August 06 2010
One pleasure that Londoners often deny themselves is staying in one of the capital’s truly fabulous hotels. But what’s not to love about having all the pleasure of world-class luxury service with none of the hassle of actually having to travel anywhere? I discovered a few years ago that when in need of a quick break, it made more sense to stay in the home town but to experience it at a totally different level.
The sort of hotel I want when on a home mini-break is the type where it feels as though I left my brain at the check-in and don’t have to think about anything for the next day or two. We are blessed to have a fine crop of such hotels, but my favourite of the moment is The Lanesborough. I love the fact that it is right on Hyde Park Corner – once a rite of passage for my friends and I on passing our driving tests – but is steeped in monastic quiet. Even the most junior of suites drips with old-school glamour (surely I am not the only design journalist to yearn secretly for four-poster beds and acres of chintz in a hotel – hell, isn’t that the point of them?), and comes with a personal butler service of the most engaging variety.
I stayed recently with my daughter on her 21st birthday. Not only did said butler knock on the door with a bottle of superb red wine for her when he discovered that it was her special day (“A gift from the butlers, madame”), but a second knock heralded a bottle of champagne (“A gift from the concierge service, madame”). She will love The Lanesborough for ever for that. And for that, I love The Lanesborough.
Doubles from £495; singles from £375.