I Just Spent a Fabulous Week in London!
I stayed at the Athenaeum for 3 nights, what a perfect location, and the staff is so very friendly! It’s like you’re coming home to friends and family when you enter the lobby. I had an apartment, large enough for a family of 4, with no view but very comfortable. The bedding was great but the carpet in the living room was a bit old with a few stains. The only thing I didn’t like was the tub/shower combo which had a shower curtain, but no door.
There was a kitchenette with washer/dryer and laundry soap. Fridge was stocked with complimentary soda and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Lots of complimentary fruit and candy in the basket on the counter. Definitely opt for a Signature rate that includes breakfast, as this was the best breakfast we had during our stay. We looked at the park view rooms, they were nice but very small.
Then we moved to the Savoy, it was honestly heaven on earth. Very traditional British, fantastic staff and service. The room was definitely 5 star plus. We had a gorgeous suite with a butler. I was happy with the location; I usually stay up in Mayfair but I enjoyed the change. The lounge had nightly entertainment, which was very welcoming and accommodating. I’d go back in a heartbeat. Breakfast was very nice, exactly what you’d expect for a British full breakfast. Beautiful restaurant but easily $100 for the meal per person. Definitely for the client who has an endless number of pounds to throw around.
Lastly the Corinthia, it was absolutely lovely, breathtaking really. The spa looks exactly like its pictures! The rooms were beautiful and large, everything was 5 star plus. The bathroom was amazing, best shower ever. My one complaint is I found it to be the most snobby of all 3, I just didn’t feel comfy sitting in the lounge with a gin and tonic and my book, as if this wasn't normal. The caviar bar was out of a movie. I wasn’t over-excited with the breakfast, I’d rather go back to the Athenaeum. I liked the location; everyone says the location is bad...not so!
Then I checked out a bunch more hotels: The Chesterfield Mayfair is very British, perfect quiet location in Mayfair, adorable area with tons of restaurants and cute shops, walking distance to everything. It’s more of a 3 ½ star hotel good for an average couple coming to UK on a tourist kind of holiday; clean, comfy and exactly what a tourist seeking traditional is looking for. This is a safe bet.
The Milestone Hotel, ia a very lovely hotel, 4 star for sure. It's a small, charming and very British; great for the tourist that is looking for just that – BUT – it’s in Kensington, far from anything. But if you are a walker, it’s a lovely stroll through Hyde Park to everything or easy to get to the underground. It's a very ethnic area.
The Mayfair Hotel – a Radisson Blu hotel – 5 star (so they say) in the heart of Mayfair, across from a full service Sainsbury’s market so very convenient to shop for gifts. (chocolate and tea best gift ever! ..) The hotel is hip. It’s a dark hotel, not bright and airy – but sleek and sexy. You must qualify client before using it – they have a hopping young bar and also a secluded cigar bar in the back. Rooms are large and very colorful – but not Ritz Carlton/Four Seasons 5 star type quality of bedding, etc... we dined in the new Mayfair Kitchen. It was good – but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there with all the other great dining choices now in London. Lastly – the most amazing adorable charming hotel was the Goring – once you get in – you don’t want to leave – it was just that, adorable, amazing and charming.. very, very, very British indeed. My favorite restaurant is still Le Boudin Blanc – I’ve been going there for 25+ years and it has always been fabulous. Best to purchase all activities in advance, it benefits the client. There is a London card that allows entrance into all the tourist attractions that saves money and time. And if you can find a tube pass that would be golden for clients – otherwise a 1 day pass on the underground/buses is £9.80 minimum per person. AND – forget about tours to Downton Abbey unless you book at least 6 months in advance !!
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