Tuesday, March 22, 2011

London, England - The Lanesborough Hotel

Arrived in London this morning and checked in for four nights to the fabulous Lanesborough Hotel, a favorite haunt of the Aga Khan, Michael Jackson, and many other celebrities and VIPs, located on Hyde Park Corner in Knightsbridge. The Lanesborough was the recipient of the 2011 Condé Nast Gold List: Best Location in the UK award. The hotel is a St. Regis Hotel and has 93 guest rooms, 43 of which are suites, and all are decorated with antiques in typical English regency style.
The lobby entrance to the Lanesborough
I was given a deluxe room on the front of the property with tall ceilings and two massive windows overlooking a balcony and Hyde Park beyond. The room is decorated with dark mahogany wood moulding and furniture, as well as paintings from the 1900s and antique pieces from the 1820s.
A picture of my deluxe room
The sitting area with front facing windows over Hyde Park
I love the fact that they have discreetly installed state-of-the-art technology into many of these old furnishings. For example, press a button and the flat screen TV arises from the top of an antique chest, or open the bedside table drawer and there is an entire touch screen remote that controls all the lights, the temperature, a world clock, the butler button, the do not disturb signal and a message center.

My bedside touch-screen command station
The TV ascends from an old antique bar

My favorite aspect of the hotel is the fact that I have my very own butler assigned to me who is available 24 hours a day. When I arrived, he rang the doorbell to my room and made me familiar with all the amenities of the hotel and the room itself. He then unpacked my luggage, offered me complimentary wardrobe ironing services, brought me tea and gave me my very own personalized stationary and calling cards. There is a button I can ring to call him at any point during my stay. I could get used to this!
My very own calling cards, there was personalized letterhead too
When I came back from a long day of visiting friends and shopping, my butler had left me a bottle of Taittinger Champagne and petits fours, as well as a fruit basket, which came in handy since dinner with my dear friend Aruna Seth was not until 9:30pm. If you are not familiar with Aruna Seth shoes, click on the link here. She is currently in the running to have her bridal shoes worn by Kate Middleton on her wedding day. We are hoping Kate chooses them!! Another nice touch was a good night poem by John Keats left by my bedside and signed, "From Your Butler."
A bottle of champagne and petits fours in my room

A goodnight poem from my butler left by my pillow
One of the most beautiful places to have tea in London is in their Michelin star restaurant called Apsleys. The room features a glass conservatory ceiling, massive chandeliers and comfy couches. There is also a piano player during tea hour. I had the champagne tea service here last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Lanesborough boasts England's first tea sommelier as well, who will guide you through all the different teas and help you select one to your liking. 
Apsleys - A Michelin star restaurant and a lovely afternoon tea setting

I also love the cozy atmosphere of the Library Bar, which has a roaring fireplace and one of the largest vintage cognac collections in the city. The bar is lined with leather bound books, typical British horse and hound paintings, dark leather wing chairs and mahogany wood walls. This is the perfect stop for one last drink before bed (though I could do without the Russian call girls swarming for wealthy male hotel guests).
The Library Bar
Last, but not least, the location of the Lanesborough is in the heart of the Central London and is just a short walk to Harrod's in Knightsbridge. The temptations of Harrods food halls and couture clothing are just too close to resist, so be careful!
Harrods famous department store
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