In real life, someone has already put a hotel on Park Lane. Appropriately enough, it’s one of the world’s most accomplished luxury hotel operators – the Four Seasons group. My family group of two adults and two children was about to discover whether the reality of a Park Lane hotel could live up to the hypothetical splendour of the board game version.
Let’s start with the location. Park Lane is one of the most prestigious addresses in London’s West End. Facing Hyde Park and just a short walk from Buckingham Palace, this is the epitome of upmarket London real estate. Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the other attractions of Knightsbridge are a short distance away. Turn in the other direction and you’ll be strolling along Piccadilly and past the discreetly luxurious (and very private) clubs of St James. Fancy some shopping? Regent’s Street and Oxford Street are just round the corner.
After a long and tiring journey we entered the grand foyer and were immediately impressed by the greeting we received. As with all Four Seasons properties, our children were treated as VIPs in their own right and offered a gift from a treasure chest of toys. This is a truly special touch because it shows how much Four Seasons understands family travellers. Happy kids; happy holiday.
Our mission was to sample the luxury of a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite. At 112sqm, our accommodation was colossal by London standards, and positively stupendous for this super-expensive address. A marble foyer with guest toilet leads into the suite’s dining area with a Nespresso machine, wet bar and nicely positioned desk overlooking Hyde Park. Another surprise for the kids – a banquet of yummy treats and refreshments that had them voting this the best hotel ever.
A long hallway leads to separate formal lounge with large gas fireplace, oversized Loewe flat screen TV with surround sound system and a comfy sofa, which doubles as a rollaway. At the end of the hallway a sliding door reveals the suitably luxurious master suite. Think high thread-count linen, super-comfortable king-sized bed and a separate seating area with another TV. Textured silk-like and suede wallpapers bestow a subtle Asian influence, while polished walnut feature walls, plush carpeting and marble accents complete the impression of discreet luxury. I had the strange sensation that I could be onboard a super yacht – the fit-out is that good.
Overall, the interior is timeless and elegant, which is the Four Seasons signature. Black furniture pieces contrast nicely with a warm palette of light colours throughout. Full-length sliding doors in both the master bedroom and lounge, plus a brace of balconies, allow plenty of natural light into the suite. At night, clever mood lighting creates an inviting and romantic ambience in the lounge with the flames of the fire flickering and dancing.
The marble bathroom is also very large by London standards, with double vanities, a massive rain shower and separate toilet. Beside the bathroom is a huge walk-in wardrobe that’s the size of the average hotel room. The overall feel is more like a lavish apartment than a hotel suite. You could happily settle in here for a long, relaxed stay.
Much as it’s tempting to stay inside your suite and revel in the luxury, you’d be missing out on a lot if you didn’t venture out. The Four Seasons Park Lane London does its best to tempt you with two $500,000 chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce cars at your disposal. If you feel like popping down to Savile Row to be measured for a suit, or perhaps a toy-shopping extravaganza at Hamleys in Regent Street, simply summon the Rollers. Naturally, the services of the car and chauffeur are complimentary for guests.
Staying in such a great location in the centre of London, you’re spoilt for choice when you feel like dining. But it would be remiss not to take advantage of the hotel’s Amaranto Italian Restaurant in its sun-filled conservatory in the private garden overlooking Park Lane. You can also undertake more strenuous activities in the gym on the top floor of the hotel, which includes the one of the best views in London. If you’ve forgotten your iPod, the gym staff will provide one that’s pre-loaded with the perfect selection of music for working out. As always, it’s the little touches that make a big impression.
Of all the international luxury chains I’ve reviewed over the years, the Four Seasons group is consistently among the best. They set the standards that other luxury properties aspire to, and they do it on a global scale.
The Four Seasons London at Park Lane is a worthy addition to the list, with a world-class location, stunning room quality and an astonishing level of care in their service. It’s my new favourite home away from home in London.
Category: Luxury City Hotel.
Suite Reviewed: Deluxe One
What’s great? The best address in London coupled with bespoke Four Seasons service is a winning combination. The Suite was beautiful and generously sized at over 100sqm. Also loved the complimentary chauffeur-driven pair of Rolls Royces at our disposal – a nice touch!
What’s not so great: That I couldn’t stay longer.
Editor’s tip: Splash out and book a room or suite with views out to Hyde Park. Also, you don’t have to book a spa treatment to make use of the impressive spa facilities, including steam rooms and large his and hers Jacuzzis on the tenth floor. Perfect
for a wind down after a busy day shopping or exploring.
Rate: From NZ$998 per room per night. From NZ$5600 per night for a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite.