Mod­ern AGE

The stylish Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don is your door­way to the city’s many pos­si­bil­i­ties. By Sharmila Ra­jah.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Postcards -

On a tri­an­gu­lar spot be­tween Trafal­gar Square and the Thames Em­bank­ment, a path takes you from the madding streets of Lon­don to a quiet haven at the heart of a Vic­to­rian build­ing. Door­men rush out to help you up the steps and into a grand lobby. Wel­come to the Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don – the per­fect syn­the­sis of old and mod­ern Eng­land.

It is no sur­prise that glit­terati have made it their top choice when­ever they are in Lon­don. Bey­oncé, Ge­orge Clooney, Ri­hanna, and Kanye West have all slept in its lux­u­ri­ous beds while Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz have feasted in its restau­rants.

The daz­zling lobby lounge when af­ter­noon tea is in ses­sion is proof enough of its al­lure. Be­low a glass dome ceil­ing with a beau­ti­ful con­tem­po­rary chan­de­lier are lush seats of un­ri­valled com­fort, and ta­bles dec­o­rated with bright blooms. Smil­ing wait­resses pro­vide im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice; the sound of tin­kling china fills the air as power bro­kers seal deals over sweets and bub­bly, along­side well-dressed ma­tri­archs gig­gling and gos­sip­ing over tea and scones. The scene takes you back to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent era.

Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don first opened as the iconic Ho­tel Metropole in 1885 with the Prince of Wales of­ten stay­ing at its Royal Suite. It sur­vived both World Wars as the base for the de­fence depart­ment – the build­ing was req­ui­si­tioned by Win­ston Churchill as home to the Bri­tish Se­cret Ser­vice dur­ing th­ese times – be­fore open­ing as the Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don in 2011. Since then, the ho­tel has gained a great fol­low­ing and guests rave about its gourmet restau­rants, fab­u­lous spa, and luxe ameni­ties. The grandiose dream the ho­tel was built on has fi­nally come true.

The ex­trav­a­gant ges­tures are cer­tainly al­lur­ing, but it’s the sub­tle de­tails – pil­lows light as marsh­mal­lows, mini­bars stocked with Har­rods good­ies, ter­races with spec­tac­u­lar views of the city, and the re­fined ser­vice – that truly im­press. The head concierge of­fers spot-on rec­om­men­da­tions for restau­rants and bou­tiques and can even co­or­di­nate a ride through the English coun­try­side in a Bent­ley with a pri­vate guide, or a per­sonal shop­ping trip with a stylist.

A visit to the ho­tel’s Daniel Galvin salon is a must for any dis­cern­ing trav­eller. Let the cel­e­brated hair colourist him­self work his magic on you at the Movie Makeover Room within the salon, along with his trusted col­league and make-up artist to the stars, Lois Bur­well.

In need of fur­ther pam­per­ing? The sub­ter­ranean ESPA Life with 17 treat­ment rooms, a sunken sauna, and pri­vate sleep pods that spread over four floors, stands head and shoul­ders above any other spa ex­pe­ri­ence you will have any­where in Lon­don. Book the ul­ti­mate over­haul – the Pri­vate Spa Suite ther­apy, which in­cludes a Ra­sul Heal­ing Mud Rit­ual, 30 min­utes of re­lax­ation time, and a two-hour treat­ment of your choice.

Then there are the guest rooms; tran­scen­dent to the point of be­ing fan­tas­ti­cal, they are done up in warm beige and olive tones with dreamy Hyp­nos beds and mar­ble tubs. You’ll love the ho­tel’s seven two-storey pent­house suites, each tucked away in the build­ing’s his­toric tur­rets, com­plete with ter­races of­fer­ing amaz­ing views. Stay at The Royal Pent­house with its own walkin wine cel­lar and a pri­vate cin­ema. Restau­rants in­clude The Northall, which serves up top-notch sea­sonal Bri­tish food, and Mas­simo Restau­rant & Oys­ter Bar, which spe­cialises in mod­ern Ital­ian cui­sine.

No doubt, the Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don is de­signed to de­light; it is mod­ern yet nos­tal­gic with the right dose of tra­di­tional warmth that would be most ap­pre­ci­ated in such a fast-paced city as Lon­don. www.corinthia.com

The Writer’s Pent­house evokes literary chic

The stun­ning lobby lounge of Corinthia Ho­tel Lon­don

The treat­ment pools at ESPA Life

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