London luxury hotels | six reviews

My recent trip to Europe ended with two nights in London where I stayed at the Dorchester and visited five recently opened London luxury hotels. This pretty much occupied my one full day in London, so I didn't get to see the changing of the guard (or anything else), so my old picture from 1969 will have to suffice. Here are my impressions of the hotels I inspected:

The Dorchester
A very traditional British hotel right across from Hyde Park, we spent two nights in a Deluxe room. The room had plenty of space, and its grey marble bathroom featured dual vanities, deep soaking tub, and step-in shower. The Dorchester had the best and softest pillows we experienced anywhere on our trip. However, the room to book here is the Executive Deluxe, a real WOW room with light paneling in place of the wall paper, extremely nice upgraded furnishings, and four poster canopy beds in 70% of this category. For guests who prefer traditional elegance, the Dorchester is their choice.

Four Seasons Park Lane
The elegant contemporary Four Seasons Park Lane is both the oldest Four Seasons hotel still in service… and one of the very newest. More than just a renovation, the entire hotel was gutted and completely new interiors created, and the results are stunning. Elegant with a classical contemporary style, tasteful interiors make beautiful use of wood paneling, silk wall paper, and marble bathrooms. Though rooms are not overly large, guests will not be disappointed with the Deluxe category and above … and this hotel has pioneered an innovative new feature. If your flight into London arrives in the morning - and your room is not ready (normal check-in time is 3 p.m.), you'll be hosted in the hotel's top floor arrivals lounge where you can shower, enjoy breakfast, and relax while enjoying amazing panoramic rooftop views of London.

45 Park Lane
Prefer art deco? Just south of its sister hotel, the Dorchester, and a block north of the Four Seasons, 45 Park Lane is a brand new boutique hotel with just 35 rooms and 10 suites. Modern with an emphasis on technology, there is free internet throughout the property, Bang & Olufson flat screens and iPads in the rooms, and your leather-topped desk is tech ready. Rooms have an attractive masculine color palette — dark wood paneling, soft beige carpeting, suede wall finishes, and couches providing a splash of color. Gorgeous marble baths have everything you could want, and every room faces the greenery of Hyde Park.

The Bulgari London
So new it's not even open yet, the Bulgari will make a big splash when it does on May 28th. Located around the corner from Harrod's, this is a lavish, high fashion hotel conceived by the same folks who design Bulgari hand bags and jewelry. Rooms are large and the attention to detail is extraordinary. Hand-varnished mahogany wood is used throughout the property in doors, paneling, and hardwood flooring, with the left over wood used for hand-carved hangars in the closets. Every bathroom in the hotel was finished with marble from one huge block of Manquina marble imported from Spain. Room design is simple and uncluttered with cool shades of brown, beige, silver and white. Prices are intended to be competitive with other London luxury hotels.

The Connaught (new wing)
As the new wing at the Connaught opened after my last visit in 2007, I had a chance to see some rooms just before enjoying dinner at Helene Darroze at the Connaught. While the hotel's old wing is traditionally British, the new wing has a pleasant contemporary style with hardwood floors, attractive furnishings, and great bathrooms (with everything you would expect and more - Toto toilets that lift their lid when you enter the room). Located in the heart of Mayfair, rooms are compact; to get the space you'd normally associate with a Deluxe room, guests will want to book a Junior Suite.

The Corinthia
A mid-price luxury choice, this is a larger hotel than the others with 294 rooms (the result of a thorough renovation that halved the number of rooms in the original 600 room grand hotel built in 1885). This is worth consideration by more price conscious visitors looking for upscale accommodations in the Trafalgar Square area. Rooms have clean lines and are decorated in neutral shades of green and tan; the phrase "subdued contemporary" came to me during my site inspection. Superior and Deluxe rooms have dimensions normally associated with those categories, and there is an excellent chance of being upgraded from Deluxe to Executive as half the hotel's rooms are in this category. Virtuoso amenities are being offered on an informal basis - full English breakfast daily, $100 F&B credit, and upgrade if available - along with 24-hour check-in and check-out privileges.

London luxury hotels (search here on Google)

copyright (c) 2012 by David Ourisman LLC. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website. .

No comments: