The hotel business has of late become so fashion-oriented that it’s hard sometimes to remember there was life before the boutique hotel. But as the upstarts slowly move upscale, increasingly incorporating elements of old-world luxury alongside their trademark visual flash, one is reminded of the hotels that have always done luxury well; that is to say, the original grand hotels themselves — and if you’re paying grand-hotel prices anyway, for a closet-sized room with white walls and “funky” taps on the basin…
The Dorchester is the grand hotel the way it ought to be. Not stuffy, but upright; not excessive, but opulent. The location is unbeatable, at least for leisure travelers, just across from Hyde Park, and the service is of the discreet and professional variety, treating A-listers and no-listers alike as though they were visiting royalty.
Bedrooms are a vision of Thirties elegance, though with certain concessions to technological modernity (42” plasma screens, if you’re lucky). Bathrooms are big and lavish, all in Italian marble, with what may or may not be the deepest tubs in London (they’re certainly deep enough). The Dorchester has its own bars and restaurants, naturally, but we wouldn’t presume to tell you where to eat or drink; suffice to say that in the hotel’s immediate environs you’ll have little trouble finding something suitable — and anyway half the fun consists in being seen coming and going.
How to get there:
The Dorchester Hotel is approximately a 10-minute walk from the Hyde Park Corner tube station. If you’re arriving from Heathrow Airport, the most convenient transfer option to central London is the Heathrow Express train, which leaves Heathrow Airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes to arrive at Paddington Station. One-way fares are available from £18, and round-trip fares from £32. By black cab, The Dorchester is approximately a 45-minute ride from Heathrow Airport (depending on traffic), and can cost upwards of £50.