One of the world’s most storied hotels (it’s here that Prince Philip had his bucks night and Peter Sellers met his second wife Britt Ekland), the Dorchester encapsulates all of London’s old-world charms without feeling stuffy. Walk into the timeless lobby with ornate columns and elegant arches, before settling down for afternoon tea in The Promenade with its towering floral displays. Then make your way to the guestroom, with quintessentially English interiors – silk drapes, velvet couches and framed mirrors. There’s no swimming pool on site but there is an excellent spa with a separate menu for men, while Hyde Park is just across the road.
About a 20-minute walk from London’s buzzing Oxford Circus, The Dorchester is located in the historic neighbourhood of Mayfair. The Hyde Park tube station is five minutes away, while the park itself is across the road. Take a stroll to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, then exit the park on South Carriage Drive to access some of the city’s best department stores, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
The Dorchester is one of London’s most historic hotels and while the rooms retain all the old-world charm one would expect from the property, creature comforts are not an afterthought. Complimentary wi-fi, Bang & Olufson televisions and spacious baths add to the appeal, while elegant cabinets, plush linens and fluffy robes keep the vibe suitably luxe. The hotel offers complimentary packing/unpacking services in all the guestrooms, while top-end suites also offer private butlers, who’ll happily iron your clothes or shine up your shoes.
Food and drinks
There’s no dearth of bars, lounges and restaurants at The Dorchester. Alain Duccase’s eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant is the last word in fine dining in London, while The Grill is a beautiful dining room with lots of zinc, copper and glass, and chef Guillaume Katola’s exceptional contemporary fare. Our pick of the bunch, however, is The Promenade, which serves ones of the city’s best afternoon teas, among arresting floral displays.
For business travellers
There are seven different spaces within the hotel that lend themselves to corporate events – from intimate meetings to large-scale celebrations and conventions. With retractable chandeliers, mirrored walls and a gleaming floor, the hotel’s Art Deco Ballroom can accommodate a gathering of up to 1000 guests, while a bevy of suites can be used to host private dinners.
For wellness travellers
The hotel’s historic design doesn’t quite allow for swimming pools or gyms but there’s a beautiful spa with an expansive menu – there are five treatments for pregnant women, including facials and massages. Men, too, get their own menu, with indulgences such as energising back rituals and fatigue-fighting facials.
The fab factor
Phil Hammond’s explosive floral displays in the lobby.
Best for: Luxury travellers
Number of rooms and suites: 250
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: Limited parking on site. Organise with the hotel before you go
Address: 53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London
Telephone: +44 20 7629 8888