ATHENAEUM HO­TEL

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - ANTHEA GER­RIE

ONE IR­RI­TA­TION of a ho­tel stay is hav­ing to crawl out of bed to turn off the mas­ter switch by the door then stum­ble back in dark­ness — a haz­ard of in­creas­ingly so­phis­ti­cated but un­fath­omable light­ing sys­tems.

If only I had clocked the “sleep” but­ton which dims all the lights from a bed­side con­sole when I was shown to my room, my stay would have been pretty well per­fect.

You cer­tainly can’t beat wak­ing up to a bay win­dow view of Green Park, which the ho­tel rightly points out is an ex­ten­sion of its fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties. Later, try­ing, and fail­ing, to find TV chan­nels on the gym tread­mill, I wish I had cho­sen that much more pleas­ant op­tion.

The rooms are brighter and more con­tem­po­rary and chic than many of its neigh­bours, and those bay win­dows look as though they were once bal­conies, gor­geous van­tage points from which to en­joy the view over Pic­cadilly’s green­ery.

Beds are supremely com­fort­able, and com­pli­men­tary wa­ter, juice, snacks and fresh milk for cof­fee from the in-room Ne­spresso ma­chine is wel­come. Ditto the free wi-fi.

Bath­rooms are a bit pokey and the over-bath show­ers could do with an up­date, but the great fil­ter cof­fee at break­fast made up for the sav­age shower, com­pared to the un­drink­ably weak brew sam­pled re­cently at two other of the cap­i­tal’s five-star ho­tels.

It was good to see eggs floren­tine on the break­fast menu, but the eggs were spoiled by the residue of overly vine­gary poach­ing wa­ter. The stan­dard of lunch and din­ner fare, how­ever, makes the ho­tel a din­ing des­ti­na­tion in its own right.

What dis­tin­guishes the place, though, is the ex­cep­tion­ally friendly and per­sonal ser­vice. In fact, when the tall, flam­boy­ant sil­ver fox who is a house trea­sure booms: “wel­come home!”, seiz­ing your suit­case as you walk in the door, you feel this is your per­sonal May­fair pied a terre.

Just re­mem­ber to fa­mil­iarise yourself with how the lights work be­fore you let the bell­boy go. RATES: Rooms from £260 www.athenaeumho­tel.com

Wake up to a bay win­dow view of Green Park in a bright, chic bed­room

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