whilst the front desk is composed of large video monitors playing material by artists from around the world. A Louis XIV style sofa would be conventional in a 5 star hotel but at Sanderson it is stretched to a surreal 35 feet in length.

In the bedrooms and exquisite suites, there are no interior walls. Instead the bathroom and dressing room are encased in a glowing floor-to-ceiling glass box. This box is wrapped in layers of luxurious silk curtains of varying opacity - all electronically controlled by the guest. Iconic Hotels offers an unsurpassed range of Sanderson rooms and suites with 8 levels of accommodation to choose from.

With its enormous flowering magnolia tree, reflecting pool and scores of potted trees the Courtyard Garden, designed by Philip Hicks, serves as the hotel's piazza - a serene place to meet, eat and drink. Long Bar is an 80-foot long glowing onyx bar whilst Suka Malaysian restaurant marries French cooking techniques with the intensity of Southeast Asian flavours.

Agua Spa, the soul of the hotel, is 10,000 square feet of treatment rooms, chill-out zone and meditation beds with miles of diaphanous white curtains conceived to rejuvenate and refresh the weary traveller!

As Ian Schrager concluded when opening Sanderson in 2000; 'Come to London for the cure!'

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