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Hotel of the week.

Byline: IAN VOGLER

Royal Lancaster Hotel, London WHERE AND WHY: The Royal Lancaster on Lancaster Terrace, 10 minutes from Oxford Street.

Famous for its far-reaching views over Hyde Park and A-list guests such as Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali and the Beatles, Michael Caine's Charlie Croker character also headed there after being released from prison in The Italian Job.

To celebrate the hotel's 50th anniversary in 2017, it underwent a lavish PS85million refurbishment. The elaborate reinvention included its five restaurants and bars, 18 floors of rooms and suites and vast event spaces.

rooms and suites and vast event spaces.

COVID CHECK-IN: Sensor-based hand sanitiser dispensers are stationed around the entrance and in public areas.

Arriving guests are asked standard Covid health questions. NHS Track and Trace is clearly displayed. Reception staff wear masks and stand behind a screen. UV light or disinfectant wipes are used to sanitise luggage.

EXPERIENCE: The vibe is upscale retro, its interior design reflecting its original 60s glamour. In the 411 rooms, with 12 different categories, velvet couches provide luxurious lounging opportunities, there are geometric-print soft furnishings, along with wood panelling, gold lamps and mirrored walls.

After a day of sightseeing it was heaven to head back to freshen up in the rainfall shower. For added luxury, sleek Carrara marble bathrooms have underfloor heating and there are large bottles of complimentary toiletries from The White Company.

The in-room Nespresso machine provided a handy caffeine hit while admiring those views too.

ON THE MENU: In the Park Lounge Bar, there is a high-quality range of cocktails reflecting the hotel's history and location including Hyde Park's the Serpentine. They're pricey at PS18, but this is a landmark hotel and the chic surroundings with candles and an open fire are gorgeous.

If you usually avoid hotel restaurants and dine out elsewhere, don't. The Royal Lancaster's beautiful Nipa Thai dining room is worth staying in for. Its award-winning kitchen is run by all-female, all-Thai staff and the Phad Kra Prao Kai Rue Moo, stir-fried chicken with chilli and basil, was bursting with flavour for PS17.

Breakfast is served in the Park Restaurant, overlooking the hotel's own bee hives. Service was slick - my omelette arrived promptly and hot. Made-to-order dishes include a full English, French toast, pancakes, waffles and shakshuka eggs.

WHILE YOU'RE THERE: You're also close to Kensington Gardens, Green Park and Buckingham Palace. There are plenty of bikes to rent nearby too.

WAKE-UP CALL: Rooms from PS215 a night, royallancaster.com

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:IAN VOGLER
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2021
Words:411
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