Even though I live in London, I don’t always get chance to appreciate it. Crowded commutes, endless queuing and the fast pace can sometimes leave a gal feeling pretty uninspired about the whole place. This is why I loved getting the chance to spend the night at a London hotel recently, as it allowed me to enjoy the city as a tourist instead of a resident (I can assure you, they’re two very different things). I found it incredibly relaxing as it allowed me to me escape reality without even having to leave the place I call home.
This was back in December when I teamed up with the IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) to take part in their IHG Rewards Club® campaign. I blogged about on the IHG Rewards Hub here. Part of the experience was a night’s stay at The Intercontinental Park Lane, one of London’s most well known luxury hotels.
Of all the IHG hotels in London, The Intercontinental Park Lane is the luxury flagship. It’s unbelievably central location on Hyde Park Corner puts it on the edge of Mayfair, over the road from Hyde Park and a 5-minute drive from Knightsbridge. Basically, it’s real estate gold and in an incredible London location.
My boyfriend and I arrived at the hotel mid afternoon. It was a windy and rainy December day and felt pitch black outside, despite being about 3pm. Walking into the warm and glowing white marble lobby of the hotel took me a million miles from the hectic London streets outside. I could have been in New York, Paris, Vegas or somewhere else equally as fabulous.
The lobby area was lit up with a beautiful glowing Christmas tree as well as stylish bauble decorations. We received a friendly welcome from the reception team, and even though we only had small overnight bags, the doormen still offered to whisk our bags off to our room for us.
When we arrived, we had the lovely surprise of finding out that we had been upgraded to a newly refurbished superior room. This was because the system showed I was an IHG Rewards Club Member, another bonus of joining the club!
The room was spacious and had all the modern amenities you’d expect from a London 5 star hotel (mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, fluffy robe, slippers, incredible king size bed). A little welcome gesture of bottled water and chocolate chip shortbreads were waiting for us on the table, which was a homely touch.
The king size bed was incredibly comfortable and the luxurious bed linen felt like lying on a cloud. We had a great view overlooking Park Lane, but the other side of the hotel has views of Hyde Park, which probably would have been even better. I sat watching the cars and headlights go by late at night and remembered that London truly is a city that never sleeps!
An Indulgent Afternoon Tea
After we had settled into our room, it was back down to The Wellington Lounge for Afternoon Tea. Afternoon Tea is hugely popular at The Intercontinental and The Wellington Lounge is a perfectly elegant setting to enjoy it in.
Because we were staying in December, the traditional Afternoon Tea menu had been reinvented with a festive twist, which really got me into the Christmas spirit. The experience started with a champagne cocktail as we perused the extensive tea list.
Our waiter Thomas could not have been more helpful or happy to serve us as he talked us through the different teas – I never knew so many different types existed!. I went for Earl Grey, and despite the many choices, Scott went for the classic English breakfast tea (what else would you expect from a Northern lad?).
As each course arrived on the table, Thomas explained and presented each course beautifully, which really made the experience extra special.
The final sweet course was the most impressive, as the mini deserts were presented in a ‘Christmas present’. Finished with a big red bow, it was our job to unwrap the present and discover the treats inside.
Bubbles and Bath Robes
When the evening came, we headed out for our West End date, which involved a pre-theatre dinner at Bob Bob Ricard followed by tickets to see The Book of Mormon. Throughout the whole evening it was a great feeling to know that at the end of it we would retreat back to the hotel and that our cosy room was waiting for us. When we got back, I made the most of the suite by running a warm bubble bath and wrapping myself up in the fluffy white robes.
Next morning I got to check out the expansive breakfast buffet, and treated myself to a wickedly delicious all-butter croissant and a couple of poached eggs.
My stay at The Intercontinental Park Lane was an absolute delight. The whole experience really helped me to remember how unique and electrifying London can be and I enjoyed feeling like a tourist in my own city. If you’re looking for a luxury London hotel with an incredible location, elegant surroundings and wonderful staff, The Intercontinental is the one.
What did you think of my experience at The Intercontinental? Have you stayed at this hotel or are you thinking of booking it? If you enjoyed this post I’d love you to leave me a comment in the box below. Jess x
My stay at The Intercontinental Hotel was provided complimentary as part of an IHG Rewards Club® campaign.