The Lanesborough was closed for 18 months for refurbishment, so you can understand our excitement when its royal doors reopened in early July. Here are the five things we adore most about the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star palace in London:
The attention to detail
Celebrated interior designer Alberto Pinto thought of everything when he set about creating the new interiors of The Lanesborough. From the floor-level nightlights that turn on automatically to guide you to the bathroom when you step out of bed to under-floor heating in the open-air Garden Room cigar lounge, every detail is spot on. But even with all of the new gadgetry (rooms are now equipped with tablets to simplify your experiences, too), when it comes to the property’s overall tone, fresh crown molding, stenciled plasterwork and intricate, hard-carved woods suggest that the London hotel still regards its Regency roots in the highest light.
The extraordinary service
There’s no reception desk at The Lanesborough; instead, you’re shown directly to your room and registered there, meaning there’s no waiting around and you can get settled in right away. Each of the 93 rooms and suites has access to a dedicated butler who looks after your every need 24 hours a day, whether that’s booking a table for dinner or laying out your room just as you like it.
When The Lanesborough was first built as the residence of James Lane, Second Viscount Lanesborough, in 1719 (and converted to a hospital in the 1800s), it was surrounded by open countryside. Today you get the best of both worlds, with the 350-acre Hyde Park across the street, yet bustling Knightsbridge and Mayfair quarters sit just around the corner.
Hyde Park Corner, where the hotel rests, connects a couple of London’s busiest thoroughfares, but you’ll sleep like a baby at The Lanesborough, thanks to the triple-glazing on the glass. Should you need more solitude (or a pick-me-up after a night of revelry at The Library Bar), though, you’ll find plenty of it at the Spa Studio, a cozy sanctuary that offers just three treatment rooms but countless opportunities to rejuvenate the mind and muscles.
The Withdrawing Room
This sumptuous space, decorated in sunny yellows, muted grays and more than a hint of gold leaf, is one area we find very hard to leave. Stop by for a pot of tea — ask the excellent tea sommelier at the property’s new-look Venetian dining room, Céleste, to recommend a blend from the menu of nearly 40 selections — and gaze at the newly hung artwork or just kick back with a good book.