Whether a whistle-stop tour of London or a week-long stay in the capital, knowing where to rest your head is knowledge that is worth its weight in gold. In 2013, the Forbes Travel Guide announced its expansion into Europe, bringing with it their long-established Star Rating programme to London for the first time. Reserve your place at these quintessential British five star hotels.
This 1931 landmark Art Deco building, facing its own tree-filled green, looks on first glance to be a majestic ocean liner. Positioned in the centre of London overlooking Hyde Park, its central location has attracted many celebrities, world leaders and royalty.
Famed for housing Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, the only UK hotel restaurant with three Michelin-stars, taste contemporary French cuisine in a modern and elegant environment with the most impeccable service. Private dining is chosen by many, and the experience and backdrop is so infamous that the restaurant is often subject of media interest; most recently the location of a Tatler fashion shoot.
The Dorchester Spa re-opened in 2009 after a complete transformation; yet still retains its Art Deco glamour. Offering all beauty treatments and signature facials by Carol Joy London, whether you want to detox or just treat yourself, there are nine spacious treatment rooms, a manicure-pedicure suite, a sleek relaxation room and male and female aromatic steam rooms, illuminated by the Dorchester’s iconic British style, including a magnificent chandelier of south-pacific pearls.
Spacious and elegant throughout, The Dorchester features commissioned fabrics in each room, with antique furniture, remarkably comfortable beds and white marble bathrooms with the deepest baths in London. If you choose The Dorchester as your place of rest, make sure you experience ‘Christmas, The Dorchester way.’ The hotel is magnificently transformed to whet everyone’s festive appetite, and with the Winter Wonderland a stone’s throw from the hotel from November, visit The Dorchester and be whisked away to a magical wintry world unlike no other.
Claridge’s Hotel, situated at the corner of Brook Street and Davies Street in opulent Mayfair, exceeds luxurious standards and has such long-standing connections with royalty that it is now sometimes referred to as ‘an annexe to Buckingham Palace’.
Founded in 1812 as Mivart’s Hotel, Mr George Mivart then sold it to Mr and Mrs Claridge, owners of a smaller hotel next door. The couple combined the two establishments, its royal links cemented when it became a venue chosen by Queen Victoria in 1860. The Savoy Group purchased Claridge’s in 1894 and demolished the existing buildings, replacing them with the present ones that are standing today, installing modern facilities such as lifts and en suite bathrooms. Claridge’s is a Grade II listed building, and the residence comprises 203 luxury rooms and suites.
All luxury rooms, suites and studios are elegant, glamorous and extremely comfortable. All are equipped with the best entertainment facilities and fully stocked with lavish Bamford Natural and Organic toiletries, ensuring a most relaxed and enjoyable stay.
Claridge’s is one of, if not the most, renowned, prominent and celebrated luxury hotels in London. Famed for housing Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant from 2001 to 2014, the hotel often holds influential events (a London Fashion Week exhibition was held there in 2013), is known for its extravagant Christmas tree, designed and decorated by someone noted in the fashion industry every year, holds masterclasses for every type of cooking you can think of throughout the year, and has even had numerous books written about the hotel.
It was no surprise then, as life at Claridge’s is not just a place to spend the night but an institution and way of life, that the BBC, centering on guests and staff alike, produced a television documentary series. The programme shows entire floors transformed into a palace for foreign royalty and guests from California who have visited this grand hotel every year for the past forty years.
Claridge’s is an experience not to be missed, whether you stay in an extravagant suite, relax in the health club and spa for the day or try the British classic afternoon tea, you will leave Claridge’s with a sense that you have been part of something special.
The Savoy Hotel, located on the Strand in the City of Westminster, was the first in the Savoy Group and opened its doors in 1889. The Savoy was the first luxury hotel in Britain, introducing modern innovations such as electric lights, lifts and hot and cold running water. The grandiose reputation of the hotel has attracted royalty, wealthy guests and prominent historical figures. Winston Churchill was one of the first, who frequently took his cabinet to lunch at its restaurant.
The luxury hotel became a reputable entertainment venue, with such notorious celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Judy Garland and Charlie Chaplin entering the famous doors as both guests and performers.
The hotel underwent a £220 million refurbishment, re-opening its doors to its first guest, actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry at 10.10am on 10th day of the 10th month, 2010. The Savoy was closed for three years and has brought the building’s Edwardian and Art Deco styles back to life with over 1,000 craftsmen and artists creating interiors in keeping with the hotel’s classic style, while showing an important sensitivity to its heritage.
With stunning views of the river Thames and landmark the London Eye, The Savoy’s sumptuous 195 guest rooms and 73 suites are decorated in either Edwardian or Art Deco style, all fitted with the ultimate in discreet technology blended perfectly with comfort and elegance. For something absolutely exceptional, there are nine Personality Suites, with inspiration taken from its high-profile guests and a two-bedroom Royal Suite, an impressive stately procession of rooms spread across the front of the entire fifth floor, overlooking the river.
Once a guest at the Savoy, there are endless things to remind you that you are in the most traditional and long-established luxury hotels in history. Some of the capital’s most well-known restaurants and bars can be found there, from Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill, to the Thames Foyer, famed for the perfect location to take afternoon tea. Enjoy a 1920s cocktail and cabaret entertainment in the theatrical Beaufort Bar, and for a delectable dining experience, make sure you visit Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill.
When you seemingly float over the black and white marbled floor of the foyer, stopping to glance at the white grand piano, lit by the stained glass dome overhead, take the time to imagine just how many important faces in history have experienced this magnificent hotel.