It’s to no surprise that our stay at The Dorchester was the best we’ve ever encountered. As one of the most revered hotels in London and quite possibly the world, every inch of the classically British hotel oozes old-school glamour. It’s prime address makes it ideal for forays to Knightsbridge and Mayfair, however guests needn’t venture out the doors of the hotel as it offers everything they could wish for. With bespoke bedrooms designed by Oliver Messell himself, three top-class restaurants – including the best Chinese restaurant in London – and a spa that trumps them all. The Dorchester truly is the destination of dreams.
For us, there’s a certain feeling that comes with The Dorchester – when talking about it, or when looking at photographs, but most importantly when entering those revolving doors. It’s a feeling of anticipation, of excitement and of true glee when you open your eyes and see the grand hallway that bellows down to the finite Champagne bar. It’s prime address on Park Lane facing the leafy acres of Hyde Park is beyond idyllic and offers a much-needed green space to enjoy a refreshing morning walk (or run if you’re feeling brave enough!). A smattering of celebrities have called The Dorchester ”home”, most notably the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and the late Michael Jackson – both of which occupied ravishing, rooftop suites here.
On arrival we walk the path down The Promenade to the Champagne bar because let’s face it – who can resist cocktails at The Dorchester? Taking a seat at the art-deco inspired bar we’re swiftly assisted with two cocktail menus and our orders are taken. There’s a distinct swanky, yet totally unpretentious ambiance to the entirety of the hotel and the smiles on the faces of the staff seem genuine. The cocktails are delicious and are segregated into spirit bases and flavours – all expertly made and presented by the wonderful mixologists.
The Grill at The Dorchester quickly gained a reputation for serving the best grill food in London upon it’s opening and continues today with this firm title. Protege of the neighbouring Alain Ducasse restaurant, Christopher Marleix heads up the culinary team here and produces seasonal menus throughout the year. In the morning, breakfast is served in The Promenade and The Grill – with the continental buffet being displayed in The Grill with a selection of European meats, cheeses, creamy yogurts and fruit. Afternoon tea is served in the heart of the hotel, The Promenade.
Upstairs, thickly carpeted – almost bouncy, corridors smelling faintly of perfume give way to bespoke bedrooms. The glitz and glamour of the traditional hotel is mimicked in the bedrooms – however there are twenty two suites which have been modernised to a million dollar standard by designer Oliver Messell. We stay in the iconic Dorchester Suite, located at the end of the corridor with it’s own marble foyer and aptly rich mahogany door.
On entry you open into a hallway lined with parquet floor and an enormous coat rack, which we can only imagine would be filled by Elizabeth Taylor’s fur coat! As you peer through the doorway, a grand living room with more square footage than most’s entire house – and panoramic views of Hyde Park encases you. It’s a world of mahogany, marble, velvet and silks with an eight-seater dining table, open fireplace and charming Asian-inspired drinks cupboard filled to the brim with our favourite beverages. If like us, you arrived tired from a long journey – there’s complimentary tea or coffee OR a truly British gin & tonic on arrival to revive you and ready you for the day ahead. Something we truly appreciated.
The bedroom is lined with royally warranted wallpaper from 1930s designer Colefax & Fowler and a ginormous four-posted bed is the centrepiece with regal silk curtains draping down the bed frame. There’s a wind0w seat in the corner of the room overlooking Hyde Park, ideal for rainy days with a book in hand. On the desk we find a Dorchester Collection gift bag with a very kind gift of a fine, china bone mug boasting the words I’d Rather Be At The Dorchester. The mug will sit proudly on display in the kitchen when we return home as a souvenir of our stay.
The bathroom is large and features his and hers basins, a greatly appreciated bath and power shower. A slick mirror TV sits above the basins in ideal positioning for watching trashy reality shows in the bath (which we always enjoy!) and there are two, heavenly soft robes hung on the door waiting to be worn. The suite has a daily attendant visit twice daily to ensure all is clean and tidy as well as to deliver fresh flowers. Other highlights of the Dorchester Suite include complimentary chauffeur service to/from airport (or train station, eurostar etc) and full complimentary private bar.
As frequenters of the Dorchester Spa, we will always insist that the futuristic style spa is one of the best in London. A destination created purely for world-class pampering, The Dorchester Spa boasts a range of La Prairie products and signature facials by renowned Carol Joy London, including the Diamond Facial. With nine treatment rooms including two double suites (which we can vouch for are beautiful beyond belief), nail salon, hair salon, barber shop, relaxation room with sleek velvet furnishings and separate male and female facilities – the experience is always first-class. The gym is fitted with state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment and more than lovely, however will soon be undergoing a total renovation and transform into a ginormous new space.
You may have noticed we haven’t mentioned China Tang – this is because we feel that the best Chinese restaurant in London deserves a whole, exclusive piece of it’s own. So stay tuned for the China Tang feature which will be published very soon! Watch out for our Christmas listings coming very soon too.
In the mean time, why not treat the family to a festive stay at The Dorchester? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Call (+44) 0207 629 8888 for reservations
53 Park Lane
London W1K 1QA