BACKGROUND Initially this hotel was built to house the Rank Organization’s corporate offices in the 1960’s. However, hotel shortages in London led the government to offer £1,000 grants for each new hotel room and the Royal Lancaster Hotel was born. Celebrating its 50th Birthday, the Royal Lancaster Hotel has recently undergone an £85 million ($110 million) refurbishment which not only brought the hotel up to 21st century standards but also added many sustainable solutions.
WHERE IS IT? Overlooking Hyde Park Gardens in Central London between Marble Arch and Notting Hill, the hotel is just a block away from the Lancaster Gate tube stop which gives you convenient access to the entire capital.
WHT’S IT LIKE? Elegant, yet comfortable and not stuffy, the hotel has a spacious lobby and 411 rooms and suites over 18 floors. The staff was cordial and helpful, offering suggestions for meals or activities and assistance guiding us around London (the Tube is always a little confusing to me on the first day – after that it’s remarkably easy and convenient). Make sure you check out the 10 beehives located above the car park near Hyde Park from which the hotel harvests citrus honey.
ROOMS Sustainability is definitely the watchword everywhere here with large sized amenities in the bathroom (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion). Also, you’ll notice there are no water bottles in the room but rather a glass vase with instructions to drink the tasty and pure London tap water. The bed was splendidly comfortable and restful. For those in need of a suite, check out the Royal Suite featuring 893 square feet (83 sqm) of luxurious space. While all the accommodations are top notch, if you want to splurge there is not a nicer room in the building. My only recommendation is to get rid of the “weighing scale” in the room – why ruin a fabulous experience?
FOOD AND DRINK The Park Restaurant is a lovely place to have breakfast overlooking Hyde Park. There is also the Nipa Thai & Island Grill which has received the top sustainability award for steps like using locally sourced food and being a zero-waste facility. The Park Lounge Bar serves up an array of beverages and light fare, including selections from the Nipa Thai menu.
LEISURE FACILITIES While some services are currently suspended due to the pandemic, guests can, with some notice, treat themselves to a blow-out from a local stylist, or arrange for a variety of beauty treatments. The on-premises gym is more than suitable; however check in advance to see whether the facility is open. And for those who must drive in London, the hotel has a car park with limited spaces available on a first come, first served basis.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The hotel is well suited to handle business meetings, with 16 meeting rooms including two large enough to easily accommodate the social distancing. The banquet rooms had a pre-COVID capacity of 1,200 and the staff and facilities are equipped to feed everyone within 11 minutes!
VERDICT A fabulous hotel with an environmental twist. Located in the heart of Central London, near the Lancaster Gate tube stop, the Royal Lancaster Hotel did not disappoint.
BEST FOR Business or bleisure travel when staying in Central London
DON’T MISS. On a clear day, soak in the fabulous views across Hyde Park and the London skyline
PRICE Internet rates for a classic room start at £229 ($296).
CONTACT Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY, UK, Tel 44 207 551 6000.