Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.
Today (March 9, 2016): Review of The Lanesborough London (UK).
- Location: Google Maps
- Link: Hotel website
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtusoso
The Lanesborough Hotel reopened in summer 2015 following an extensive renovation project, regaining its position as one of London’s finest residences. The 93-room iconic hotel is now managed by the Oetker Collection, the prestigious portfolio of ‘masterpiece hotels” including Le Bristol Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, amongst others. The renovation honours the building’s architectural heritage as one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks. It embodies the signature style that has become synonymous with The Lanesborough, whilst incorporating the latest in contemporary luxury and technological innovations.
The Lanesborough London features in my top 10 lists of the most luxurious hotels in London.
Have you ever stayed at The Lanesborough London? If so, what was your experience? Leave a comment.
In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The Lanesborough London enjoys a central location in the heart of the UK’s capital, on the borders of Knightsbridge and Belgravia. Opposite are Hyde Park and Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington. The Lanesborough is also a short walk from Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the designer boutiques of Sloane Street. There’s a tube station right in front of the hotel (Hyde Park Corner on the blue Piccadilly Line), so the hotel offers easy access to all of London’s most famous theatres, galleries, museums and historical sites.
- The prestigious hotel is housed in one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks. The building was constructed in 1827 and used as a 350-bed hospital until the 1970s, when the hospital transferred its activities to South London. The Hyde Park Corner premise was left vacant until the 1990s, when it was refurbished and reopened as a luxury hotel. It certainly doesn’t feel like a hospital, that’s for sure, more of a palace with the feel of a private country mansion.
- The hotel has changed management over the past couple of years, but that is not necessary a bad thing as this only improved the already exceptional guest experience. Initially, it was managed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, but ten years later the management contract passed to Starwood’s St Regis, which operated the hotel as its first and only hotel in England. The hotel left Starwood in November 2014 and is currently managed by the exclusive Oetker Collection. Oetker Collection owns eight elite, ultra-luxe hotels worldwide, in addition to The Lanesborough – Le Bristol Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Eden Rock – St. Barths, Fregate Island Private, Palais Namaskar and L’Apogee Courchevel.
- The Lanesborough reopened in summer 2015, following a 19-month, comprehensive and meticulous refurbishment that was overseen by the late doyen of interior design, Alberto Pinto. The hotel now presents bedrooms and dining rooms restored to their original Georgian splendour, into which the latest communications technologies and entertainment systems have been seamlessly woven.
- There are 93 guest rooms at The Lanesborough, including 43 suites, all sumptuously furnished in the building’s original Regency style. Furniture, fabrics, mirrors, carpets, wall coverings and beds have all been sourced from the finest British suppliers, to create rooms and suites of extraordinary quality and variety. During my visit, I stayed in a lovely, first floor Junior Suite, which was quite large according to London standards. It featured an entrance hall, a super-comfy queen-sized bed, a full-size sitting room, and a bathroom decorated in hand-cut Italian marble.
- All rooms feature the latest in-room advanced technology, which – contrary to many other hotels – is quiet simple to use. With a fingertip Sony tablet, one can control the temperature, lighting, butler and housekeeping calls, and also access the newest interactive entertainment systems, with extensive libraries of music and movies.
- Although the hotel is located on the crossroad of two busy roads, all rooms are remarkably sound-proof. That’s because rooms are triple-glazed to guarantee a peaceful night’s rest.
- Dining at The Lanesborough’s signature Céleste Restaurant is one of London’s finest gastronomic experiences. The setting is very impressive: a richly decorated, powder blue dining room naturally illuminated during daylight hours by a domed glass roof and in the evening by spectacular hanging chandeliers. Bas-relief friezes and fluted columns underline the classical grandeur. And the superb food matches the setting. Chef Patron at The Lanesborough, Eric Frechon – Paris’ most esteemed three Michelin-starred chef – has brought his protégé, Florian Favario to London to lead the hotel into a new culinary era.
- The delicious breakfast is served a la carte (there is no buffet here). Make sure to order the fruit salad, which is adorned with tiny strips of edible gold leaf curled around the strawberries.
The Withdrawing Room is located adjacent to the lobby. Lightened by a grey, gold and green colour scheme, it offers an inviting retreat for an informal meeting or simply a relaxing drink with friends. It features sumptuously upholstered, high-sided armchairs and sofas, hand-painted trompe l’oeil marbling, a quartet of Wilkinson chandeliers, and a beautiful central fireplace.
