3 Revitalized London Hotels That Are Worth The Splurge
Brexit or no, the drop in the pound has been a boon for Canadians travelling to the British capital. And many hoteliers in London have had the preternatural sense to revive their properties. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often,” said the enigmatic Winston Churchill. Here, three that have made changes worth the splurge; one inspired by the man himself.
Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Marylebone
The Location Marylebone. Within walking distance to Hyde Park, Marble Arch and the shopping of Oxford Street and an easy cab ride from Paddington Station, where the Heathrow Express makes its stop. 5-Star Factor Interior design firm DeSallesFlint has worked on Hyatts from Birmingham, England, to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, so there’s a comfort to the high-end consistency in design and service. The Bonus With The Crown, there’s not only a renewed interest in Her Majesty the Queen, but Churchill, the first of the 13 prime ministers she has worked with. The hotel is a masterful mix of British eras and influences – think Savile Row bespoke tailoring, eccentric artwork and Victorian- and Edwardian-inspired light fixtures – paired with the here-and-now affection for light-filled public spaces and informal modernity. londonchurchill.regency.hyatt.com
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, Mayfair
The Location Mayfair. On Piccadilly, across the street from Green Park and its walking path to Buckingham Palace. 5-Star Factor It may be family-run, but it’s big-name thinking. Designed by Brit agency Kinnersley Kent Design (who’ve had a hand in the looks of Marks & Spencer and Fortnum & Mason), the public spaces include Galvin at the Athenaeum, by Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. The Bar owes its feel to Giancarlo Mancino, one of London’s leading cocktail mixologists. Tip: if you’d rather not make an entrance to the bar through the lobby, there’s a secret door on Down Street around the corner. The Bonus The outdoor terrace is perfectly positioned for views of Green Park and the people-watching hustle and bustle of Piccadilly. www.athenaeumhotel.com
Kitty-corner to Golden Eagle, a pub established in 1851, a stroll to Regent’s Park and the Wallace Collection gallery, where art lovers can take in the Rococo artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s much-loved 18th-century painting The Swing. This historic village also seems to breed scribes – Lord Byron was born here, Charles Dickens lived here and Paul McCartney wrote “Yesterday” here, while John Lennon worked on the White Album – all in London’s West End. 5-Star Factor Surrounded by former “red-brick mansion flats of dowagers and their lapdogs,” as local art gallery director Benjamin Rhodes puts it, this Doyle Collection hotel’s exterior has retained its charm. But inside, it’s blond woods, turquoise lacquer and white leather chic. The Bonus The hotel’s public spaces are employed as a rotating gallery space. www.doylecollection.com/hotels/the-marylebone-hotel
A version of this article appeared in the April 2017 issue with the headline, “London’s Calling,” p. 22.