Jumeirah Carl­ton Tower, Lon­don

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Tried & Tested -

BACK­GROUND This iconic Lon­don ho­tel harks back to the early 1960s when it was known as The Carl­ton Tow­ers and, man­aged by the Ho­tel Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­ica, was the first five-star ho­tel to open in Knights­bridge. Since Jumeirah took over the prop­erty in 2001, the Dubai Hold­ing com­pany has be­come a firm favourite of busi­ness and leisure travellers from the re­gion. WHAT’S IT LIKE? There’s an old-school ele­gance in the rich tex­tiles and bur­nished colour pal­ettes used through­out the en­try level pub­lic spa­ces that segue to a more con­tem­po­rary mood within the suites and the up­per lev­els of the ho­tel. A glass lift el­e­va­tor con­nects the lobby to the rooftop, in­clud­ing the vi­brant space oc­cu­pied by The Club Room, of­fer­ing panoramic city views across the pri­vate Cado­gan Gar­dens and be­yond. WHERE IS IT? The lo­ca­tion is about as prime as you can get. With fash­ion­able Knights­bridge on your doorstep, it’s not hard to see why the prop­erty is a mag­net for wealthy Mid­dle East­ern jet­set­ters. From Lown­des Street (home to a more bou­tique Jumeirah Ho­tel), a quick stroll around Bel­gravia takes in ubiq­ui­tous brand-name stores such as Chris­tian Louboutin and Amouge while the ad­ja­cent Sloane Street is home to Her­mès, Chanel, Prada and YSL. The new gourmet quar­ter in Pavil­ion Road, with its buzzing eater­ies and wine bars (Pavil­ion Wine Bar and Granger & Co. are high­lights), is within walk­ing dis­tance as are ma­jor at­trac­tions such as Har­rods, Har­vey Ni­chols and the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES The ma­jor­ity of rooms un­der­went ex­ten­sive re­fur­bish­ment about five years ago and the suites are some of the largest in Lon­don. I stayed in suite 1701 which of­fered apart­ment­sized pro­por­tions and in­cluded a large liv­ing area with din­ing room, sofa and desk, and dec­o­rated in a sooth­ing mas­cu­line pal­ette of slate, cho­co­late and grey with tex­tured sil­ver walls. The tech of­fer­ing is plen­ti­ful and in­cludes a SuitePad sys­tem and charg­ing dock with sev­eral ports for video, PC, HTMI and USB con­nec­tions. There are 216 rooms in to­tal, in­clud­ing 58 suites with the sig­na­ture Royal Suite a pop­u­lar choice of Mid­dle East­ern VIPs. RESTAU­RANTS AND BARS Light meals and af­ter­noon tea are served in the bustling Chi­nois­ery that fea­tures an im­pres­sive fairy light-strewn cen­tre­piece, mor­eish cake trays and both for­mal and re­laxed din­ing spa­ces. The famous Rib Room – the set­ting of many a high-pow­ered busi­ness deal over the years – has just re­opened and be­yond the ho­tel, some of Lon­don’s finest restau­rants are lo­cated within a short cab ride. MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES The con­fer­enc­ing and ban­quet rooms can ac­com­mo­date any­thing from a meet­ing for two to a party of 700. The ho­tel has nine pri­vate din­ing and meet­ing rooms de­signed to ac­com­mo­date a wide range of func­tions, from cocktail re­cep­tions and din­ners to ma­jor events. The aes­thet­ics of the ball­room nod to an Art Deco in­spired de­sign, while the Gar­den Rooms are ideal for smaller meet­ings or drinks re­cep­tions. There is a neat busi­ness cen­ter of­fer­ing three par­ti­tioned cu­bi­cles with work­sta­tions and print­ers. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES Take the glass el­e­va­tor to the ninth floor for The Club Room – a strik­ing plumb­coloured space stream­ing with nat­u­ral light. The Peak Health Club & Spa and a gym is ac­cessed by a mez­za­nine stair­case with domed win­dows look­ing out across Lon­don of­fer­ing an al­most 360-de­gree vista. Guests also have ac­cess to a 20m in­door swim­ming pool and out­door ten­nis courts. The ho­tel cur­rently of­fers a num­ber of life­style pack­ages; A Night At The Opera that in­cludes tick­ets to Opera; Pas­sion, Power and Pol­i­tics at the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum; and a Fam­ily Fun pack­age is avail­able to co­in­cide with the open­ing of Win­ter Won­der­land in Hyde Park. Gina John­son VER­DICT Old­world charm meets con­tem­po­rary hos­pi­tal­ity, a spa­cious ho­tel and one that de­fines the ‘lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion’ adage.

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