As any member of London’s diplomatic community will tell you, after arriving in London it won’t be long before you attend a reception at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. This five-star deluxe hotel, ideally located in London’s West End, has long been a favourite venue for national day receptions (as well as this publication’s annual Diplomat of the Year awards ceremony). But readers may not be aware of all the hotel has to offer beyond the familiar surroundings of its Chartwell Suite and other meeting rooms.
Under the leadership of General Manager Michael Gray, who has worked for Hyatt since 1982, the 444-room hotel recently completed a multi-million pound renovation programme. Staying there was an absolute treat: I had a Regency Club King Room with fabulous views over the Portman Square garden – a rare delight in such a central location. Located on the eighth floor, my light and airy room had plenty of space for both a chaise longue and a desk, with seating for two, where I could have happily spent the day working. Occupants of The Churchill’s eighth and ninth floors are entitled to a personal concierge service, and I also had access to the Regency Club Lounge, which offers a complimentary continental breakfast, all-day coffee and light snacks, as well as cocktails and canapés in the evening.
For larger parties, there is the Presidential Suite on the ninth floor. 368 square metres in size, it comprises four individual suites which can be let either singularly, as two two-bedroom suites or as a single four-bedroom pavilion suite. Meanwhile the Royal Suite, one of the largest private suites in London, comes complete with its own private elevator, three double bedrooms, dining room (seating 10), study, fully-equipped gymnasium and terraces overlooking the city’s rooftops. One might say that it is ‘fit for a King,’ which is no doubt the reason why many Prime Ministers and Presidents (including one Barack Obama, in the lead-up to his election campaign) have chosen to stay at The Churchill when visiting London.
Guests are certainly in no danger of going hungry during their stay. The Montague restaurant offers a wide range of British and European seasonal dishes. For an unforgettable treat, the Chef’s Table, which oversees the open-plan kitchen, offers diners a front-row seat to watch the masterful chefs at work. For a delicious Italian alternative, the hotel also houses the Michelin starred Locanda Locatelli. The wood-panelled Churchill Bar, meanwhile, is a lovely place to relax while enjoying a wide range of single malt whiskies, cocktails and Cuban cigars. But there’s no need for guests to neglect their health either, with an indoor fitness centre in the hotel and – unusually for London – a tennis court just across the road in Portman Square.