Following a meticulous restoration and an extensive renovations process over a complete closure of just 18 months, The Lanesborough has re-emerged this Summer under the management of the Oetker Collection as one of the finest global collection.
Sister hotel of Paris’ leading luxury Palace hotel Le Bristol, The Lanesborough is an impeccably planned and executed hospitality project by the German based luxury hotel chain, especially considering this is one of the properties which the group does not own but instead manage under a third party agreement.
The task was no short of challenges, but the Oetker Collection has brilliantly conceived a long term top luxury repositioning of the iconic London hotel on Hyde Park Corner, a unique location in the heart of London, taking into consideration that before its closure for renovations, the property had gradually lost its sparkle, becoming more of a corporate hotel.
The restoration process is utterly impressive, more of a transformation which was overseen by Alberto Pinto, the world renowned interior design studio, with a team of British craftsmen utilizing heritage restoration techniques. Particular attention has equally been paid to sourcing local English materials.
The quality of finishes is simply flawless! Rarely have I seen such a transformation process which clearly emerges from the inherent synergies between the ownership of the property and the management company, which converged to recreate a one-of-a-kind world class luxury property.
Almost 17 years since my last stay at The Lanesborough, I rediscovered the unchanged family spirit of the team – it was an exceptional experience to rediscover the same doorman and to be attended by the same butler in my suite, especially after such a long time. Their joy and enthusiasm was equal to those of shared by the newer members of the hotel team.
The genuine passion to serve and the care I have felt at every encounter with any of the staff made up for an exquisite experience. Maintaining original staff was yet another sensible decision by the Oetker Collection to ensure not only continuity but the preservation of the service DNA of this legendary London hotel.
The Library Bar, already a London institution has been revived and it was buzzing every evening during my stay, although the hotel had been reopened less than 4 months at the time of my stay. Observing the joy and satisfaction on the faces of most of the guests was the true achievement of the hotel. The new Withdrawal Room is the casual lobby center piece, which also serves a most sophisticated and authentic Afternoon Tea.
Beyond the predominantly English inspired aesthetic of the interior design, with several subtle Asian touches, the public spaces are awash with a grandeur feel, dominated by the finest marble and spectacular lighting fixtures and carefully placed art pieces, The Lanesborough boasting the biggest art collection outside a museum.
The highlight of the hotel is, undoubtedly, Céleste, the French fine dining restaurant created and headed by Chef Patron at The Lanesborough, Eric Frechon, Paris’ most esteemed three Michelin-starred chef who brought his protégé, Florian Favario to London to lead the hotel into a new culinary era.
Céleste boasts not only the finest food complemented by the most attentive service (staff count is certainly higher than at most other hotel luxury fine dining outlets) but also a stunning ambiance flooded by daylight through the domed glass roof. At night, the room is dominated by the lavish chandeliers, the bas-reliefs friezes and fluted columns which underline the classical grandeur. It is a scene that transforms constantly throughout the day, as the light changes.
The room count has been strategically decreased to 98, with the intention to create some larger accommodations. The rooms / suites ratio (50/43) is ideal for both leisure and corporate guests, but also special group occasions such as private events (weddings, anniversaries) or official ones.
Whether in rooms or suites, the utmost attention has been paid to essential luxury hospitality details such as an impeccable soundproofing (both outdoor and indoor), rooms open with proximity cards, complimentary high-speed internet for multiple devices, Apple Tv technology in Tv sets which have classic painting frames. The comfy beds are complemented by the finest Pedersoli high-thread count linen, thus contributing to a perfect night’s sleep.
Each accommodation provides guests with pads, which fully control the room – AC (very quiet), curtains, lighting, DND, ‘Make up Room’ as well as room service orders and other Concierge services. Bathrooms resemble small Spa sanctuary, with heated marble floors, large rain shower marble showers (perfect water pressure) and hand painted classic cabinets. The hotel has gone the extra mile with the bathroom amenities in large bottles created especially for The Lanesborough by British perfumer Roja Dove.
Flower are yet another detail at which The Lanesborough excels. From the fresh roses (color is adapted to the color scheme of the room) in the bathrooms and rooms, there are impressive oversize installations in the bar, the withdrawal room as well as the lobby.
Unlike most luxury London hotels which use outsourced car services, The Lanesborough has its own fleet of cars – the latest Mercedes-Benz S Klasse and a bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom (which used to be a symbol of the hotel in its early days too) with hotel chauffeurs. I had the pleasure to take such a ride with the Rolls Royce of the hotel driven by the Head Concierge Simon. Watch here my VIP driving tour around the nearby attractions.
I look forward to the hotel to discover the Spa which was not yet open as well as upcoming wellness space which is being developed in an adjacent building which is also owned by the hotel.
Oliver Petcu in London
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