A bastion of British luxury, the impressive edifice that is the Lanesborough has looked out over Hyde Park Corner and onto the park for close to 300 years. Originally a hospital, the stately pile only became a hotel in 1991, utilizing the stunning period beauty of the Regency building to become one of London’s most exclusive hotels. Glamorous yet staid, the Lanesborough attracts a diverse international clientele happy to pay the high prices for supreme service and formal luxury.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Anywhere else in London and the hugely busy intersection outside might put off potential guests. But this is Hyde Park Corner, home of the park and Wellington Arch and besides, triple glazing keeps the traffic noise out.
Like stepping back in time into a period when the style was all busy fabrics, bright pastel colors, florals and ornate furniture, the rooms at the Lanesborough are certainly individual. Some might find them a touch old fashioned but there’s something very appealing about the twee sense of grandeur here.
Just as ornate as the rooms, bathrooms are decorated in intricate detail with opulent rainforest showers and large soaking tubs. Marble is plentiful and double vanity mirrors are on hand for that perfect reflection.
The great realization of the Regency-period interior, the lobby provides the welcome you’d expect at a hotel as expensive as the Lanesborough. Towering pillars, crystal chandeliers and fine art help to make every guest feel like a visiting dignitary.
Soothing cream marble surrounds the turquoise glow of the pool to create the ultimate relaxation spot in this busy hotel.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa goes above and beyond the levels of most luxury hotels. Here is a place where you get what you pay for in the form of expert treatments, scrubs, facials and massage from a dedicated in-house team. Rooms are clad in marble and vintage mirrors to prepare you for the pampering that awaits.
The masculine fitness center is all floor-to-ceiling mirrors, brown panels and gold detailing. Well-equipped with cardiovascular machines, exercise bikes, and free weights, there is also boxing equipment.
The palatial dining room of Michelin starred restaurant Celeste is so delicately decorated that the interior is enough to steal the limelight from the food. One look at the carpet and messy eaters will worry about spilling food on the plush shag pile. Relatively traditional, the menu sticks to a formula of rich, classic dishes that pursue flavor over gastronomic eccentricity.
Every luxury London hotel claims to be the first word in afternoon tea, and while The Lanesborough is a relatively recent arrival on the scene, afternoon tea here is divine.
Given the name, it’s unsurprising to discover that the Library Bar is a dimly lit den of cocktails set among walls of books and dark wood. Take a seat in a heavy armchair and sample the bespoke cocktail menu—or indulge in a snifter of 300-year-old cognac from the bar’s liquid museum of spirits.
Set between Hyde Park, Knightsbridge and Green Park, The Lanesborough’s location is as regal and refined as the hotel itself. An area to explore on foot, the short walk to Knightsbridge takes guests to designer boutiques and department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols. For green space the choice lies between Hyde Park and Green Park, while the fine dining and cocktail bars of Mayfair are within walking distance. To travel further afield, hop on the Tube at Hyde Park Corner right outside and you can be in the West End within ten minutes.
Upscale Italian restaurant Brunello (9-minute drive) awaits at Baglioni Hotel, while palates used to the Michelin-starred food of Celeste will find something to suit their tastes at Gordon Ramsey’s Petrus (8-minute walk).
Like the Library Bar, the American Bar (17-minute walk) at The Beaumont serves a mean cocktail. Here though, the vibe is a little livelier in the lobby of the art deco hotel. Sticking to the luxury hotels of Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane, make the short walk to the Dorchester Bar (9-minute walk) where cocktails might even trump those at the Library Bar.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Despite the fact that its initial 250 years were spent as a hospital, The Lanesborough welcomed the Regency period drama of the building and works it as a luxury hotel. Yes, it is over the top, old fashioned and overtly stately but in a world of casual lobby bars, absent dress codes and boutique chic, there is huge appeal in the commitment to tradition and service. Anything you want the hotel’s concierge team will take care of it, from tickets to reservations. Not ritzy but classically glamorous, the hotel also has the benefit of a perfect location close to an array of upscale Mayfair and Chelsea fun.