TESTED BY Dan Booth
HOW MANY ROOMS? 124 rooms, 28 suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Elegant rooms, exemplary service and location, location, location
PRICE Internet rates for Marriott Rewards non-refundable advance purchase in mid-November was ?418 ($520) per night.
CONTACT Marriott Park Lane, 140 Park Lane, London, England W1K 7AA UK tel +44 20 7493 7000, marriott.com.
VERDICT: With its Mayfair address, the Marriott Park Lane’s location on the northeast corner of Hyde Park is absolutely unbeatable. If you’re looking for a refined stay in the midst of everything this great city has to offer, this hotel ticks all the boxes.
BACKGROUND: The exterior profile of the Marriott Park Lane is unmistakable. Housed in what started out as an elegant late Edwardian apartment building – now Grade II listed – designed by noted architect Francis Thomas Verity, the hotel underwent extensive renovations in 2015. The result is a 5-star luxury hotel that stands out among Mayfair’s many elite establishments.
WHERE IS IT? Around the corner – literally. The building is at the intersection of Oxford St. and Park Lane, right across the street from Marble Arch and just above the Tube stop of the same name. However the hotel entrance is actually tucked away on a side street. It was a little hard to find at first, but its location away from the constant stream of Oxford Street traffic makes for safer and more convenient car pickups and dropoffs.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Despite the hotel’s beaux arts exterior, following the 2015 renovations the interior has taken on a distinctly 21st century tone. The lobby is a white marble affair, understated and elegant, and sprinkled with intriguing pieces of art. In contrast to the coolness of the entry, everyone on staff, from the doorman to the hosts at the check-in desk, was unfailingly warm and courteous.
ROOM FACILITIES: When I stepped in the room, the first thing I saw out our second-story window was a big red double-decker bus rolling by on busy Park Lane, and I thought, ‘Oh, no, we’re going to be listening to traffic all night.’ But my concerns were quickly dispelled when the bus pulled away, but I was hearing – practically nothing. A clever double window arrangement made the room incredibly quiet. In fact, the view across Hyde Park was expansive and downright serene.
The room itself was generous by London standards, but not huge. The furniture befit a room this size, and the bed was to die for. It took a few minutes to find the refrigerated minibar, which was secreted away in the bureau. And I never did figure out the light switches, which were interconnected some way but seemingly without logic. The bath was spacious and well-appointed with marble finishes, a large shower and plenty of counter space replete with Floris bath amenities.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The hotel’s on-site restaurant is Lanes of London, a well-appointed spot that offers a cozy, posh-pub atmosphere and a menu mix that features both traditional fare and internationally-inspired dishes. Here too, the air of hospitality prevailed; despite being a stranger, I was treated like one of the regulars. And breakfast in the Executive Lounge each morning was a perfect start to our London escapades.
BUSINESS AND LEISURE FACILITIES: The hotel offers three meeting rooms across nearly 1,300 square feet of conference space. And the recently opened Club at Park Lane features massage treatments, a state-of-the-art fitness center complete with steam room, and – in something of a coup – the only hotel pool on Park Lane, a stunning indoor beauty that fairly demands you take a relaxing swim.