What is a lasting memory? Perhaps a hotel view, in which case river or a park view helps. In Bangkok, think MANDARIN ORIENTAL or THE PENINSULA for the former. In London, think MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK or THE ROYAL LANCASTER for the latter.
Ah, the Royal Lancaster, a Preferred hotel to the north of Hyde Park-Kensington Gardens. Breakfast, or any meal, in the third floor Park Restaurant affords oh-such-a-typical view. Girlhead started the day in the restaurant, which offers an absolutely splendid buffet. Ferme des Peupliers yoghurts and Tiptree preserves show just what a stylish operation this is.
Interestingly the brilliantly astute, and empathetic, GM, Sally Beck – above – says the hotel is deliberately sold as four- rather than five-star to be able to attract, successfully, companies that are not allowed to stay in five star properties.
See a video of suite 1027 on YouTube. From the outside, by the way, this is a 19-floor rocket-shaped tower, built 1967 and originally intended as headquarters for Barclays Bank. Now it has 411 rooms and masses of space, with a two-floor fairytale entrance atrium. And everyone seems happy – the Beck Business Book opens with ‘happy people make happy customers’, which means happy owners, too.
It’s comfortable, it’s intelligent and fun (there are well chosen hardbacks in the room, alongside a Dinky-toy Mini with a German plate). There’s that park outside. And being right above Lancaster Gate underground means it’s incredibly convenient. It’s a hotel that surely makes everyone happy.