London Hilton on Park Lane
THE HOTEL: The 100-metre tall Hilton Park Lane opened in 1963 (the group's first property in the UK) and has been a Mayfair institution ever since. It has over 450 guestrooms, including 56 suites. The closest tube station is Hyde Park Corner and Victoria Station is ten minutes away by taxi.
THE CHECK-IN: There was a brief wait to be attended to at the busy reception desk but the formalities were quickly dealt with and details of wifi, breakfast and access to the executive lounge concisely conveyed.
THE ROOM: My suite, on the 23rd floor, had commanding views over Hyde Park to the west. There was a narrow balcony from which to take in the fine views but this was locked at the time of my visit. The living area comprised sofa, desk small table and chairs, TV, minibar and coffee machine. A spacious bathroom had a deep bath, walk-in shower, twin basins and a bidet awkwardly squeezed in opposite the toilet. By the bathroom was a huge walk-in wardrobe, while the bedroom had a further desk, wall-mounted TV and more panoramic views across the capital. The decor was largely in neutral tones with splashes of green.
THE FACILITIES: There are three restaurants at the hotel, including the highly lauded, Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows restaurant and cocktail bar. With 360-degree views across London it certainly has a 'wow' factor. There's also the Podium and Trader Vic's restaurants and bars and the CC Champagne bar. There's also a fitness centre, spa, barbers and newsagents.
THE BUSINESS: The hotel has 11 function rooms, the largest of which is the pillar-free Grand Ballroom with capacity for up to 1,250 guests for receptions. It has recently introduced a workspace concept, Creative Hubs, enabling businesses and individuals to hire the Huddle, a workspace for up to five people, and the Hot Desk, for one or two people. Rates for hiring the Huddle start from £100 +VAT for one hour and rise to £400 +VAT for up to eight hours, while the Hot Desk costs £199 +VAT per day to hire. Rates include wifi, refreshments and access to a business centre.
THE VERDICT: This is a first class business hotel that comes with a fine reputation and great staff that were unfailingly efficient.
THE DETAILS: London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE. Room rates start from £249 per night. See hilton.com/londonparklane
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2016)