Staying mid-week in one of London’s finest hotels, when your home is about half an hour away, is one of life’s greatest luxuries. Say goodbye to your small box room and hello to an extravagant suite.
Although it doesn’t seem so luxury when me and my partner cycle to The Lanesborough on our bikes for check-in. The hotel’s doormen seem a little perturbed to see the Hyde Park entrance approached by two bedraggled looking cyclists. However, they are decent enough to take our bikes through the lobby and store them in the staff staircase for the evening. Probably a first for this five-star institution. I don’t imagine many of their five-star clientele rock up on two muddy wheels.
Of course, now that we were here, we try to mingle in, even if we’re dragging our backpacks through a foyer that’s decked out in white marble and sparkling chandeliers.
There's something special about working from a hotel – particularly when you have elaborate velvet curtains as the backdrop to your Zoom call
We’re shown up to our quaint doily blue executive junior suite. The white fluffy towels and robes hang in the bathroom, eagerly waiting for us to dive on in. But instead, we settle ourselves around the old bureau for some last minute work that’s popped up.
There’s something special about working from a hotel. Particularly when you have elaborate velvet curtains as the backdrop to your Zoom call and room service to deliver coffees to your desk. It’s definitely something I could get used to.
I have every whim answered to by the spa butler who is on hand to pass me towels, moisturisers and cool glasses of water at my behest
Obviously, I didn’t come to the Lanesborough to talk about its WiFi and workspaces – I’m here for the spa. If you follow the Lanesborough Club & Spa on Instagram, you will have seen all the wonders inside its underground health emporium. There are lotions and potions, PT workouts, a nail bar, fresh juices and massages going on behind secret hidden doors and in calming relaxation rooms. Not only that, the spa’s social media account also reveals that it has plucked the eyebrows of actor Keeley Hawes. Yup, it’s kind of a big deal.
I don my fluffy white towel and hotel slippers, and get ready to while away a whole day in here – the Keeley Hawes way.
One minute I’m dipping into the hydro-therapy pool and relaxing on loungers, the next I’m having every whim answered to by the spa butler who is on hand to pass you towels, moisturisers and cool glasses of water at your behest.
The only downside is that me and my partner can’t relax in the sauna and steam room together because they’re located separately in the women’s and men’s changing rooms. This might have something to do with the strong Middle Eastern clientele they have coming into the hotel. Or maybe it’s just so you can relax without having to talk about whose turn it is to put the bins out tomorrow night.
After a quick refresh in our room, we stop in for an aperitif at The Library Bar before heading out for dinner. The gin and oaky whisky cocktails are brought alongside some nibbles for us to keep the wolf from the door. The old-school decor and the relaxed tinkling of ivories from a jazz musician has us feeling like we’ve been transported back a few years, and it seems like we almost have as a shrill voice on the table next to us starts talking about her hunting escapades.
We step out into the real world to indulge in some contemporary fare, not before saying goodbye to the hotel’s cat Lilibet, who we find reclined in the arms of one of the staff. A few hours later we return, sated and sleepy, and fall back into the fluffy cloud of the bed.
I definitely need to have breakfast on a sofa more often, that's for sure
Naturally, in the morning we visit the spa once more and then indulge in a hearty breakfast of fruit salad and eggs Benedict on a sofa – I definitely need to have breakfast on a sofa more often, that’s for sure. The light beams in through the glass ceiling of the Celeste restaurant, which has a Michelin star to its name. A fine way to start the morning before we discreetly ask for our bikes back. The doormen wheel them through marble chequered hallway and give us a bemused smile as we hop back on two wheels and cycle home, wishing that we were, in fact, in a Rolls-Royce.