Travel

Legend of the Lane

Gina McKie sojourns at a Mayfair classic

There are over 1,500 hotels in London, so it can be a mammoth task settling on a place to stay that suits your budget, location and comfort requirements. The Marriott Hotel Park Lane may land on the pricier end of the scale, but it’s certainly worth it if you desire a hotel that’s ‘bang in the city’ offering sheer opulence. A few of my friends had raved about staying at the five-star venue, and keen for a few nights of luxury in Mayfair, I booked in to investigate.

The reception area in any hotel is normally a good indicator of what you are about to experience, from hotel staff to overall standards. It was very welcoming indeed, and from the moment we sat down we were offered drinks – a nice touch after a few hours of travel ­– and our suitcases were whisked off to the room.

Do you ever open a hotel room door, take a deep breath and pray that your room is exactly what you were hoping for? It’s so gratifying when you are pleasantly surprised by a room’s spaciousness and that smell of ‘holiday’ in the air. I don’t like a clean room, I demand an immaculate room! Yes, I am fussy.

With my hotel inspector cap on, I go to check out the bathroom. I’m greeted with stunning marble walls and a matching marble floor with towels whiter than white – almost an invitation to sit down and admire its beauty. When I say sit down, I did that for longer than expected. A heated toilet seat is something I have never experienced, and it was remarkably comfortable.

The hotel was renovated in 2015, with the bedrooms completely redesigned in elegant, boutique style. A cosy couch is always an added bonus, and in our executive suite, there was a deep purple velvet number to put your feet up on. The soaring views reach out across Hyde Park and Marble Arch.

“Oh, I could dive right in.” My initial thoughts as I surveyed my bedroom for the next two evenings. There was a grand, yet graceful, bed with not too many cushions, 300 thread-count bedding, and the perfect pillows with a spray of lavender at the side of the bed. Bliss.

If you book the executive suite, you’re entitled to use the executive lounge. A hidden gem within the hotel, it’s overflowing with complimentary all-day food and beverages. It’s also a tranquil place to relax and read, with a lovely dining area if you’re not in the mood to leave the hotel.

If you’re looking for something to tantalise the taste buds, then check out Lanes Of London, the hotel’s restaurant, which feels laid-back while still being sophisticated. It’s a thoroughly British affair, with everything from smashed avocado on toast for breakfast to seared venison loin for dinner, along with plenty of vegetarian dishes. The hotel also has a signature afternoon tea inspired by botanicals and the ingredients found in English gardens.

If you feel like a workout, then you can nip to the gym, part of the Club at Park Lane. It’s airy, open 24 hours and fully equipped with lots of fresh fruit and bottled water at your fingertips. The perfect way to relax, of course, is in the spa. You can treat yourself to a massage (from holistic to deep tissue) or just sit in the steam room and unwind. This is a must if you really want to re-energise and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Or, take a dip in the heated pool before you hit the bustling streets of London and appreciate why it’s the most popular tourist destination in the world.

Rates start from £339 per night for a Deluxe Room 

Watson Hogg