|A Park Suite overlooks Park Lane and Hyde Park, and comes with a living room separated from the bedroom by French doors.|
Mayfair sets the stage for a dramatic homecoming for Four Seasons. On the site of the original Inn on the Park, the company’s first European property, the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane has risen like a phoenix—a bold, design-driven property that’s turning heads in town. Even before opening its doors, rumors about the renovation (couture cocktails, sky-lit spa, oh my!) had bounced around the blogosphere. It’s been two years and $200 million in the making, and Luxury Travel Advisor was keen to see it firsthand. We checked in during the grand opening week in early February, privileged to be among the hotel’s first guests.
In rebuilding the hotel from ground up, General Manager John Stauss referred to all the guest feedback he’d compiled over his 29-year tenure with the company. The goal was ambitious: to mastermind the perfect guest-centric hotel experience—from smart, yet uncomplicated, in-room technology to a nontraditional dining experience where the guests could choose their preferred ambiance.
When first crossing the threshold, it’s impossible not to be dumbstruck by the bold red-and-black interiors accented with punches of gold. French design star Pierre-Yves Rochon, whose hotel and restaurant projects can be found from Shanghai to Chicago, knocked the ball out of the park with the chic, contemporary design scheme. Taking his inspiration from 1930s-era private clubs and luxury passenger ships, Rochon imbued the marbled space with glamour and a theatrical edge. A three-tiered crystal chandelier shimmers above a pink piano; a bronze horse sculpture sits at the foot of the Art Deco-style staircase; black leather couches face red Egg Chairs; flames flicker in a black marble fireplace. In fact, there are 32 working fireplaces throughout the hotel—including the grand ballroom.
Also on display here: the fine service for which Four Seasons is celebrated worldwide. If your clients return from a jog around Buckingham Palace, they’ll be offered bottles of water immediately. At the sexy Amaranto Bar, the staff can mix bright red Amarantinis from the custom-made martini trolley, or the sommelier can uncork one of 250 different bottles, even if your client wants just two glasses. Concierge Manager George Murray ([email protected]), who heads a team of 10 concierges, six door staff, and 13 guest service agents, might sing them a song. Out Front: a Rolls-Royce courtesy car is at the ready.
With its sleek spa, Four Seasons is reaching for the stars, literally. To build an entirely new floor on top of the existing 10-story building, the hotel had to get security clearance from Buckingham Palace because of its proximity. The luminous space is encased in glass for a 360-degree panorama of the London skyline. From this vantage point, the hotel can flaunt its perfect setting between Green and Hyde parks. Each of the nine treatment rooms has floor-to-ceiling windows and relaxation pods, where guests can unwind in privacy on a daybed. Even the manicure stations have been customized with heated hand pads. In the rooftop fitness room, your clients can test-drive the state-of-the-art equipment while ogling at Big Ben and the London Eye. There’s also a lounge where guests arriving on red-eye flights can shower and eat breakfast.
The renovation reduced the room count from 217 to 192, including 45 one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites. Our Premier Room was clad in walnut veneer panels, said to resemble traditional Jaguar car dashboards with their sheen. With a soaking tub, separate walk-in rain shower, and TV embedded in the mirror, our marble bathroom offered a spa-like respite from the bustling city. We also got hooked on the bespoke amenities by perfume connoisseur Roja Dove (nicknamed the Professeur de Parfums by the French perfume house Guerlain). High-tech gadgetry is found in all rooms: Blu-ray/DVD/CD players, iPod docking stations, writing desks with a panel of electrical outlets (for U.S., UK and European plugs) and switches at the door to indicate “Do Not Disturb.”
Booking Tips: With its separate living room, the Westminster Suite is the equivalent of the Junior Suite, the most requested room category at Four Seasons hotels around the world. The entire second floor is devoted to suites, including the Conservatories that feature private enclosed terraces off an indoor living area. Particularly noteworthy is the Garden Suite, with its sprawling landscaped terrace overlooking Hyde Park. For reservations for your VIP clients, contact Marion Ryan ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7499-0888).
|Deluxe Rooms are on the third to ninth floors and have city views.|