On a recent trip to the UK capital we were kindly asked to stay at what has to be one of London’s best luxury hotels, The Lanesborough London. Part of the prestigious Oetker Collection, which boasts some of the most endearing places to stay at around the world; including Le Bristol Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden.
The Lanesborough London like all the other Oetker Collection properties is a masterpiece in luxury, where no expense has been spared and the guest experience is flawless. Read on to discover more about our stay here.
Background & Concept
The Lanesborough London is housed in a building dating back to the 1820s and designed by Willian Wilkins (who designed the capital’s National Gallery), the property was at one point the St George’s Hospital and following an extensive multi-million-pound refurbishment in 2013 the building reopened in 2015 as The Lanesborough London.
The property has been re-imagined in the 18th century Regency era where original neo-classical features are celebrated with over the top elegance in bright greens and yellows, highlighted with gold leaf gilding of which 2100 books of 23 carat gold leaf were used on the ceilings of the public areas and guest rooms.
Chandeliers adorn the pubic areas and the hotel’s Michelin Star Celeste Restaurant, which were hand-blown and cut in the UK. There are 54 chandeliers throughout the hotel, with the largest being two meters wide and weighing 200kg.
The interior design team employed British embroiderers, cabinet-makers, bronzers, lacquerers, gilders, and mirror specialists. Over 300 people were involved in the restoration of the building and the attention to detail is incredible, like the Italian marble in bathrooms that were placed exactly to match the grain. When you walk in and look around the hotel you can see the super level of detail in the restoration process, no expense has been spared in this hotel.
Lobby and Check In
The Lanesborough London is all about service and it starts at the front door which is opened for you by the doorman. The Lobby is relatively compact given the size of the property but at only 93 rooms and such a big hotel floor space and a wealth of staff on hand 24/7, including a butler for every room it really is all about the guest experience here. Check-In is quick and efficient, your bags are taken up to your room and then you are escorted to your guest room.
Overlooking Hyde Park, on the corner of Knightsbridge Road you are a ten minute walk to Harrods and Harvey Nichols in one direction and Mayfair and its wealth of bars and restaurants is a five minute walk in the other direction. Hyde Park Corner Underground Station is next to the hotel and Buckingham Palace is close-by too.
Rooms and Suites
Guest rooms are laid out over four floors and the regency styling flows throughout all guest rooms. Rooms come in Superior, Deluxe, Executive and Premier with the increase in category dictating the floor space and views.
In the suite category there are eight different types ranging from Junior Suites and Executive Junior Suites through to the individually titled suites like the Aspley Suites named after the first Duke of Wellington’s London residence. Suites are 52 sqm in size, include separate wood-panelled entrance hall, elegant bedroom and a stylish sitting area separated by a door.
The two signature suites, the Presidential and Royal suites offer palatial elegance truly fit for a King, Queen or Head of State.
During my stay, I made my home in a beautiful Junior Suite. Offering 45 sqm of floor space (so a very generous floor plan), it included a separate lounge, with a sitting area and business desk and bedroom.
Before visiting the hotel the reservations team contacted me to ask me various questions in advance of my stay which I have listed below, and it was a lovely surprise to see the welcome champagne and sweets on the coffee table for me.
- Contact telephone number and postal address should an express check-in be required
- Preferred in-room temperature
- Preferred time for turn-down service (available at all times)
- Coffee and tea preferences
- Preferred Beverage (Red or Wine White, Champagne, Still or Sparkling Water etc.)
- Sweet or Savoury amenity
- Preferred colour schemes for a floral arrangement
When I was in the room my butler for my stay came to the room to see I had settled in well and to show me around the features of the suite. He also explained that I could have two items of clothing pressed – as a complimentary gesture too.
The bedroom included a king-sized bed (but twin beds can also be arranged in Junior Suites too).
The hotel blends technology subtly into the rooms, and I like the fact the TV is hidden behind a faux oil painting across from the bed and beside the bed was an iPad style device which allowed me to control all aspects of the room, temperature, lighting, curtains.
The bathroom is finished in marble and includes a separate bathtub and shower as well as twin sinks.
Amenities are made by Roja and designed exclusively for the hotel.
Food & Drink
The Lanesborough offers exceptional food and drink options throughout the property. From its Michelin Star fine dining restaurant Céleste, to its award winning cocktail bar the Library Bar and the intimate Garden Room and stately Withdrawing Room also offering options to relax with a drink and food.
This richly decorate dining room in the centre of the hotel is flooded with natural light through the glass domed roof by day, and twinkles in the evening under the softly lit chandeliers. Honouring British heritage and provenance with modern European creativity and under the guidance of head chef Darcio Henriques, Céleste’s aim is to take you on a culinary journey of great flavours and food with a real story.
Afternoon Tea is served in Céleste, as is their beautiful A La Carte breakfast which offers everything from a Full English to Okonomiya Eggs.
The Afternoon Tea is created by the Pastry team and served daily in either the majestic surroundings of Céleste or the elegant Withdrawing Room.
The vibrant Library Bar is one of the most distinguished destinations for drinks in the capital. Knightsbridge and Belgravia locals adore this ‘museum of spirits’ containing cognacs dating back to before the French revolution. Guests can recline in the regency armchairs, surrounded by traditional wood panelling, oil paintings – and of course, many antique literary works. If you can’t decide between the libations on offer, a canapé cocktail list enables you to sample minis, offering variety without speedy inebriation. We have included the Library bar in our guide to the best cocktail bars in London
Crowned England’s Best Hotel Spa 2019 at the World Spa Awards™, The Lanesborough Club & Spa is one of London’s most exclusive private members’ fitness and health clubs, offering hotel guests and club members access to internationally recognised experts in the fields of mindfulness, fitness, beauty and wellness. We have included the spa in our guide to the best spas in London simply because it is incredible.
Lilibet The Cat
And finally all good luxury hotels should have a cat and thankfully the Lansesborough has Lilibet, who arrived in 2019. A cat has become a trademark among the Oetker Collection properties. Lilbet is a Siberian Forest Cat which means she has very fluffy fur. Siberians are fun-loving, energetic felines and hypoallergenic.
The Lanesborough Hotel London is most certainly one of the city’s most expensive hotels at which to stay, but it is also one of the most incredible. Whilst large in floor space, it is boutique in service and style. As I mentioned earlier the hotel is all about service and combining this with the restoration that has taken place along with the dining options the result is something really special. We have no hesitation recommending this property as one of our favourite places to stay in London and it is listed in our guide to the best luxury hotels in London.
Address: Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA