Arrival/Check-In: As soon as I walked through the Lanesborough’s stately entrance at Hyde Park Corner, I knew I was in for an exceptional hotel experience. I arrived a bit early and my room was not quite ready, so reception took my information and I was ushered into the Withdrawing Room and offered tea and a snack. My Buckingham Suite was soon ready, and check-in was efficient and speedy. I was enjoying myself so much in the Withdrawing Room with its classic Regency great house décor, I did not mind the delay for a second.
Guest Quarters: My fifth-floor suite was beautifully furnished with what could pass for antiques but were very good reproductions in the Regency style. It had the feel of an apartment rather than your garden-variety hotel suite. Along with the dining table and chairs, the sofa and two overstuffed chairs and a flat-screen TV was a large, high-tech workstation masquerading as an antique desk. It included a Sony Vaio laptop, a fax machine, an EOS iPod docking station and, best of all, a selection of international outlets including one for American gadgets. There was no need to use my adapters.
The bedroom included a queen-sized bed and a bedside control panel for adjusting the temperature and lights and calling the butler. The bedroom also included a roomy wardrobe, an easy chair and a vanity plus a TV in a desk-like piece that also housed the minibar. The bathroom included two vanities, a tub with a Jacuzzi and a separate shower with a large rain showerhead. All the windows were triple-glazed, which made for a quiet environment and allowed a good sleep.
Services/Amenities: All guestrooms and suites in the Lanesborough include 24-hour butler service. And a nice touch: The Lanesborough provides each guest with personalized Lanesborough stationery and personalized Lanesborough business cards.
The hotel’s restaurant, Apsley, was created by Heinz Beck and has a Michelin star. I had dinner there with a colleague, and I can say without exaggeration it was one of the best meals either one of us had — truly superb. The hotel’s bar is the Library Bar, which as its name suggests is a library complete with fireplace. This is where one can try the cognac bottled in the 1770s for £4,000 per shot. The Garden Room is a cigar bar, albeit an extremely elegant one. It’s more like a men’s club, which is known for its Cuban cigars, some of which are pre-Castro; so you can sip your 1770s cognac while you smoke a cigar from before the Cuban Revolution. I doubt there are many places that can make that boast.
The Experience: The Lanesborough is opposite Hyde Park Corner and Constitution Hill, and its neighbors are Apsley House and Buckingham Palace, so you cannot find a more prestigious location in London. Although the hotel is one of a kind concerning the building itself, it is the staff that made my stay so memorable. They are all friendly and efficient and quick with a greeting and help. It is a quintessentially English experience. You feel as though you are staying in a stately home rather than a hotel. I will recommend the Lanesborough to my friends and would happily stay here again.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Separate tub/shower
- Large vanity
- High-quality towels
- Powerful, unattached hair dryer
- High-quality bed linens
- Large, flat-screen TV
- Large desk with convenient outlets
- Large, complimentary laptop safe
- Complimentary in-room WiFi
- Complimentary bottled water
- Stocked minibar
- Ample lighting
- In-room coffeemaker
- On-site restaurant and bar
- 24-hour room service
- State-of-the-art fitness center
The Lanesborough London
Hyde Park Corner
London, SW1X 7TA
tel 44 20 7259 5599
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