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Reside Like Royalty at London’s Opulent Lanesborough Lodge

Reside Like Royalty at London’s Opulent Lanesborough Lodge

With Buckingham Palace as its neighbour and the late Queen’s hotel of choice, London’s Lanesborough Hotel is an opulent ode to Regency-style living.

Presiding over London’s Hyde Park Corner, the five-star Lanesborough Hotel, with its white façade and regency-style architecture, is often seen as the blue-blooded sister of its neighbour, Buckingham Palace. Once used by Princess Diana, the hotel still has an entrance reserved exclusively for royalty. And although her home was just next door, the late Queen Elizabeth herself couldn’t resist checking into this quintessentially British establishment.

Originally built as the home of Viscount Lanesborough in 1719, it later became St. George’s Hospital before reopening as a hotel in 1991. Now managed by Oetker Collection, whose portfolio of world-class properties includes Le Bristol and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, the property boasts 93 suites and bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, garden room and spa.

Prime Location

Situated on London’s Hyde Park corner, with Buckingham Palace, Harrods and Hyde Park itself a stone’s throw away, it’s also adjacent to the entrance of the Piccadilly Line, which covers some of London’s top attractions, such as the British Museum and Kensington Palace. For those seeking retail therapy, London’s most exclusive shopping destinations, Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, are close by.

From here, it’s not rare to see the Household Cavalry horses exercising between their Hyde Park barracks and Buckingham Palace. Seen as the monarch’s guardians, this rank of the British army performs duties for coronations, state funerals and military parades.

Sleek Check-in

The grand entrance is flanked by two uniform-clad doormen, a quintessentially British staple outside any smart hotel. Practically designed for anyone who’s just come off a long-haul flight, the check-in is slick and efficient, my bags were whisked from me the moment I arrived.

I’m introduced to the fact that the Lanesborough is the only hotel to have a 24-hour butler service, all arriving at the dial of a button, ready to assist with any query, and offering daily complimentary clothes pressing. And of course, I meet the hotel’s cat, Lilibet, affectionately named after its former neighbour.

Refined Rooms

Being led to my room on the third floor was like stepping back in time; the red carpeted corridors adorned with antique furniture, vintage telephones, and portraits all have a distinct family heirloom feel to them. You might think you’ve landed on the set of Downton Abbey or in one of England’s great private stately homes.  

Adding to this sensation, no two rooms or suites at The Lanesborough are the same; void of any hotel branding, each is uniquely decorated with a distinct character.

I stayed in one of the five rooms that make up the entirety of the presidential suite but can be reserved individually. Nicknamed “The Pink Room,” due to its charmingly candy floss-coloured walls, the white floral canopy bed, vintage wooden desk, and cosy velvet sofa felt like something out of a Marie Antoinette fantasy.

IPads control pretty much everything in the room: curtains, music, lights, as well as a James Bond-style TV, which appears from behind a painting at the click of a button. Who said regency style doesn’t mean modern?

The bathroom spares no extravagance, complete with a walk-in shower that morphs into a misty steam room at the press of a button, and the jacuzzi-style bath comes with jet pumps.

Five-Star Spa

With separate steam rooms and saunas for men and women, the marbled changing rooms also come with a wide selection of amenities. The spa is open to all guests, even those who check in early.

But the true gem is the hotel’s hydro pool. At 34 °C, it’s designed for wellness rather than exercising. Fitted with comfy metal bars, firing up the jet pumps makes you feel like you’re in an enormous marble jacuzzi. You’ll forget you’re just below one of the capital’s busiest corners.

Lanesborough’s Library Bar

With its deep green velvet drapes, mahogany walls, and collection of vintage books, the library bar has an intimate charm akin to that of a private members club. Led by bar manager Mickeal Perron, the wide menu spans classics, champagne-based cocktails, and signature libations.

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I loved the Lilibet, created for the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, made with Earl Grey-infused gin–a nod to her late majesty’s favourite spirit and tea–and finished with a towering, foamed tip made from English Chardonnay wine. A recent addition to coincide with the coronation in May is a vodka gimlet martini, named after King Charles III.

The vast selection of Cognacs is also impressive; some date back to the 1770s, thanks to the eye of the previous bar manager, Salvatore Calabrese, a legend in the world of drinks.

Fine Dining

Housed in a stunning powder-blue neoclassical conservatory-style room adored with chandeliers, The Grill serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. Led by executive chef Shay Cooper, the restaurant focuses on British produce, with the menu changing regularly based on the seasonality of ingredients. Expect UK staples such as beef Wellington and Dover sole. The Sunday roasts here are also a serious business.

The Verdict

For all its regal splendour, jaw-dropping opulence, and world-class service, what is genuinely special about this hotel is how it feels totally unpretentious.

It has a unique ability to set even the most dishevelled of long-haul travellers at ease, from the moment you’re greeted by the porters or charming receptionists, waiters, and butlers, all willing to make your stay as enjoyable as they can. The grand interiors invite rather than intimidate.

Admittedly, after checking out, I couldn’t quite bring myself to say goodbye, so I did what any sensible traveller would do and extended my stay by a few hours, settling into the library bar for a Lilibet cocktail …or two.

Source: Prestige Online

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