Hotel Review: London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London
Words by Irene Caswell
Choosing a hotel is the first step to ensuring a successful short city break. Finding somewhere that offers comfort, service and location is essential. The global Hilton brand is celebrating its 100th Birthday this year and the iconic London Hilton on Park Lane was the first Hilton to open in the UK.
It is a luxury five-star hotel, located in a primary location opposite Hyde Park in the exclusive Mayfair district, and within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, West End theatres, world-class shopping and Kensington Palace.
As for comfort and service, while the location is vibrant and bustling the hotel is an oasis. The reception team are friendly, courteous and extremely efficient. The bank of lifts is operated by digital panels. Simply punch in your destination floor and up pops details of the lift waiting to whisk you away in seconds. This is one of those little touches that make all the difference in a 28-storey hotel.
The hotel features 453 rooms including 56 suites. All rooms include Standard Wi-Fi. Premium Wi-Fi carries a fee although this is free for Hilton Honours members. Classically designed rooms are on floors five to eight. The Deluxe, modern designed rooms, offering views over Hyde Park, Mayfair or the city of London are, naturally, located on the higher floors.
A suite is the perfect home from home and provides the space to truly relax. The Mayfair Suite on the 13th floor, for instance, is relatively modest in size but affords a stunning view of the city towards the River Thames and the London Eye.
At night the dramatic spread of twinkling lights reminds you that you are in one of the most exciting cities in the world. For those who do not have such a good head for heights, the windows in this suite are not floor-to-ceiling and I felt very comfortable admiring the view.
The sitting room with a comfy sofa affords a private space to unwind, watch a little television or browse the selection of magazines with a cup of tea. Of course, you could also hold a little cocktail party of your own here before whizzing up to the 28th floor for dinner. The mini bar was well stocked and there is also a Butler Service in suites at an additional fee.
The elegant bathroom was well equipped, featuring Crabtree & Evelyn guest products, with a large bath and a walk-in shower. As you would expect, there were plenty of fluffy white towels, twin bath robes, slippers and a hairdryer.
Breakfast is served in the Podium Restaurant on the lobby level and offers a large and varied buffet to suit every taste and diet. However, guests staying in a suite have a private pass to the Executive Lounge on the first floor and it is worth taking advantage of this exclusive area.
The Executive Lounge
The two linked rooms provide a quieter space to enjoy a complimentary continental style breakfast. A luxurious afternoon tea is also served buffet-style. The Hilton on Park Lane is home to the reigning champions of Bake-off: The Professionals, Emmanuel Bonneau and sous chef Sam Leatherby and this is evident in the gorgeous patisserie in the afternoon. Staff are discreetly on hand but the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxing. Newspapers from around the world are available and limitless tea and coffee provided.
Galvin at Windows
The Michelin-starred restaurant and bar is located on the 28th floor and offers 360 degree views of the city. The menu created by Head Chef Joo Won is modern French haute cuisine and à la carte dining. The French Maître d of Galvin’s is Fred Sirieix, General Manager and TV personality. The elegant interior aims to evoke the golden age of the 1930s amidst the panoramic views and the atmosphere here is lively in the evening.
The London Hilton has been home to the city’s first tiki bar, French-Polynesian restaurant Trader Vic’s for a remarkable 55 years. This London institution offers an eclectic collection of global cuisines, tropical cocktails served in signature glasses and an exotic atmosphere bedecked with authentic artifacts and trappings from around the world.
Trader Vic’s is renowned for inventing The Original Mai Tai® cocktail and new variations today include the hot Scorpion Bowl, a spicy Middle East favourite and the Tiki Puka Puka.
The ever-evolving menu features fusion dishes from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Japan. Dishes include: Sweet and Sour Tofu, served in a scooped out pineapple; Jalapeño Cheese Balls; and Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls, filled with wok-fried carrot, pok choi and shiitake mushrooms, with sweet Thai chilli sauce. If you like relaxed, themed dining Trader Vic’s is a must visit.
Cocktails and clubbing
The chic CC Bar, located on the lobby level, offers a wide selection of Pommery Champagne, signature Champagne cocktails and premium spirits. Drama offers an art-inspired clubbing area between the hours of 10 p.m. – 3 a.m. Thursday to Sunday.
Located on the lower ground floor, the spa offers a limited number of treatments rooms, so be sure to book ahead. I did not try the spa’s signature treatment, a 24-Karat Gold massage using a combination of gold leaves and gold-infused oil but it sounds like the ultimate indulgence.
They also offer an anti jet-lag package, perfect for long haul travellers. The fitness centre is a good size and available 24 hours to hotel guests, accessed with a room key. There is also a steam room and sauna.
Rooms at The London Hilton on Park Lane are from £329 subject to change and availability.
Address: 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE
Phone: 020 7493 8000
The Hilton on Park Lane is perfectly situated to explore the capital. Irene was in town to visit the major new exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, which opened this week at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace which is just a short walk away. Read her review here.