Why the Royal London Lancaster Hotel needs to be on your list for 2018

There can’t be many hotels in London which guarantee a “far-reaching” view across the capital from every bedroom, but at The Royal London Lancaster that comes as standard.

Due to the fact there aren’t any guest rooms or suites lower than the first floor, and with its perfect central location overlooking Hyde Park, the bedroom views are spectacular.

The 18-storey hotel, which opened as one of the most chic hotels in London in 1967, reopened 50 years later, last November, following a massive £80m renovation to once again be one of the most stylish hotels in the capital.

Rooms with a view

2. Park Suite View - Royal Lancaster London

All 411 charming rooms and suites have been renovated and there are different types to suit all needs, from the classic double room at £219 per night to suites with their own living and dining areas.

Every room has bath robes, slippers, The White Company toiletries, waterfall showers and underfloor heating in the bathrooms.

We got the chance to look around the hotel and I was amazed by the views, and how quite it is once in your room, looking out over a busy, noisy capital city.

Stylish and finest Hyde Park hotel

Royal Lancaster London - Exterior

As soon as you step into the opulent lobby you know you’ve entered somewhere a little bit special. The showpiece is a palatial sweeping staircase, made of white Carrara marble, which wraps around to the first floor.

The hotel was built in the swinging Sixties so, externally – apart from its new stunning entrance façade – the hotel remains a Sixties tower block.

But that retro feel has somehow been captured inside in style with luxury golds and sumptuous browns.

Every part of the renovation has been thoroughly thought out. Even the carpets with their subtle Sixties design.

Our room, on the fifth floor had extensive views out over the city in all its glory. At night we didn’t want to close our blinds because it was such an amazing sight.

I was really impressed to find a “handy phone” in our room, which guests can take out into London with them and enjoy free calls.

Spoilt for choice with food

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There are three options for dining, including The Park Restaurant, Island Grill or Nipa Thai. Knowing the hotel’s owner is Thai, it felt an obvious choice to try authentic cuisine.

The restaurant has an all-female kitchen team to keep in tune with Thai dining tradition and provides a sophisticated Thai ambience. The welcome was warm and the menu is extensive.

The staff were kind and attentive and open to making little changes to take your meal from delicious, to perfection.

The place to be seen

Hyde Lobby Bar at Royal Lancaster London 1

One of my favourite areas of the hotel is the elegant Hyde Lobby Bar, which serves cocktails, coffee and light cuisine throughout the day.

The cocktail menu has been meticulously created and includes signature cocktails to reflect the hotel. The Italian Job cocktail is made with Beefeater 24 gin, Martini Rosso, Campari and Aperol and is a salute to the original 1968 Italian Job film, which included scenes filmed in front of the hotel.

For a touch of extra indulgence, the hotel has created its own aromatic Royal Lancaster gin, which is served in the bar’s speciality gin martini.

As we relaxed with our delicious nibbles and tasty gins we felt a world away from the buzzing reception area we overlooked. It definitely feels like a prime spot to “see and be seen” in London and is worth a visit even if you aren’t staying at the hotel.

Breakfast in bed

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The next morning our breakfast was wheeled into our room on a lovely round table, allowing us to eat casually in our robes, overlooking Hyde Park. It really doesn’t get much better.

If you’re looking for somewhere special, this hotel should be on your list of places to visit in 2018.

The Royal London Lancaster Hotel is located right next to the Lancaster Gate tube station.

Visit the website here for more information and to book.

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Rockliffe Hall, Darlington #metime

IT WAS the luxurious award-winning spa that first tempted me to visit Rockliffe Hall.

Yet since returning from an outstanding weekend at the country retreat, it’s actually the culinary journey we experienced that I’ve talked non-stop about.

As truly delightful as the spa was at the five-star golf and spa hotel in County Durham, it was the stand-out exquisite food in the Orangery Restaurant that blew us away.

The food

The 3AA rosette restaurant in the 18th-century Old Hall of the hotel is the flagship restaurant of three at the hotel.

The restaurant is described as informal luxury – it’s fine dining, but it wasn’t too stuffy.

All the while, a pianist played in the background and it was some three hours later before we retired to the cocktail bar.

For me, it was the highlight of the trip, followed closely by the spa experience, which was the perfect environment to relax.

 

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The Spa

Here you will find a 20m pool surrounded by comfortable seating, heat rooms, a beautiful hydro pool and an outdoor hot tub.

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View from my lounger

I indulged in one of the newest treatments – a neom wellbeing treatment, which includes meditation, Shiatsu, Thai massage and reflexology.

For 60 minutes, I was able to drift away while the therapist worked her magic with a candle oil that was drizzled over my body.

The icing on the cake though was our two-hour session in the Spa Garden, which was just something else.

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Indoors, there are heated relaxation loungers, a glass-fronted sauna, and fire pit with seating looking out over the two hot pools outside, including an infinity edge pool and a warm Jacuzzi.

Despite it being January, I found myself swimming outdoors in the steaming hot pool, overlooking the rolling countryside.

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Anywhere where you can enjoy a Mojito with lunch in your robe gets my vote.

 

The Hotel

Set in 375 acres of grounds, the hotel is one of a kind – it really is luxury at its best.

It was a country retreat we didn’t need to leave all weekend.

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The Room

We stayed in a room in the new hall, complete with mood lighting, a walk-in monsoon shower and a separate bath with its own TV. The room was very spacious, modern, luxurious and spotlessly clean.

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We had a balcony overlooking the grounds and golf course.

However, the sumptuous bed stole the show – it was absolute heaven.

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Without a doubt, this hotel is deserving of its five stars.

You can also get married at the hotel. One can only imagine how amazing a wedding at Rockliffe Hall would be.

We left after our stay feeling wonderfully relaxed and revived.

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The perfect breakfast, and view

I feel lucky to have discovered this wonderful retreat which has now firmly made it onto my wish list of places to revisit.

 

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