One very confused Uber driver later, I arrive at the Lanesborough Hotel London. With a sigh of relief, I walk toward the entrance clutching my scarf tightly around my neck. The doorman sees me coming. And opens the door for me with a smile. There’s a fire burning just inside. I linger for a moment, letting the heat warm me.
I’d walked passed The Lanesborough when I lived in London in my early 20’s but until now, I’d never been inside. From my position next to the fire, I cast my eyes around the lobby. Regal. It’s truly the only word to describe this hotel. I feel as though I’ve stepped through time. I half expect to see characters from a Jane Austen Novel and historical figures of the Regency period to walk around the corner. Realising I’ve lingered by the fire long enough, I approach the check-in desk.
All checked in, I leave the softly lit lobby behind, observing the plush armchairs, wood and gold concierge desk, and stunning flower arrangement as I go. The hotel has three floors of rooms and suites. But I think my floor is the best. As I step out of the elevator, I am greeted by two electric blue velvety chairs with a gold and mahogany table in between and an old-fashioned phone sitting on top.
Apsley Suite and a False Alarm
I am in heaven. I run my fingers along the hallway table as I’m shown the suite. The suite is a mixture of rich red, mahogany, and soft blue. In the sitting room, there is an ornate golden mirror, a fireplace, wooden desk, and a lounge suite. The Lanesborough have discovered the way to my heart – a bottle of bubbles and sweet mini cakes welcome me. I make eye contact with the portrait on the wall. Dressed in armour, with a cane and a neck scarf, the man has a longing look on his face; it’s almost as though he would like to trade places. I don’t blame him.
A door separates the sitting room and the bedroom. I open the door to reveal a beautiful bed dressed in red and white with a regal-looking canopy above. A crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling is the proverbial cherry on top of this luxurious suite.
Just as I’m about to lie down on the glorious bed, I hear a buzz at the door. I answer it. It’s my butler. That’s right, my suite comes with a butler. I stare at him for a moment not knowing what is going on. It seems I was so enraptured with the suite that I pushed the butler button without even realising. He remains composed while I fumble my words trying to think of something for him to do so his trip to my suite wasn’t a waste of time. Unable to think of anything, he kindly says to let him know if I need anything and he is happy to press my clothes should I require it. I thank him, and turn my attention back to the suite, specifically my bed. I am usually terrible at naps, but not at The Lanesborough.
Library Bar and Michelin-Starred Dining
Two of my favourite places to spend time, are libraries and whiskey bars. Combining the two, is genius. The Library Bar at the Lanesborough is stunning. When I arrive with a friend for a drink before dinner, the bar is buzzing. The staff happily shake cocktails and chat with customers. The atmosphere is pleasantly relaxing here. We sit by a glass cabinet of premium and rare whiskies. What I wouldn’t give to take a bottle or two home with me. The bartender pours us a glass of champagne, or as he jokes, “French sparkling water”. He helps me choose a cocktail – whiskey based of course.
Late for our reservation, we finish out cocktails and head over to the Michelin-starred Céleste Restaurant. We are treated to a selection of divine vegan cuisine. From charcoal salsify to baked cauliflower with crispy barley and white truffle, every mouthful is a dream. Most of the dishes include truffle, which I love. And, the wine accompaniment chosen by the waiter was perfection. Thinking I couldn’t possibly eat any more, the final dish arrives. It’s desert. Just like magic, I suddenly have room for more food. I indulge in a selection of sorbets, but the highlight is the dairy free fig gelato served with a caramelised crispy fig wafer and fresh fig.
Most hotel spas are lovely. But they’ve got nothing on The Lanesborough Club & Spa. The spa is huge. And when you think it can’t possibly get any bigger, a floor-to-ceiling mirror panel opens to reveal several treatment rooms and more. Guests staying at The Lanesborough have access to one of London’s most exclusive private members’ fitness and health clubs. There are treatment rooms, a restaurant, fitness zone, swimming pool and sauna. For anyone who loves the smell of mint (everyone, right?), there is light shower infused with mint available for guests. The Lanesborough Club & Spa is dangerously relaxing, you may never want to leave.
Mahala Wallace stayed as a guest of The Lanesborough London.
Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA, United Kingdom
+44 20 7259 5599
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