Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane Near+Far rating: 7/10
Why stay at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
For such an understated property, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane played a pivotal role in Four Seasons‘ global expansion. Opened in 1970, it was the brand’s debut property in Europe, and today still excuses the glamour of decades past. Instead of attracting attention with a glitzy exterior, the unassuming – and incredibly discreet – entrance sits down a quiet side road, only marked by the smiling doormen whose greeting is full of personality. Inside the property, there’s a taste of classic, old-world hotel experience, but with some modern approaches: a hot new Yannick Alléno restaurant has just opened. Rooms are everything expected of Four Seasons – of course, there’s the marshmallow bed – and the real treat is the rooftop spa. What makes this property special is its terrace and conservatory suites, offering some private leafy garden space in central London, and its fabulous location at the crossroads of Mayfair and Knightsbridge, a short walk from Hyde Park, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Green Park and Picadilly.
The location: 9/10
The hotel is nestled away on peaceful Hamilton Place, just moments from very busy Hyde Park Corner and Picadilly. This fantastic location gives guests a discreet and quiet stay while being moments from London’s sought-after postcodes, with Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Mayfair and Green Park all an easy walk away. Many rooms and suites look onto Park Lane and Hyde Park – great to watch the busy road with red buses and taxis from the peaceful hotel.
Rooms and suites: 7/10
Guests have four categories to choose from, including some of the most interesting and unique suites in London. Standard rooms are spacious and neutral, with views of the skyline or Hyde Park, but things get more interesting and designy with the suites. A handful of individually named abodes include the blue and oak Ambassador Suite, decorative Park Suite and blue and regal Westminster Suite. Each has a living space and that world-famous Four Seasons bed, guaranteeing a perfect night’s sleep. Speciality suites come in at over 100 sq m, but the piece de resistance are the five garden suites, each coming with their own charming private outdoor spaces. These range from the petit Junio Conservatory suites – complete with a cosy, greenery-filled terrace, to the vast Terrace and Garden Suites – grand and spacious apartments with extensive outdoor space complete with dining tables and lounge spaces. Rooms are a little dated, without all the modern techy touches most top London hotels now have, so a renovation would go a long way.
Food and drink: 7/10
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane manages to deliver spaces for all occasions, from morning business meetings over coffee and cake to nightcaps at the slinky new Bar Antoine. What was once home to a slightly sleep Italian has now become one of London’s most exciting launches, with Michelin-starred Yannick Alléno opening Pavyllon London in July. The whole area has been refreshed with a lighter and brighter colour scheme, a casual bar area, and a seasonal and modern menu of British produce. A real treat is the hotel’s sunken, leafy terrace – the only terrace on Park Lane – which, in the warmer months, sets the scene for a la carte breakfasts and outdoor drinks.
Spa and facilities: 8/10
Four Seasons as a brand is all about quiet luxury, and at Four Seasons Park Lane, the spa embodies this. The top floor is dedicated to wellness, with spa treatment rooms and Forbes-rated five-star facilities, like vitality whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation rooms with views over Hyde Park. More unusual treatments include partnerships with Sahana Sound for south bath healing sessions and a series of treatments tailored to men’s skin. Middle Eastern guests will appreciate the separate gendered spa areas, but couples looking to enjoy a spa day together should be mindful of this. A fitness suite also offers calming, green views across London and Hyde Park. No matter the time the room is available, guests checking in to the hotel early can freshen up, shower, relax, and enjoy hot drinks and snacks in the top-floor wellness space.
The vibe: 6/10
Tucked away from the bustle of Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane, Four Seasons London at Park Lane is one of the most discreetly properties on this (hotel-packed) stretch. In its 50 years, it’s accrued loyal guests, from visiting business people to well-to-do families – though many of the public spaces and outlets feel very quiet. There are better spots for on-trend designs or a super modern experience, but this offers something that feels safe and timeless. That being said, with its striking black marble and red lobby, grand piano, chandelier and velvet seating, the lobby is rather glamorous. Dark, dusky blue corridors are lined with landmarks and glamorous old photographs. The property does feel slightly outdated, but a renovation project is slowly progressing.
Hamilton Place, London, UK; doubles from AED3,980 a night; fourseasons.com