London’s Lanesborough Hotel
March 5 – 9, 2009. The Lanesborough, part of the Oetker Collection, enjoys a wonderful location in London, England right next to Hyde Park. You can walk all over the city from there. It took us about 15 minutes to walk to Harrods. I had an executive suite with parlor and bedroom. Dark wood paneling gave the suite a very “”clubby”” feel. The bed was extremely comfortable.
They offer butler service and have panels in at least 3 places to call the butler, turn off lights, adjust the room temperature. I always had my wake up calls and tea at the times I requested. The housekeeping service was un-intrusive. They change bed linens and towels daily. I would like to see them have a bedside card that offers the option of having this done to make the hotel more “”green””.
The Library Bar boasts very old cognac and malt whiskey. The cognac is from 1770 and goes for 4000 GBP a glass. The whiskey is from 1811 and is only 900 GBP a shot. This is a popular gathering place for locals in the area.
We were hosted for both a dinner and a tea in Apsleys Restaurant. The food is very good and the tea was a lot of fun. They have their own tea sommelier, Carl. We were told that learning this profession is as intensive as knowing wines and perhaps more so. This restaurant has been completely refurbished recently.
Our host from the Lanesborough, Sandra Thomas, planned a wonderful day for us at the London Eye, a boat ride on the Thames to the Tower of London to walk around and see the Crown Jewels, and a short tour bus ride back to the Lanesborough. The London Eye, which I had not been on before, is a constantly moving kind of ferris wheel that doesn’t stop. It rotates slowly enough to get on and off easily while it’s still moving. Each “”pod”” (making this the original I Pod?) holds 10 people. I suggest paying a bit extra and booking the champagne “”flight”” (as they call them) and you get whisked through lines to a fast track queue.
The views from the Eye are breathtaking and since it’s right next to Big Ben, you get an eye-level view with this great city icon and all of the Parliament buildings. We had a perfect, blue-sky, white fluffy cloud day to enjoy the ride.
If you’ve never been to the Tower of London, being there brings all the history you’ve ever read about England falling down around you. We didn’t have time to take a personal guide, but we passed a group with one and this makes all the difference in your experience of this ancient site. The Crown Jewels are kept in “”the most secure spot in all of England””. The vault doors are massive and there are discreet security guards.