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The Wellesley, London
A hotel with grand ambitions but with the advantage of having just 36 rooms - so it can really concentrate on the demands of its guests, which it does with flair. Boasting an Art Deco style, the hotel has an interesting history too, having once been an entrance to Hyde Park Corner Station (until 1932) and later home of Pizza on the Park, which doubled up as a popular jazz venue (the hotel still hosts occasional jazz nights). The restaurant serves high-end Italian cuisine, while the personal touch extends to a butler service - and a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce is on hand for short trips. For cigar smokers, there is even a funky lounge.
The location is fantastic - with the chance for an early morning run in the park opposite.
The Wellesley is in west central London, in upmarket Knightsbridge, opposite Hyde Park and a short walk from Buckingham Palace.
By car: the hotel is 4 hours from Manchester, 2 hours 30 mins from Birmingham and 7 hours from Glasgow. There is paid parking nearby.
By train: Hyde Park Corner tube station is right by the hotel and London Victoria is a 5-minute taxi away. London Paddington is 10 mins from the hotel, Kings Cross and Euston stations are 20 mins away in a taxi. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The Wellesley suits high-end guests, who are used to the five-star treatment but are keen on discretion too. We love the small but perfectly formed Crystal Bar, with its wonderful collection of cognacs and whiskies.
Service & Facilities
Although we barely used them, it was great to have the butler service on call if needed and he did iron a shirt perfectly.
- Two restaurants
- Cigar lounge
- Free Wi-Fi
- Butler service
Our favourite room is the super-spacious one bedroom suite (park view) with those sliding doors and that view. We love having the butler service, and the fabulous Italian marble bathrooms with a TV screen.
Deluxe Queen Accessible, Deluxe King, Executive, Junior Suite Hyde Park, One Bedroom Suite, Hyde Park View Suite
Facilities include: ensuite with shower, Hermès Eau d'Orange Verte toiletries, TV, desk, mini-bar
Food & Drink
Our favourite dish is suckling pig with artichokes and quince jelly, or the Cornish crab salad. We also love the fact that there's a 1789 (Year of the Revolution) Cognac - a glass will cost you £5,000 though.
Oval Restaurant: formal, fine dining, Italian cuisine.
Jazz Lounge: smart casual, Italian cuisine, afternoon tea, live music.
Crystal Bar: casual, fine whiskies, cognacs and Armagnacs.
Cigar Lounge & Terrace: Europe's largest collection of cigars, heated terrace, small plates.