News & Reviews Europe England The Lanesborough follow-up

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to return to The Lanesborough, even after my rather disastarous stay back in April. To save you the hassle of reading it all, here’s where it ended

3 days after leaving the Managing Director of The Lanesborough emailed to apologise about the problems, whereby he mentioned they also gave us a F&B credit, but no one ever mentioned it and due to not adding a line on the bill for the £170 credit, it was impossible to work it out. It feels strange to complain about receiving compensation, but I will anyway, as it’s no good doing something if the recipient isn’t aware of it.  After providing further information on what went wrong and why it was so frustrating, a further offer of a free dinner at our time of choosing came back.

Free food is my weakness.  Ok, free anything is my weakness.  Give me some free poison and I’ll take it.  So I decided to return, but not only for the food, but for a stay too, to see if they would redeem themselves.  Could they manage it?

Yes, actually.  What a contrast.

It is amazing how much better things are when the staff don’t do their best to piss you off upon arrival. Not only did we receive the room category we were promised, but everyone was clearly on alert to know who we were and make sure it was special. After checking in, we were taken to the second floor and received a perfect welcome from the Head Butler, whom we knew very well from his long service at The Connaught. The room was setup perfectly, even without a stay list, and whilst I still don’t like the style of it, the high ceilings, in room tech that this time worked (opening/closing curtains and turning on/off lights all from the tablet besides your bed) and free movie selection that seemed to include all the latest arrivals on iTunes, grew on me. I don’t care if it turns out that Roja is made of rat poison, I absolutely love the smell of it and would cover myself and all my loved ones in it.

We were in a Junior Suite, but I never looked out of the window to see the views, yet on our previous stay, after they did eventually upgrade us, we were in one of the higher room categories and the view was still just of a few trees, so I don’t see the appeal of staying here if you’re thinking a view of Hyde Park is forthcoming. The same applies for 45 Park Lane.  I decided not to go to the Celeste as the menu had not changed, so my partner went along with one of her friends instead. The feedback was not overwhelming, and had it come with a bill, which would have been ~£400, I think there may have been some tears. Being on the second floor, I could also hear the Tube late at night, but I also experience the same at The Connaught or The Berkeley on the lower floors and specific parts of the building too. Just a few day ago we stayed in a suite at The Connaught on the first floor and I was getting bothered by the tube noise, which is actually the first time I had ever noticed it, but goes to show even the best hotels have their faults in specific room types.

The real highlight of the hotel is the bar, which feels and was designed more to be like a living room and achieves that expertly, and the spa which is pretty bloody fantastic. You cannot look around and not be impressed at the craftsmanship that has gone into making this hotel. Some may love the location right across from the park, and I won’t complain and am a big fan, but I still prefer being in Mayfair as it doesn’t feel like a big street that just points to Harrods, like Knightsbridge does.

Yes, 15% service charge bothers me as it seems everywhere in London is getting higher. And yes, their base fees of £675/n for a 27sqm room isn’t going to get the heart racing, except when you come to pay the bill, but if you book with the Oetker Pearl Partner scheme, and therefore take into consideration free car transfer, £170 credit for 2 night stay, free upgrade, free breakfast, all the beautiful Roja bathroom amenities, free movies and probably some other things I forgot, it’s not so bad.

So I would return. Proof that complaining is a good thing, kids.

Next up is a replay of Four Seasons Ten Trinity in a suite, to see if they’ve managed to recover from my wonderful opening night extravaganza.

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Tom Cahalan

Written by Tom Cahalan on 1st Aug '17

Dorsia Travel’s co-founder Tom Cahalan’s take on travel is reliably candid. Here’s his take on what’s good, bad, and luxurious.

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