Arriving at London Syon Park, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel was, quite frankly, a bit of shock. Just seven miles from Heathrow Airport and Hyde Park Corner (in the opposite direction), I turned off the main road and travelled through 200 acres of spectacular parkland toward the main building of the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, Syon House, and its stunning Great Conservatory. So far, so good. But then I turned a corner and came upon the hotel itself: a modern, red-brick monstrosity. Uh-oh, I wondered, is this going to be more airport motel than Grade 1-listed stately home experience?
Fortunately, however, we are given a beautiful room – one of the hotel’s 137 rooms and suites, which take inspiration from the Robert-Adam designed interiors of Syon House itself. The decoration is modern, colourful and fun (if not always to my taste); there’s a real sense of humour to the place.
The martini bar, Peacock Alley, inspired by the original at the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue in Manhattan, serves signature cocktails to make the eyes water. After a delicious ‘Duchess’ (fresh strawberries and champagne), things were certainly looking up. Moving on to the Capability, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, whose seasonal cuisine features fresh ingredients so locally sourced that many of them are grown on the estate, we agreed that we wanted most things on the menu – what’s more, our choices lived up to our expectations.
Later, having a nose around the hotel, we found the Deck, a rooftop lounge offering casual dining which will be fantastic in the summer, along with plenty of other private entertainment spaces – featuring pool tables, enormous flat-screen TVs, chess boards and games for private hire – and an enormous ballroom. London Syon Park can cater for groups of all sizes, including massive conferences or weddings.
Guests can use hotel bikes to ride through the 400-year-old grounds, picnic in the park, fish for rainbow trout, play croquet, go laser clay pigeon shooting or just sit back and soak up the countryside. Kallima, the hotel’s spa, delivers completely bespoke treatments and comprises a large 24-hour gym, full-size swimming pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool spa and 11 luxurious treatment rooms. For those serious about their pampering, this really is a place worth visiting, even if just for a day trip.
So I can see why London Syon Park has been described as the Waldorf Astoria group’s ‘English country playground’. It is a modern luxury hotel experience with state-of-the-art amenities that define both the brand and the legacy of Syon Park. It even offers helicopter travel from its parkland location to central London – certainly not something one would expect from an airport motel!
London Syon Park, a waldorf astoria hotel