At the InterContinental London Park Lane, the first-floor boutique Spa InterContinental has five treatment rooms and one VIP suite with couples’ treatment beds, private lounge and bath. Perks of the VIP suite include a three-course lunch or dinner from Theo Randall at The InterContinental, served in the restaurant or in a private lounge, and a private chauffeur service to take guests to their next destination.
|The Interconti Nental London Park Lane’s spa suite has a special Elemis facial treatment.|
Real spa devotees will want to check out the Spa Boudoir, the first hotel room that can be converted into an exclusive beauty retreat. The Boudoir is really two separate rooms: a traditional one-bedroom suite and an adjoining bedroom that can be outfitted with a massage table instead of a bed. The bathrooms include an extra-large spa bath and a rain shower.
The High Performance Elemis Facial or Deep Tissue Muscle Massage are the most popular treatments, and the signature two-hour English Rose package includes a facial and massage. (The massage blends Thai, Balinese, Hawaiian and Swedish techniques and incorporates hot stones and hot towels infused with rose essence.)
Tip: For dramatic eyes, ask about the Lash Perfect eyelash extension treatment, which enhances eyes without surgery or injections.
|The Connaught Aman Spa’s double treatment room.|
Reach out to Spa Manager Radhika Khandke ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7318-8691) for requests or bookings. Tip: Since the spa is small, be sure to book treatments at least three days in advance. Ask for therapist Kyla Evans when booking.
Beyond the spa, suites at the InterContinental all include complimentary access to the Club InterContinental, a drive in an Aston Martin, a dedicated concierge and 24-hour butler service. But we’re most impressed by some of the luxury suites: The Wellington Suite, for example, has dining for six, two seating areas, a separate business area and a guest bath. The suite can be connected to three additional guest rooms. The duplex London Suite has floor-to-ceiling windows and a “floating staircase.” The Royal Suite has top views over Knightsbridge and Hyde Park, as well as an open living room with three separate seating areas for entertaining, dining for eight, a full office and a guest bath. Good to know: The only rooms without views of the Royal Parks or Hamilton Place are the classic categories.
|InterContinental London Park Lane’s Royal Suite features an open living room with three separate seating areas for entertaining.|
Head Concierge Simon Rose ([email protected]) can arrange all kinds of exclusive experiences throughout the city, but we’re most excited about the new exclusive shopping package in association with Grosvenor London Estate, which gives guests a VIP shopping experience in Belgravia, filled with independent fashion boutiques, gourmet food stores and flagship concept shops. Guests at the InterContinental can get perks like personal service on arrival, complimentary champagne, gourmet tastings, gift bags, hotel delivery service and special discount offers. After all, if one is going to explore Scottish fabrics at Hawick Cashmere, a glass of champagne makes the experience much nicer.
For special requests, reach out to Marketing Coordinator Ana Costa ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7318-8712).
The Connaught is notable for having the only Aman Spa not at an Aman resort. The spa has five treatment rooms, four of which are designed for single treatments and one for double treatments, all with personal steam rooms.
|The Connaught Library Suite has a library-style sitting room with natural daylight.|
The signature “Aman Experience” treatments are the most popular choices. Inspired by various Asian cultures and traditions, the therapies are simply named “Inspired by...” For example, Inspired by China is designed to help restore energy, and uses essential oils and massage techniques on acupressure points from head to toe, stimulating the meridians (energy lines) to release stress. (It includes a green tea foot bath and a traditional Chinese facial massage as well.) Inspired by Thailand combines Thai massage with the use of steam and Thai herbal heat compresses (Luk Pra Khob). We hear this experience is recommended to help soothe muscular pain and restore energy. Inspired by India includes an aromatic foot bath, a body scrub with essential oils, and a chakra balancing treatment with essential oils and crystals. And Inspired by the Americas uses ancient Navajo techniques to relax tense muscles. Feet are soaked in herbs (sage and cedar), and the body is wrapped in red clay before being massaged with river stones.
Reach out to Spa Manager Rene Van Eyssen ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7314-3412) for bookings, and ask for Korn, an Aman Spa masseuse from Thailand who we hear is popular with regulars.
Dining is just as much an experience at the Connaught as the spa is. Head Chef Hélène Darroze earned her first Michelin star for her Paris restaurant, and her second for her establishment at the Connaught. Signature dishes at Hélène Darroze at the Connaught include a “Fines de Claire” oyster tartare with caviar from Sologne and a chilled velouté of white beans from Béarn; a black and creamy Acquerello Carnaroli rice; line-caught calamari sautéed with confit tomato and chorizo; a slightly bitter jus with parsley; and Parmigiano Reggiano foam. For reservations, call 011-44-20-7107-8880 or e-mail [email protected]
And then there are the suites: The Apartment on the top floor has a sitting room with an adjacent dining room (where the hotel’s butlers can serve a gourmet meal). The space also has two landscaped terrace decks with top views of the city. The master bedroom has a classic four-poster bed with ultra-romantic silk draping, as well as a dressing room and private bathroom. There is also a second bedroom and full bathroom for families or guests.
Head Concierge Corrado Bogni ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7499-7070) can help organize anything clients need. For example, when a guest wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Bogni set up a secret meeting between the guest and his future father-in-law to ask for his daughter’s hand, booked last-minute theater tickets for the family and called in a favor to secure a special table for a romantic dinner. The lady accepted—and Bogni was invited to the wedding in Greece.
For questions or special requests, reach out to General Manager Nathalie Seiler ([email protected]; 011-44-20-7499-7070).
This summer, a historic restaurant just off of Piccadilly Circus will become a modern new hotel. In years past, the Cafe Royal was a popular hangout for Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, and Diana, Princess of Wales. Today, a building alongside the restaurant is being converted into a new luxury hotel after a three-year renovation. When it opens, Cafe Royal will be among the first members of The Set, a new collection of luxury hotels in city centers.
Its Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre will also be the first of a new brand, we hear, and will include a hammam, a watsu pool, a dedicated studio for yoga, tai chi and Pilates, and bespoke therapies in the spa treatment rooms.
Suites at the new hotel blend the traditional architecture of the historic building with modern styles. Each room has a dressing lobby and double doors that lead into the bedrooms. All rooms include access to a private butler. The Empire Suite (No. 424) is the largest option and has five huge floor-to-ceiling windows for top views over Regent Street. It also has a business area, an en-suite massage space, a living room, and a full dining room for private parties. (Personal chefs can use the dedicated pantry.) The Dome Suite (No. 615) looks out over Piccadilly Circus and Big Ben with two large terraces and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Music fans will love the full DJ setup, including a podium stand, and cinephiles will love the huge screening area with an 80-inch screen. (This suite is also good for families and groups, as it connects to two adjacent rooms.)
Keep an eye on luxurytraveladvisor.com for more information about Cafe Royal and the Akasha Centre as opening time gets closer.