Background and Concept
Dating back to Edwardian times, this Grand Dame London hotel is an imposing property which stretches down Picadilly, along onto Air Street and back onto Regent Street and has been standing for over 100 years. The hotel recently changed ownership and is now independently owned and managed and is undergoing a phased refurbishment. Many of the hotel’s 255 bedrooms and 28 suites have been completely redesigned now offering contemporary guest experiences and a fresh new look.
The striking lobby has been given a modern finish with blue paintwork and prints of London maps as well as floral displays from local florist Pulbrook and Gould. The plant-filled conservatory which is the hotel’s Terrace at the Dilly was originally the hotel’s outdoor pool back in the 1930s and now offers all-day dining, while the Oak Room and Lounge (one of London’s most famous and impressive banquet rooms) is now Madhu’s Mayfair a fine dining Indian restaurant featuring Punjabi cuisine with a Kenyan twist.
A nod to the hotel’s heritage has been reinstated every evening at 6 pm when the sound of a gong signifies the end of the day and time to enjoy the evening, either within the hotel or in London’s nearby West End.
A super central location means that all the action of the city is right on your doorstep. Picadilly Circus is a one-minute walk away which leads to Soho and Covent Garden as is Shaftsbury avenue and its plethora of theatres. Head in the other direction and you connect with St James, Green Park Mayfair and it is a further short walk along to Hyde Park and onto Knightsbridge.
Rooms and Suites
The hotel is not boutique in size in fact it is home to 255 rooms and 28 suites, but it doesn’t feel crowded at any point. There are three room categories (Classic, Splendid and Family) alongside junior and executive suites with many rooms offering sweeping views of London’s skyline. An ongoing refurbishment is taking place throughout all the guest rooms, with the first floor and the seventh floor now complete, soft-furnishings include prints of London streets, red feature chairs and contemporary artworks.
Classic rooms feature incredibly comfy beds (which can be queen or twin), luxury Floris amenities and free high-speed WIFI.
Splendid rooms feature king-size beds and extra floor space creating a haven of calm to relax in after a day exploring London.
Featuring two queen beds, an option for a baby cot and extra floor space, make these rooms ideal for families visiting the capital.
The hotel’s Junior Suite is excellent for extended stays with a separate work area as well as a large lounge area and great views out over London. A king-size bed and bathroom with separate shower and bath as well as Floris amenities add extra touches of luxury to the experience.
If you want to go all-out book into their Executive Suite, with extra floor space, luxury Floris amenities and the option for private dining in your suite with a bespoke menu by the chef. This is the place to live the grand London lifestyle that has been characterised the hotel since the twentieth century.
Suites also offer access to the hotel’s exclusive lounge, Balcony at The Dilly, where guests can choose from a range of complimentary drinks available at select times during the day. Sip on a glass of Chapel Down’s exceptional English Sparkling Wine sourced from beautiful vineyards just outside London.
Food and Drink
Madhu’s At The Dilly
Punjabi cuisine meets Kenyan food in Madhu’s At The Dilly. Housed in the chandelier-lit grade II listed Oak Room just off the lobby, where tables are laid with heavy silver cutlery and vintage style crockery. Starters are arranged onto a silver serving wheel, with mains and desserts equally artistically presented. Everything here pleases both the eyes and the tastebuds, augmented by attentive, friendly service. And a large cocktail list offers creations inspired by the flavours of India. Dining here has been one of my favourite experiences in London ever and has made it into our best restaurant guide.
Terrace At The Dilly
The Terrace at the Dilly is a magnificent all-day dining restaurant making full use of its glass arched rood and outside terrace. Start the day here with the hotel’s glorious self-service breakfast, in the afternoon relax with afternoon tea or take a culinary journey in the evening with their London inspired à la carte menu which uses the finest London-sourced local produce ranging from organic meat from Smithfield Market to fresh vegetables from Covent Garden. Their Halibut Risotto is a must as is their Lamb Canon!
Afternoon Tea – Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea
The Official Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed in the Terrace daily by children and adults alike; with delicacies appropriately named after many of the Beatrix Potter characters in this classic story; nibble on a ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden Sandwich’ (Vegetable garden baguettini with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, radishes, pea shoots and red pepper hummus), sample a ‘Caught in a Twist Pinwheel’ (Smoked salmon with sun-dried tomato). Indulge in a ‘Flowerpot hide-out’ (Edible chocolate pot with chamomile mousse, blackberry, chocolate ‘mud’ and sponge cake) and of course ‘Every Bunny’s Favourite’ (Moist carrot cake topped with cream cheese and chocolate carrot!) and many other tasty treats too can be enjoyed with a selection of tea, champagne, hot chocolate and fruit juice.
Downstairs At The Dilly
The Dilly, has just introduced Downstairs at The Dilly – an intimate speakeasy piano bar ‘downstairs’ from the hotel’s lobby, offering an extensive collection of curated cocktails with a London theme, plus a varied musical programme of pianists and acoustic singers to soundtrack an evening, post-work or post-play.
Gym and Spa
If you want to burn a few calories during your stay the hotel has a comprehensive fitness suite and pool (one of the biggest pools in central London). There is also a spa, and uniquely a full-sized dance studio, where guests can take private dance classes with in-house experts. And at the time I was staying they were just launching an indoor driving range experience too.
With a rich history spanning over 100 years, The Dilly provides 5-star luxury in the very heart of central London fusing heritage with contemporary design as well as throwing in some seriously good dining options. Nothing is too much trouble with a team of fantastic staff always on hand, we had a great stay at The Dilly.