Minimalists may wish to avert their eyes. This 39-room, five-star boutique hotel is stuffed with purple velvet and peacock feathers, embroidered silks and intricate wallpapers. But to look away would be missing out on what the US magazine Travel + Leisure recently called "London's sexiest new hotel". Besides, all that opulence comes with a healthy dose of whimsical theatricality. To stay here is to submit to the show.
Inhabiting the 1901 former headquarters of the Baptist Church on Southampton Row in the London West End neighbourhood of Holborn, L'Oscar is the result of an eight-year renovation and reimagining, with the extravagant interior design overseen by starchitect Jacques Garcia and artisans from around the world contributing to restoration works. Heritage features, including marble floors, religious plaques, ornate plasterings and mahogany joinery remain throughout the Grade II heritage-listed property.
The sumptuousness is more than cosmetic, though, with the best linens available and luxurious amenities installed in rooms, as well as butler service ensuring an overall experience of opulence.
Rooms and suites are individually decorated, with unique configurations dictated by the building's original form. A two-storey extension on the roof houses the dog-friendly Duplex Suite, with balconies offering skyline views.
The fourth storey had been closed since World War II due to bomb damage; now, the domed mezzanine of the old chapel is home to The Baptist Grill where Michelin Star chef, Tony Fleming, is on the pans. And in the belly of the chapel is the Baptist bar, where biblically-named cocktails are served amid sinfully decadent decoration.
Doubles from $720 (£400). See loscar.com