This landmark hotel has been impressing guests for over 50 years!
After an elaborate refurbishment that commenced in 2015 and was completed in 2017, and in its 50th-anniversary year, the Royal Lancaster now stands proud over Hyde Park with uber-cool suites, dining propositions and attention to detail that only a privately owned estate can boast!
Visible from all corners of London – the 18 floors of this stunning hotel showcase a bird’s-eye view of the City as far as Wembley and Notting Hill, and is just a stone’s throw from Marble Arch and the shopping mecca that is Oxford Street.
Let’s walk through the Royal experience – it is remarkable and has been quoted as the most seamless, attentive check-in process. In a stroke of genius the reception is open-plan, informal and low profile and is supported by the Hyde Lobby Bar. The hotel is just a five-minute walk from Paddington Station (although the Lancaster is less of a jam sandwich and more of a honey filling – we touch on that later), and let’s face it that’s a short but thirsty walk – so why not reach for a glass of Champagne from the Hyde Bar. We love this – it’s not the main cocktail bar (which can be found on the first floor next to Nipa Thai) just a clean, bright and welcoming bar on the ground floor. It is cloaked by a marble staircase to the first floor, and lifts take you to your dreamy suite.
The view has been kept as a priority and the original 1960’s 416 rooms are now 411, with clues to its provenance. The hotel featured in the 1969 film ‘The Italian Job’ and in each room somewhere near the Chesterfield sofa one will find subtle clues nudging towards that classic and romantic era.
Fast forward to all things en trend today and the hotel even has its own gin, infused with Hyde Park botanicals that share their love with the ten beehives on the roof of the second floor! And honey is big news at the hotel – the bees have been VIBs since 2009 and you will find their wares on the menu and in the bar by way of the Queen Bee Cocktail – and yes it does have a sting in its tail!
Carrying on with this local-urban theme, Adam Woolven, chef of restaurant Island Grill, inherited a 100-mile cheese board when he became head of the Royal Household (head chef!) and has subsequently whittled that down to a 40-mile cheese, chutney and garnish board – how delicious and interesting as that is literally all sourced from within 40-London miles… he also smokes his own salmon…
Dinner in Nipa Thai is something else – if you have been to Thailand – well welcome back! Humble service, teak panelled décor and stimulating surroundings in all senses! The menu is an elaborate London treat, whether you are a hotel guest or destination dining.
Moving on to the accommodation – it is breathtaking and the space in each room (there are nine categories) is utterly refreshing, bright, fully equipped (including the Handy handset with select free international calls, city guide and 3 and 4-G service). The larger suites cater for long-term residency, and regular guests enjoy the ‘Friends of Royal Lancaster’ scheme – early check-in, 20% discounts, upgrades and just the knowledge that they are part of the ‘Royal Family’ – and this hotel is a luxurious home; the attention to detail from the owners is remarkable.
Bathrooms have underfloor heating, beds are heavenly, views are out of this world and then there is the dining; Island Grill and Nipa Thai – and if you want to make the most of the great outdoors, ask for a Royal picnic. What a great way to spend the day!
Yes – the Royal Lancaster – by name and nature…