Mere footsteps from London’s Hyde Park lies the Royal Lancaster London hotel; one of the capital’s few hotels that remains open during the national lockdown.
Fortunately, I experienced an overnight stay at the Royal Lancaster London shortly before the lockdown was announced when restaurants were humming with conversation, ice cubes clinked in cocktail shakers and laughter filled the lobby.
As I approached the hotel, a finely dressed doorman gently opened the door and invited myself and my guest into the hotel. The brushed gold ceiling lights shone in the reflection on the polished white floor to create a modern yet warm entrance. The marble staircase with striking gold handrails in the centre of the room demanded my attention until a friendly smile called me over to the check-in desk where I was told I’d be staying in a suite on the seventeenth floor overlooking Hyde Park, and with that, I made my way upstairs.
As I pressed my key card up against the door and listened to the unmistakable whirring sound of a hotel door unlocking, I let out a sigh of somewhat relief after having missed travel for so long. I swung open the door and was stunned by views of London’s famous skyline; hundreds of people slowly strolling through Hyde Park on one side and the hustle and bustle of London carrying on the other side.
The hotel underwent an eighty-five-million-pound renovation not so long ago, meaning that each of the 411 guest rooms and suites are decorated to the highest of standards. Understated contemporary furniture fused with modern light installations, brushed gold features, and soft caramel hues create a sense of calm in which to unwind.
There’s something that feels as though you’re almost in on a secret when staying on the seventeenth floor in a hotel in London… you know that black taxis are stacked up behind each traffic light and that big red buses are tooting their horns on the street below, but there you are, lying on a plush king size bed in a suite in one of London’s top hotels, blissfully unaware.
The White Company amenities add a touch of luxury, as do the deep set marble bath and rain shower in the en-suite. After a long soak, I wrapped myself in a fluffy robe and sat up against the panoramic windows that circle the suite, admiring the view of London. Having missed the freedom to dine out, I couldn’t wait to get dressed up and head downstairs to one of the Royal Lancaster London’s restaurants, Nipa Thai.
Nipa is renowned for serving the most authentic Thai cuisine outside of Bangkok; having visited Thailand for a month the year before last, I was intrigued to sample the menu. The traditional and rather impressive all-female and all-Thai kitchen team has been led by Head Chef, Sanguan Parr, for the last two decades and has built a reputation for itself, to say the least.
As I sat down at our table and briefly glanced at the menu, I immediately knew that I wanted to try Sanguan’s signature Panang Nuea, a dry and aromatic beef red coconut curry with basil and kaffir lime leaves, but first I started with the Satay Kai, a chargrilled marinated chicken dish served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. My guest opted for the Kaeng Kiew Warn Kai, a vibrant chicken and Thai aubergine in a spicy and rich green coconut curry.
Whilst the hotel’s restaurants and bars are closed during the second national lockdown, those staying at the Royal Lancaster London can experience bespoke in-room dining thanks to the hotel’s Head Chef, Fred Tobin, who has created an exquisite menu of British classics for both dinner and breakfast. For those staying in one of the Royal Lancaster London’s suites, in-room dining can be enjoyed in your very own separate dining room.
With the current work from home guidelines in place, the Royal Lancaster London has come up with the perfect package for guests who wish to ‘work from hotel’ instead of ‘work from home’. Whether guests choose to ‘work from hotel’ by day or by week, the Royal Lancaster London have opened up their quiet Deluxe Rooms complete with spacious desks, ergonomic chairs, complimentary Wi-Fi, free on-site car parking and let’s not forget the unlimited complimentary tea and coffee to get you through the nine to five.
Leaving nothing to spare, a stay at the Royal Lancaster London is the touch of luxury we all need right now to get us through the winter months.
Room rates start from £229 per night, based on two sharing on a room only basis
All in a Day’s Work from £120 per room per day
Work for the Week from £950 per week