With the excitement of so many international hotel properties opening in London – Shangri-La at The Shard, The London Edition and Mondrian London at Sea Containers, to name a few – it’s easy to forget the classic institutions that made London’s hotel landscape what it is today. The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is located in London’s original hotel heartland just steps from Hyde Park and Knightsbridge. On the site of the original Four Seasons Inn on the Park – the company’s first European hotel – the property opened in 1970. Back in 2011, the Four Seasons reopened following a two-year refurbishment programme that saw the rooms reconfigured, public areas completely revamped and a rooftop extension added, housing a new spa area, all in time to mark the company’s 50th anniversary.
Today, the building combines timeless design inspired by the 1930s golden age of travel, with every modern need a guest could desire; a home away from home for travellers and Londoners. With 193 rooms and suites spaced over 11 stories, the hotel is a good size yet it does not feel like a massive institution like some of its neighbours do. It has been able to retain its charming character with a fresh feel that the Four Seasons is known for.
The Mayfair Suite we stayed in had a separate sitting room and desk, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offered sweeping views down the city’s most iconic street and into Hyde Park. A marble bathroom, walk-in wardrobe, and manual lights and curtains (a joyous change from the confusing bedside electric panels found in so many hotels today) meant we were hugely comfortable. Aside from various room categories, there are suite options to choose from, including a one and two-bedroom Grand Suite category, offering a conservatory and outdoor terrace, as well as a dining area and living area with an ample fireplace, perfect for creating a homely winter atmosphere.
Breakfast and dinner is taken at Amaranto, the hotel’s Italian restaurant and bar on the ground floor. The elegant dining room serves an innovative combination of classic and modern dishes run by a hugely efficient team – the chef’s truffle risotto, now in season, is to be recommended! The restaurant also includes a conservatory space and private garden for al fresco eating, a wine wall focusing on Italian wines (250 of which are available by the glass), all under the watchful eye of a passionate and impressive sommelier originally from the French Embassy. Cocktails are slick and delicious, making the bar an excellent meeting spot.
The hotel has also turned the traditional underground spa concept on its head. Rather than being in the basement of the building, the spa is found on the top floor usually reserved for penthouse suites. As well as its delightful signature treatment menu, the spectacular views of Hyde Park and Westminster from the sauna and treatment rooms really make this spa stand out from the others. It also houses the 10th Floor Lounge, a relaxing spa café by day that transforms into a chic room for private events, complete with its own balcony, at night.
The impressive ballroom – home to many a national day reception – can be found up the grand staircase on the first floor along with various different meeting rooms.
The Four Seasons brand has built its reputation on its flawless service and stunning facilities, and the Four Seasons London Hotel at Park Lane is dependably luxurious with an excellent team of staff to take care of your every whim, all in the heart of Mayfair. With a new Four Seasons property just announced at Ten Trinity Square, formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority and one of London’s most iconic landmarks (to open in 2016), Four Seasons is certainly still one to watch…