Arrival/Check-In: We arrived from Heathrow and were greeted at the front of the property by the doorman, who opened the car door and made sure we were protected from the elements, as it had begun to rain. Our luggage was taken from the “boot” and delivered to our room within minutes.
Inside, we were directed to the check-in desk, where we provided our pertinent details. I was particularly fond of the architecture in the lobby and the massive Baccarat chandelier. A member of the staff escorted us to our suite, giving us basic information about the property en route.
Guest Quarters: We stayed in room 539, the River Suite, which is a beautiful suite with semicircular windows facing the Thames that offer sweeping views of the city, including the giant London Eye and the Millennium Bridge. The front door of the River Suite opened to a large living area with a sofa, overstuffed chairs and various tables. A large, flat-screen TV was between a set of windows. On either side of the sofa were built-in bookcases with books and artifacts. A four-person dining table doubled as a desk with a variety of power outlets, including 110 for the United States. This was a nice touch.
To the left was the entrance to the bedroom, which featured a comfortable king-sized bed flanked with end tables and a vanity on the far left. The circular architecture followed through to the bedroom, with windows all around the outer side, all well-curtained. Power-driven curtains would have been a plus, as the mechanism took some muscle to open and close.
Services/Amenities: Besides being a beautifully decorated and restored hotel which once housed the British Defense Ministry, the Corinthia offers service equal to none. I counted 10 gentlemen working behind the concierge desk when I asked for a map of the city and some directions. Hotel staff were friendly and accommodating, as were the wait staff in the restaurants.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Northall, which has a spectacular breakfast buffet. Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar is a fabulous choice. At dinner, I started with the Caprese buffalo mozzarella with basil; it was light and flavorful. I followed with the filet of veal wrapped in prosciutto and spinach which was out of this world; this was paired with a spectacular Tuscan wine at the suggestion of the waiter. Everything from appetizer to dessert was absolutely wonderful — I would recommend the restaurant to every visitor to London.
The Experience: You cannot beat the charm, history and location of the Corinthia. Add in the restaurants and the team running the hotel, and this property receives my highest recommendation. The hotel is steps away from Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, and with a good stretch of the legs you can walk by Old Bond Street (my old London office address), Hyde Park and Harrods — that’s what we did, and it made for a wonderful tour on an overcast Monday in London.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub and shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen television
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- Iron and ironing board
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- State-of-the-art fitness center
Corinthia Hotel London
London SW1A 2BD
tel 44 20 7930 8181
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PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
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