The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Lon­don’s Lanes­bor­ough ho­tel has re­opened for book­ings fol­low­ing a lav­ish, 18-month re­fur­bish­ment. Ideally si­t­u­ated in Knights­bridge with Buck­ing­ham Palace as a neigh­bour, the Grade II-listed for­mer hos­pi­tal first opened as a ho­tel in 1991 fol­low­ing a highly pub­li­cised re­fit un­der the watch­ful eye of English Her­itage, and quickly be­came the go-to pad for well-heeled visi­tors to the cap­i­tal. New man­agers Oetker have ratch­eted up the lux­ury in 93 gue­strooms (al­most half of which are suites) where tablets and tele­vi­sions are hid­den in ar­moires or be­hind paint­ings, bath­rooms are pan­elled in the finest Ital­ian mar­ble and Bri­tish master per­fumer Roja Dove has cre­ated a range of be­spoke ameni­ties.

Le Bristol Paris (also from the Oetker sta­ble) has dis­patched Flo­rian Favario, sous-chef de cui­sine at the three Miche­lin-star Epi­cure, to run The Lanes­bor­ough’s Ce­leste res­tau­rant (for­merly Ap­s­leys).

The Lanes­bor­ough closed its doors in De­cem­ber 2013 en­abling a team of 300 spe­cial­ists in em­broi­dery, cab­i­netry, bronze, lac­quer­ing and gild­ing to re­alise the vi­sion of ac­claimed de­signer Al­berto Pinto who died be­fore work be­gan. His sis­ter and busi­ness part­ner Linda com­pleted the pro­ject, wherein al­most ev­ery el­e­ment in each gue­stroom is be­spoke. While the fitout is grand, the mood is residential. Ev­ery guest has the ser­vices of a but­ler 24/7 and can ex­pect a cup of tea or cof­fee with their wake-up call and per­son­alised busi­ness cards and sta­tionery pro­vided in gue­stroom desks; there’s also gratis Wi-Fi and free calls to the US and Europe.

Public ar­eas num­ber a clubby li­brary bar, el­e­gant gar­den room, cigar ter­race and a spa stu­dio.

DON’T MISS: Dip­ping into the Li­brary Bar’s “Liq­uid History”, a col­lec­tion of vintage cog­nacs, in­clud­ing the world’s old­est, dat­ing from 1770, a mere ba­gatelle at £6500 ($13,598) a shot.


The in-house res­tau­rant may have a new name and a new ex­ec­u­tive chef but the gor­geous in­te­ri­ors are Re­gency to a tee; the largest chan­de­lier, one of 54 fash­ioned by Bri­tish firm Wilkin­son, weighs 200kg. Ex­pect the best Bri­tish or­ganic pro­duce and clas­sic French tech­nique from Favario, such as jel­lied mack­erel with cream of horseradish and blue­ber­ries; Devon lamb with cour­gette cous­cous and harissa; and rasp­ber­ries with co­conut sor­bet.

DIN­ING OUT: It’s walk­ing dis­tance to Din­ner by He­ston Blu­men­thal at Man­darin Ori­en­tal Hyde Park (or­der his meat fruit and tipsy cake sig­na­ture dishes). ASK THE CONCIERGE: Si­mon Thomas says, “A sum­mer must do, the Ser­pen­tine Gallery, in Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens, is host­ing its an­nual Sum­mer Pav­il­ion. This year’s work is de­signed by Span­ish ar­chi­tects Sel­gas­Cano and is a chrysalis of opaque and translu­cent plas­tic poly­gons. As an bonus, Fort­num & Ma­son’s will be host­ing the daily cafe.”

CHECK­ING IN: Open­ing room rates from £715, in­clud­ing VAT. More: lanes­bor­

ALSO TRY: Le Bristol Paris; The Plaza Ho­tel New York; Palais Na­maskar Mar­rakech.


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