The suite life

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Make the most of a Christmas shopping spree in the capital, with a stay at one of its coolest hotels

If you haven’t yet started your Christmas shopping, look to London. The capital is fabulous all year round but there’s something undeniably special about the city in the run up to Christmas. No other part of the country does festive with such panache, owing to attractions like the Selfridges annual show stopping window display, magical markets and postcard perfect al fresco ice rinks such as the one at the architecturally beautiful Somerset House.

Of course with so much on offer, the trick lies in trying to cram all your festive merrymaking into just one day. The solution? Turn your Christmas shopping trip into a short break, with a stay at a sumptuous hotel. That said, deciding where to stay in the capital also presents something of a challenge: London is not short of luxurious five star hotels where you can lay your head.

However if you’re after a seriously sweet sleep, look to 45 Park Lane. Located opposite London’s Hyde Park, a stay at The Dorchester’s sexy little sister isn’t cheap – you may have to bust out your BlackAmex – but it is unforgettable.

On arrival at this relative newcomer to the city’s hotel scene, you’ll be assigned an attentive host – 45 Park Lane’s answer to a traditional receptionist or concierge – and shown to your accommodation. The boutique Park Lane property boasts 45  rooms (an understatement if ever there was one) and suites, all of which overlook the leafy park. If you’re feeling flash plump for The Penthouse Suite with its Art Deco design, wrap-around balcony and show stopping views of the London skyline.

45 Park Lane Entrance

Regardless of which room you reserve, expect contemporary art deco style interiors – think rich dark materials, contrasting with light colours and sensual textures – designed by New York-based designer Thierry Despont.

Technology is seamlessly woven into the experience: everything – from the curtains to the lights and enormous Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TVs (that turn toward you) – is controlled from a touch screen phone. Elsewhere you’ll find a bureau for the business inclined.

Marble bathrooms, meanwhile, are vast (there’s so much space you can play at being a billionaire) with a wonderful walk-in rain shower and a large sunken bath (a bath butler service is offered) that’s hard to resist – as are the array of Aromatherapy Asprey products.

Indeed it’s nigh impossible to find something to moan about for the reality is that the rooms are all so tasteful that it’s easy not to venture too far from your quarters.

But do leave for dinner at CUT – the centrepiece of 45 Park Lane and the first European venture from US celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Dinner at this modern American steak restaurant is truly a memorable dining experience. Waiters will show you raw cuts of sirloin on a platter, before serving you the delectable (if eye wateringly expensive cooked versions) against a backdrop of dazzling Damien Hirst artwork.

Afterwards, make like Scarlet O’Hara and ascend the striking central staircase to the first floor for a nightcap at the chic Bar 45 where you can revel in the company of London’s glossy posse before calling it a night.

Sake Flights - 45 Park Lane

The next morning wake up in your king sized bed and wander down to enjoy a knock out breakfast. Served in the same space as lunch and dinner, breakfast is a less formal but equally important matter: my companion swore she would return simply for her Granola alone, while the fluffy American pancakes are everything you’d expect and more.

And don’t worry about the calories you’re consuming – you can always get your heart rate going and work up a stylish sweat in the state of the art gym or jog around the royal park (which is basically your garden).

Sake Flights - 45 Park Lane 2

In the afternoon, hit Selfridges for Christmas shopping or, if kids are in tow, tick of Winter Wonderland before returning to taste more Wagyu from all over the world at 45 Park Lane’s signature restaurant. Then – should you have a spare few hundred pounds – repeat, as above. For 45 Park Lane with its welcoming atmosphere boosted by helpful staff, is the kind of place that seduces guests into staying longer than planned.

Essentially this sleek hotel would suit anyone up for total luxury, this Yuletide. London has never looked so appealing…


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