Dorchester Collection’s second hotel in London, the 45 PARK LANE, provides a strikingly different experience than its sister hotel, the very classic ‘’grand dame’’ THE DORCHESTER. With an overall feel of Hollywood’s Golden Age, The 45 Park Lane is about laid-back and and a rather informal service in comparison with The Dorchester’s prestige service.
Designed by American architect Thierry Despont, who was also in charge with the make-over of Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection’s Milan flagship, The 45 Park Lane reflects an eclectic, yet sophisticated contemporary style defined by warmth and comfort instilled by rich, dark materials, contrasting with light colours and sensual textures. There is a plush feel throughout the entire hotel which also conveys a residential feel.
45 Park Lane’s swift ride to success, in less than 7 months from opening, comes from the hotel’s CUT Restaurant by Michelin starred celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, its CUT Restaurant in Beverly Hills having been a culinary institution since opening. Unlike many international luxury hotel chains with restaurants are run under the brand of a Michelin star Chef, who, in most cases would at most visit the location when signing the franchise agreement, the Dorchester Collection took a different approach and integrated Wolfgang Puck’s expertise and operational management into its entire F&B operation. Therefore, it is not only about lunch and dinner but also breakfast and room service. And his influence is very present!
Arriving from a tiring business trip, I felt too lazy to go down to the restaurant and ordered room service. My choice could not be more basic, a chicken club sandwich – however that proved to be the best I have ever had at a luxury hotel and probably the very first that did not have a fast food taste.
Even for the breakfast menu, Wolfgang Puck conceived a contemporary interpretation of classic breakfast both from England and the United States. I had a most delicious American classic breakfast, the Wolfgang way. Buttermilk pancakes come with whipped maple butter and seasonal berries, or with streaky bacon. My Tahitian vanilla with huckleberry compote was exquisite. For those who prefer a lighter, more Californian influenced start to their day, the CUT at 45 Park Lane breakfast menu features options such as ruby red grapefruit with Barbados sugar or the seasonal farmer’s market fruit served with grapefruit granita. Traditional Irish oatmeal takes on a taste of the Caribbean with bruléed banana, candied walnuts and Muscovado sugar.
Without having booked in advance, I was not lucky to be able to taste Wolfgang’s magic dinner menu…
‘’Unfortunately’’, the huge success of its F&B, has been overshadowing 45 Park Lane’s hotel business. With 45 rooms, the hotel cannot fail from a business point of view, but the extreme attention to the F&B, both the CUT restaurant and the very popular BAR 45, 45 Park Lane risks to be perceived as a restaurant and a bar with luxury rooms on top.
I do agree that an F&B concept which steals the limelight with an ideal mix of travellers and locals, which other hotels could only dream of, is critical, however, the long term risk for the image of hotel should also be taken into consideration.
45 Park Lane excels in every aspect related to its room product – they are not only among the largest in central London, with amazingly comfortable beds, but also the most technologically advanced rooms, not to mention, with probably the best soundproofing both indoor and outdoor. When it comes to technology, the huge Bang & Olufsen LCD Tv, the bathroom mirror enclosed TV and hi-tech vanity and complemented by easy to use touch screens which control the entire room, from air-conditioning, lighting, blinds, as well as allowing instant access to hotel services. And no details have been overlooked – there is dedicated control of DND (Do not Disturb), whereby at a touch of a button you can control door DND but phone DND too.
Hyde Park stunning views – my room, an Executive Queen, had 180 degree views of Hyde Park
45 Park Lane’s defining purple colour is everywhere, from the branding on the bathroom amenities by Aromatherapy Associates, to the leather in room dining menu, ball point pens, a set of compliment cards with quotes by famous artists on one side and Heartseas set of complimentary waters.
The generously sized business desk converts into a make-up table by opening a centre part, with a lighted mirror which makes you feel like a movie star.
Black and white photos of Hollywood celebrities from 20s to 60s
Room for improvement:
The internet is payable, except a 12 hour complimentary option at a slower speed; the welcome experience – on my arrival there was a slight food smell, probably from the restaurant; the dedicated host service which can be reached by touching a dedicated button on the control screen should – on several occasions my calls were re-directed to the operator.
Oliver Petcu in London
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