Hotel Review: InterContinental London Park Lane in Mayfair, central London
Words by Kris Griffiths
While London is blessed with several prestigious, high-end hotels, from The Ritz on Piccadilly to The Savoy on Strand, there’s something about Mayfair that just dials up the prestige factor to its highest.
Close to Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge and the Royal Parks, it represents all that is regal and resplendent about the capital. It stands to reason, then, that the global flagship hotel for the InterContinental brand, part of the world’s largest hotel group IHG, sits in the heart of Mayfair, making for a plush base from which explore the area and beyond.
The InterContinental London Park Lane occupies probably the best position of any Mayfair hotel, with rooms enjoying views overlooking two of the famous Royal Parks and Hyde Park Corner, and with the iconic department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols only a short walk away.
Smaller, refined independent shops characteristic of Mayfair sit closer to its doorsteps, while the more earthy entertainments of Soho and the West End are also within easy reach. In fact, when you’re this close to Green Park, Victoria and Piccadilly Circus, the whole of London is pretty much your oyster via tube or train.
As we walk inside the hotel, it’s clear to see why it is such an esteemed venue: all elegant natural interiors and tasteful furnishings, and an expert concierge team immediately on hand to provide any assistance you may require.
Upstairs the almost 500 rooms boast contemporary British interiors, and include 60 expansive suites with four signature designs: Royal, London, Palace and Presidential, all exhibiting the timeless glamour one would expect here.
The Executive Rooms, one of which this writer had the pleasure of staying in, feature stylish English interiors with the latest technology from climate controlled air conditioning to Bose sound systems, with audio from the TV and radio also transmitted into the bathroom.
The bed itself was large and luxurious, and made for an impeccable night’s sleep. There are also some welcome added touches to one’s stay here, like a daily newspaper delivered to your room and a complimentary shoe shine service.
To elevate your stay even further, going ‘Club InterContinental’ bestows you with an even greater range of special advantages. These include a welcome drink, exclusive check-in, pressing of two pieces of clothing per stay and, perhaps most special, access to the private Club InterContinental suite located on the seventh floor of the hotel, where you can enjoy unparalleled views through floor-to-ceiling windows over the London locality, with Wellington Arch in the immediate foreground and the rest of the capital’s iconic skyline dominating the rest of the panorama.
Here you can take advantage of all-day refreshments, afternoon tea, evening drinks and canapés, with mounted widescreen TVs and a business room to fulfil your work and entertainment needs. (Complimentary access to Club InterContinental and butler service are included with any Suite reservation.)
For anyone wishing to indulge in a little pampering, Spa InterContinental in the heart of the hotel features state-of-the-art facilities comprising five treatment rooms, a dry flotation therapy room and an additional VIP treatment suite catering for couples and private parties.
Its expert team of therapists offer a full range of spa treatments, with result-led skincare and grooming services for both men and women designed around any schedule.
Meanwhile, for anyone organising events or conferences, the InterContinental remains one of the most sought-after locations in the capital for meetings, theatre-style conferences and large-scale award ceremonies, with 13,000 square feet of unrivalled dedicated event space incorporating a contemporary ballroom and 12 impressive suites benefiting from natural daylight.
The ballroom itself can accommodate up to 750 people for a gala dinner and 1,000 for a drinks reception, while the more intimate rooms, such as Berwick, Borough, Camden and Columbia (all named after famous London markets) are ideal for smaller meetings.
In addition to these spaces, the hotel celebrates its elite Mayfair location with a series of experiences that add a local dimension to a meeting, like walking tours around hidden Mayfair with eminent London historians or private dinners in secret wine cellars.
It’s litte wonder the InterContinental was recently bestowed the title of England’s Leading Conference Hotel at the World Travel Awards, as well as being named the UK’s Best Business Hotel by Business Traveller.
Finally, no visit to this hotel would be complete without an accordingly high-end meal in its celebrated restaurant Theo Randall.
Repeatedly voted London’s best Italian, its rustic menu is predicated on both local and imported Italian ingredients hand-picked by the eponymous chef himself, who you might have seen on TV cookery shows like the BBC2 series The Chef’s Protégé. He has also personally overseen the restaurant’s extensive wine list which features 90% Italian varietals, as well as a new aperitivi and antipasti menu.
Unfortunately this writer wasn’t able to sample a full meal at Theo Randall on this occasion, but still very much enjoyed in the same room a memorable brunch, which again has been routinely voted amongst the best in London, attracting plenty of non-guest regulars at the weekend.
All in all it’s clear to see why the world’s largest hotel group IHG, who owns more than 5,000 hotels across almost 100 countries, sees the InterContinental as its global flagship venue.
For a real taste of luxury in one of the most distinguished parts of a world capital, whether you’re planning a major event or simply seeking an opulent weekend break, you’re not going to find many, if any, hotels that surpass it on this front.
And until you’ve enjoyed an afternoon tea from a window seat in the Club InterContinental lounge, you are missing out on a truly stunning panoramic snapshot of the city that you won’t have experienced before, or will do since.
Address: 1 Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London, W1J 7QY.
Phone: 020 7409 3131