Arrival/Check-In: We arrived in Southampton, crossing the Atlantic on board the Queen Mary 2. As Cunard does not pre-arrange car pick-ups prior to departure, I decided to book my reservation with LimoPlus per a recent article I read on globaltravelerusa.com. The trip from Southampton to London was quick and easy with our driver, Kumaran, taking back ways when needed. When we arrived at the Corinthia London, we were welcomed like we were coming home — this was my third visit since the property opened in 2011. As we had a lot of bags from the crossing, full of casual and elegant attire, staff took our bags and swiftly escorted us to our suite, one of the property’s London Suites.
Guest Quarters: The room was lovely and the building painstakingly restored. It was formerly part of the War Department, housing Winston Churchill’s office (at least when he was not in the underground bunker — worth a tour if you are near 10 Downing Street). Prior to the Crown’s ownership, the property was the Hotel Metropol.
The suite was bright with clean, white walls and trim. We entered through a large door into a hallway. Immediately to the left, a powder room featured an exquisite built-in door that matched the façade of the wall. Down the hallway our path branched left and right (notice the art all over the suite).
To the left, an expansive living room held an open-sided bookcase that divided the room from a full dining room. Perusing the books, I noticed they were entertaining coffee table types. This is where I housed my command center with my laptop, briefcase and chargers; my only complaint was the distance from the electrical outlets to the dining table, which meant my cables stretched across the passage all the time.
To the right, another hallway led to a massive bathroom with twin sinks, a shower and tub. The shower, once I got used to the operation of the nozzles and faucets, was superb, with lots of water pressure and various spraying options.
The bedroom was equally large with a comfortable king-sized bed and lots of pillows and comforters. The dressing room seemed to be right out of a design book, with plenty of room for everything and creative shelving for luggage. A vanity with a mirror separated the his and hers sections, and the generous space made it easy to prepare for a night on the town.
Services/Amenities: The entertainment and dining at the Corinthia are a must. We enjoyed drinks and dinner at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill where the place was hopping, the staff was there to please, and the menu was as unique as the building itself. I had the venison from the restaurant’s rotisserie, and I understand all the dishes were equally tasty. The sommelier and I selected a Chablis to go with our starters, and it was perfect. Pauline and Denis Banks, whom we met on a previous cruise, were our guests, and we had an enjoyable time. Another night we retired to the Bassoon bar for crafted cocktails and shared a yummy cheese and meat platter accompanied by crispy bread.
Other lovely things to do include the spa and a proper British tea where you can speak to the on-site Futurists in Residence regarding your questions and thoughts about future trends.
◆ Did I tell you about my butlers? They helped with a charger converter, using the hotel car (a lovely Jag) and other great services — you just text them. Giulia was helpful!
◆ Corinthia London may be one of the best-kept secrets, with a location across the river from the London Eye and walkable to everything.
CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON
tel 44 20 7930 8181
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
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PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.