The Goring | a royal treat in London

The Goring Hotel has been owned and operated by the Goring family for more than a century, and this was my choice for our one night in London at the end of our two week trip through Scotland. I wanted a hotel that was small, elegant, with a lot of local British flavor, and we have been delighted with our all-too-short stay at The Goring. This is the only hotel with a Royal Warrant for hospitality and has served as a royal guesthouse for royalty visiting Buckingham Palace, literally around the corner.

We were upgraded to a Belgravia Suite (#54), a full one bedroom suite whose marble entrance hall leads into a living room to the left, a bedroom straight ahead, and a bathroom to the right. The bedroom is decorated with maroon padded silk wall coverings, rewoven with an historic design from The Gainsborough Silk Company. The room is illuminated with the natural light coming through a triple window facing Beeston Place. The bed faces an armoire on the opposite wall with a concealed flat screen television and closet space.

Our sitting room has two large Colonial windows looking out onto Beeston Place. It is furnished with two creme colored sofas facing each other over a coffee table and an armoire/desk that features convenient power outlets and a concealed flat screen. Walls are painted an attractive shade of blue-green, and the maroon colored accent pillows and lampshades create design continuity with the bedroom.

The white marble bathroom has a large soaking tub, large step-in rain shower, and a large single vanity with ample shelf space on which two guests can store their toiletries.

We were also able to inspect a Delightful King room (facing Beeston Place). The Delightful King room is somewhat compact with a single vanity and a shower in the bathtub. One wall of the bedroom is covered with Gainsborough silk. We were not able to view a Splendid Room (of which there are two) or Most Splendid Room (of which there is just one), but these are the rooms that most guests at The Goring will want to book; their large bay windows overlook the large private garden that is the hotel's backyard — a beautiful green space in the heart of the city.

We also toured the Royal Suite. This 2BR Suite is on the top floor of the hotel and overlooks the Garden. It offers everything the most discriminating guest could possibly want, even if that guest is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on the night before her wedding.

The Goring is the perfect choice for guests who desire a boutique hotel with an authentic sense of place. The century old Edwardian architecture has been preserved in the hotel's thorough renovation — along with some "imperfections" (i.e., some slight "nicks" in the original painted woodwork) that are part of the hotel's charm. This is part of the authenticity of the Goring — just as the small air bubbles in blown crystal are evidence that it's not machine-made glass.

The Dining Room has just received its first Michelin star, and the nearby Nova development (scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016) will provide the neighborhood with upscale shopping, restaurants, and residential units.

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