Some hotels are special. Truly special. And make you feel special. My love affair with the Four Seasons London at Park Lane, has been a long one. Why? Because it is one of my favourite hotels in London – so much so, it is where I have my London office. Well, I don’t *really* – what I mean by this, is that it is the place that I choose to have business meetings and the (very) occasional after work cocktail.
I feel so at home (in what is a busy hotel), that I keep coming back, and recently I decided I had to accept the hotel’s invitation to make it my London pad for the week. I was afraid that some of the magic would be gone – I cannot explain why, but this is why I had been delaying that stay for years actually. And I tell you what, I did not want to leave.
– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
Well, of course, and for years. This stay was meant to happen for a long time, and I think it would be fair to say that both parties were very excited. Very.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
I did indeed and so did the hotel. But no differently than it does almost every week just for no reason, or when I visit a couple of times a month.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
Not particularly, but it would be fair to say that my love for the Lychee Rose Petal Affair is well documented.
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
There is something different about this Four Seasons. It is only a few years old and certainly part of the new generation. I like the colour contrast and how warm it is. There are lots of seating areas around the lobby leading into the living room and the bar and restaurant areas, which are all very welcoming.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
Not a problem at all.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
Yes, and this happened throughout all my stay by everyone I saw in the hotel. And anyone who books a table at the bar, for example, gets exactly the same service. If you book a table, you leave your name, and I will bet you will be addressed by name while you visit. One of those Four Seasons things.. that I love.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I wasn’t sure which room I was getting this time, and I was told I was to experience an Executive Conservatory room (which by then I had no idea what it meant).
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
Absolutely. And before my stay, and after my stay.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
I had a small carry on, which I was allowed to take to my room, despite the fact that I was escorted by the reception lady.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Yes, some changes here, which is brilliant. Free standard wifi is now offered to guests, and a paid (faster version) is also available.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
Well, well, well. What can I say? It was almost love at first sight. It was spacious, light, airy and very comfortable and welcoming. I had a strange feeling which I couldn’t tell what it was. It was only when Mr. O arrived a few hours later that we cracked it: it felt exactly like our home, with the same colour scheme. It was a very interesting feeling. Our room had a bedroom area, a living room area and a cute outside patio too.
– Welcome amenity
On the second day of my stay, as I got back from work, I was surprised… with afternoon tea! I was actually starving and it was lovely.
– The bed
I love Four Seasons beds. They are soft, huge and the sheets were wonderful, as was the mattress topper. We slept really well. Not easy to get out of bed, put it this way.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
We had a walk-in wardrobe by the bathroom area, which meant that we had plenty of space for everything, and the room was to be void of any luggage or anything else.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
There was no iPhone charger, but there was a Bose sound system. We had plenty of plugs, so not a problem.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes, and I used the slippers for once (just for fun). Why? Because someone finally realised that I am not shoe size 45 (actually I am a 36, no jokes, please). And because they came in various sizes, they weren’t too big, for a change.
– Coffee and Tea
Absolutely, a Nespresso machine, which we did not use.
– Free bottled water
Yes, on arrival, and changed daily at turn down.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
It was excellent. I had Vanity Fair and Tatler, which are 2 of the 5 magazines I actually read on a regular basis. So simple… but so rare.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
Not a problem at all.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
It was timeless and very nice.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
This hotel has some of the nice fittings in London, it is an Axor temple. And can I say that the shower was just the way I like it? No instructions needed – just left or right.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Lots and fab. And the best bath matts (standard FS, I must say).
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
The hotel uses Roja as a brand and we had the full range (in medium size). I liked the shower gel, but did not like the conditioner, at all.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
Everything as expected.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
Yes, and it was a very good one. I also had my straighteners which I used and got back to the room to have found that the housekeepers kindly wrapped the cord around them very neatly (which I never do). On a subsequent trip, I found my straighteners done in the same way and looked at Mr. O, who simply said ‘I did them Four Seasons style’. I had to smile. Details.
I know the Four Seasons bar well. Very well. Perhaps too well. And if you tried a Rose Petal Affair (the one on the far right), you would know why. It is totally understandable. I love the bar, and as I said before, I visit often. Service is impeccable (and personal, staff have a lot of personality and it is not something you see every day) and a very comfortable space. I prefer to use the lounge area before dinner, and the actual bar after dinner.
I have dined at Amaranto quite a few times, and obviously had to try it again (just for quality control reasons). And it was fantastic. We started with the signature parmesan cheese, and carried on with pasta and the most exquisite fish dish. For lunch, I had one of my favourite dishes in the world: vitello tonnato and rabbit ravioli (Amaranto has a great midweek lunchtime menu for £19 for 2 courses and £26 for 3. Do not miss out).
Breakfast also takes place here and it is a very civilised affair with also a good mix of hotel residents and guests. There is no buffet and there are plenty of options – I had the fruit platter one day and scrambled eggs and bacon on another day. Very good indeed.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
I didn’t use it on my phone as I was in the UK and have data at all times, but I did connect my laptop and had no issues.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
Yes indeed and we had quite a bit of fun.
One of the best in London (for me and my life in the city). It is located on Hamilton Place, just off Park Lane. And needless to say, that the first come first served Rolls Royce driver service is available (for a 2-mile radius). I sadly didn’t get to use it this time, but I have before and it is… very nice.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Superior rooms start at £320 per night, and Executive Conservatories from £785.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
– Would I stay again?
Oh yes, believe me.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of The Four Seasons during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.