Fresh From Million-Dollar Make Overs, London's Top Hotels Are Enjoying A Renaissance
From the Print Edition:
Jeff Bridges, Sep/Oct 01
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The Four Seasons restaurant has been combined with Lanes, a stylish room with black lacquer walls and bright artwork. Executive chef Eric DeBlonde heads the kitchen. The meals are reasonably priced, and there is a wide selection of international wines by the glass. The public rooms are comfortable but can be gloomy.
Hyde Park Corner SW1X 7TA
49 rooms; 46 suites
Rates: singles from about $350 to $450;
doubles from about $500 to $625; suites
from about $775 to $6,200
This renovated landmark building at Hyde Park Corner is hard to warm up to at first glance. The furnishings are almost all reproduction Regency style: roaring coal fires are gas fakes, portraits of early nineteenth century British aristocracy are modern copies, and several books in the bar have false spines.
Additionally, the rooms, although very comfortable, are heavily furnished, and lack elegance. Where the Lanesborough scores high marks, however, is in its superior service and technological sophistication. Every guest is assigned a butler who will unpack and pack your belongings and take care of your requests. Guests are also given personalized phone lines and mobile lines, as well as business cards providing these details: thus, your hotel room becomes your office away from home.
The Lanesborough offers a TV that doubles as a computer. It links you not only to a huge range of worldwide TV and radio channels but also gives you swift access to the Internet without charge; e-mail can be sent and transmitted for free.
A humidor, the cigar smoker's equivalent of a minibar, is provided upon request in all rooms, and there is more for the cigar aficionado in the famous Library Bar, presided over by Salvatore Calabrese. The cigar selection includes some pre-Castro Cubans (from about $140) such as the Davidoff No. 1 and the Trinidad Diplomat. The Library Bar also offers an amazing choice of top brandies, such as a 1796 (about $1,050) and an 1893 Delamain (about $175).
Also notable is the attractive glass-roofed restaurant called The Conservatory featuring Paul Gayler's sophisticated vegetarian and nonvegetarian cooking.
The Ritz, London
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