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.