- Behind the Withdrawing Room, you find the Library Bar, which has an intimate, club-like atmosphere, with informal food and jazz and standards on piano. The space is lined with bookcases and handsome leather-bound volumes, decorated with beautiful wood marquetry wallpaper, and furnished with sofas and wing-chairs.
- The hotel houses London’s first and most exclusive cigar bar, the Garden Room, where guests can enjoy some of the world’s rarest and finest cigars on a beautiful, sheltered terrace. The cigar bar also offers a collection of vintage cognacs and whiskies, some of which are over 200 years old.
- There is complimentary WiFi throughout the property.
- The small but excellent gym, which is available only for The Lanesborough in-house residents, is open 24 hours a day and features an extensive range of highly advanced cardiovascular and resistance equipment from Techno-gym including treadmills, stationary bicycle, elliptical cross trainer, free weights, Kinesis and steam room.
- With three deluxe treatment rooms, a handpicked selection of advanced treatments from brands such as La Prairie, and therapies delivered by a team of experienced spa professionals, the hotel’s Spa Studio is an oasis of balance, wellbeing and tranquillity.
- With three staff to each guest, it should come as no surprise that service is impeccable. The hotel’s butlers are on hand 24 hours a day to tend to the needs of all guests. The Lanesborough was the first London hotelier to employ butlers and all guests can enjoy butler service, not only those staying in the more expensive suites.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The Lanesborough London is a landmark within the European hospitality landscape, with an exceptional heritage and a strong, unique identity. It’s one of London’s best luxury hotels and has no real cons. But you do need to know the following though when you consider a stay here:
- The decor of the hotel, with its baroque antiques, astonishing craftsmanship, and over-the-top ornamentation, is overwhelming although everything is done in a very tasteful and elegant manner. However, it creates a very formal, somewhat posh ambience. And if you prefer a more modern, minimalist design, then this will not be to your liking and you will find the decor old-fashioned.
- This is one of the most expensive hotels in London, but you should know that going in. Expect to pay £500 per night for a standard Queen. A Executive Junior Suite costs £1,050 per night without breakfast. But this is nothing compared to a night in the Royal Suite, where the price jumps to £31,200, although that will get you seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two living rooms and a dining room.
- Rooms at The Lanesborough feature queen-size beds, not king-size beds. They also don’t have rooms with 2 separate beds (unless you book a multi-bedroom suite), although the staff will be happy to provide a rollaway when requested (and when the room space allows a rollaway).
- Despite its ultraluxurious character, the recreational facilities are a bit limited. The spa and gym space are bit tiny, and the hotel has no swimming pool.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 7/10
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 10/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The Lanesborough London. Book a room at the cheapest rate and/or receive many complimentary perks!
- Save money: get complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtusoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily English Breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD spa or food credit).
- Room tip: while all rooms are great, a junior suite will give you a little more space and feeling of comfort.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit London is in the spring, when the temperatures are mild and the city’s parks are green and blooming. However, spring – along with summer – is also prime tourist season, and hotel and flight prices reflect the surge. You’re more likely to find airfare and accommodation deals in the fall and winter, though you’ll also encounter chilly temperatures. And no matter when you travel, you should pack an umbrella: “Foggy Londontown” experiences misty days and showers throughout the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
London can easily be reached by plane, train or car. For those coming by plane, the city is served by 6 airports:
- Heathrow (LHR) is the primary international airport serving London. Check the Wikipedia page of Heathrow Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport. It’s a 40 minute drive to the hotel.
- Gatwick (LGW) is London’s second busiest airport. Check the Wikipedia page of Gatwick Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport. It’s a one hour drive to the hotel.
- Stansted (STN) is a base for a number of major European low-cost carriers, being the largest base for low-cost airline Ryanair with over 100 destinations served by the airline. Check the Wikipedia page of Stansted Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport.
- Luton (LTN) is the fourth-largest airport serving the London area. Check the Wikipedia page of Luton Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport.
- London City Airport (LCY) is fifth busiest airport in passengers and aircraft movements serving the London area, and primarily caters to business travelers. Check the Wikipedia page of London City Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport.
- London Southend Airport (SEN) is the British capital’s smallest airport. Check the Wikipedia page of London Southend Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport.
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