by Prince Said, 13 Feb 2009
A top hatted, cashmere coated (and yes, he was young and handsome :) doorman immediately came over to open the car door, take my luggage, and usher me into the hotel.
Victoria at the reception desk was both welcoming and polite. She and Ramona cordially and professionally answered each of my incessant questions during my stay.
Although there was a lovely small elevator, I chose to walk up the broad staircase with its beautiful carpeting, and heavily carved gleaming wooden banister.
Gilded appliques shone on rich wood panels. Portraits of landscapes, dogs, horses and someone's ancestors were softly lit on the walls.
Eleven bowls of varying sizes of fresh yellow flowers (forsythia, calla lillies and ranaunculas) graced every level at the top of the stairs, resting on antique, marble topped chests.
A grandfather clock, paintings, and wall sconces with pleated shades provided a luxurious country house feel, totally unlike the usual sterile hotel corridors.
Each floor also has its own butler ! Mario came to introduce himself, and asked if I would like him to unpack my luggage, and put everything away. He also inquired if anything needed pressing before I went out to dinner.
The room was tiny but delightful.
A divided light glass door opens onto a small private vestibule. A key card is held up to the wall, and the solid wood bedroom door with its silver door knob clicks open.
The room is soundproofed fairly well. Even though there is some traffic noise during the day, at night it is relatively quiet.
A welcome gift of fresh fruit awaited in an oval crystal bowl. Grapes, plum, pear, orange and banana were all of the highest quality.
Complimentary hot tea followed (or you could have coffee if you prefer) on beautiful white-and-cream bone china. The sugar caddy and petite milk pitcher were silver, and there was an additional thermos of hot water provided for a refill.
4 biscuits came with this, but they were rather dry and tasteless, so one bite was enough.
All of this came presented on a round silver tray with a scalloped edge, white linen doily. A single red rose in a bud vase completed the picture. It might have well have been a movie set, it was so exquisitely done.
One of the head butlers, Paul, brought me a laptop and a mouse, which are free of charge of you use them for less than 2 hours each day of your stay.
On top of all this magnificence, complimentary treats are brought at 5:00 p.m. each evening. The first night's was fresh squeezed carrot or beet or melon juice in crystal shot glasses.
The next night Mario and another butler, Gus, brought gin & tonic ingredients with fresh lemon and lime, if you wanted a freshly made drink.
The third night a flute of chilled Laurent-Perrier Champagne was offered.
The bedroom has thick crown molding and high baseboards, with a light brown micro thin striped carper underfoot.
Walls are done in what looks like camel colored silk or grasscloth, but it is really just cleverly papered.
It is beautifully furnished in wood, with nightstands and a desk. and a painted curving window seat.
Heavy damask draperies are held back during the day, and pulled closed at evening turn-down to shut out the light and keep out any drafts.
Touch button lights control everything, from the light to the air conditioning/heating. A Samsung flat screen is above the desk opposite the hugely comfortable bed.
There is also a music system, and an elaborate mini bar tucked discreetly within a glass fronted armoire.
The comfortable king sized bed has a curving carved headboard, and Frette white-on-white striped sheets with 4 huge pillows.
There is a cashmere blanket draped neatly at the foot of the bed. A single white rose in a vase rests on each nightstand.
The white marble bathroom has two thick, soft white robes. The generously sized towels are on heated racks.
The Asprey 'purple water' amenities smell really good, and rest on a silver tray.
The shower has two heads, one high up, and one flexible one, both with good water pressure. Mirrored medicine cabinets flank both sides of the sink.
There is a live orchid on the surround by the bathtub. A flat screen television is built discreetly into the wall if you want to watch something while you are relaxing in the large tub.
I desperately needed a nap after the long flight, and my wake-up call came precisely on time. As did my morning wake-up call.
(Really, the service here defines excellence at every step of the process.)
Concierges Andrew and Corrado were quite helpful, and as well as being founts of savvy local knowledge, had tickets for The Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral, which made queuing unnecessary.
After coming back from dinner, the doorman again leaped to open the front door of the hotel and welcome me back, inquiring if I had a good evening.
I slept incredibly well. Who wouldn't with a pampering environment like this ?
The following morning, after reading the two complimentary newspapers that were left at my door (I asked for the two of the gossip tabloids, The Sun and The Mirror) and drinking a wake-up cup of hot tea, I made my leisurely way downstairs for breakfast.
There is a beautiful sunny, window walled room at the front of the hotel called The Gallery. Huge baskets of orchids are everywhere, and candles are scattered around in profusion on side tables at night.
George greets me with a smile, and ushers me into the room, offering me my choice of tables. There is a moss plant on each in a square pot.
Linen and sheer drapes decorate the windows. There are white tablecloths, and comfortable upholstered chairs. Genuine silverplate silver by Arthur Price is on the tables, and there are silver salt & pepper shakers, as well as a silver pepper grinder.
On a glass tray, there are seven different sealed miniature preserves. Honey, strawberry, raspberry, apricot, gooseberry and orange marmalade, with tiny silver spoons.
A silver basket lined with a napkin holds two delicious, warm and perfectly flaky large, freshly baked croissants.
There is a small glass pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice, although it doesn't really taste like the orange juice does at home when I cut and squeeze it.
Pats of butter come in a lovely Wedgewood, white cream-and-gold china dish.
The two eggs over easy are perfectly cooked, as is the side of crispy bacon, and the plate is garnished with a pair of cooked cherry tomatoes.
Breakfast each morning is excellent, and the waiter remembers what I like.
I did not have an opportunity to try the hotel for lunch.
The Afternoon tea tray looked quite good.
I did try a Caesar salad one night after dinner elsewhere. Don't. Both the lettuce and the dressing were sub-par.
Sascha, the hostess manager, was very charming on my last night. We were discussing various restaurants, and she suggested that next time I am in town, she may be able to get me a reservation at Petrus for dinner :)
The chef gave me a lovely garnishment tray with every imaginable fixing for some beluga caviar that I had brought in from Fortunm & Mason's, and it was on the house.
Everyone has truly been incredibly kind.
Overall, the Connaught Hotel is a superb choice for a place to stay in London if what you enjoy is beauty in your surroundings and unmatched personal service.
The cost is only slightly above that of the other 5 star American Express Platinum and Conde Nast Gold List hotels recommended in town, and I think offers more value for the dollar.
by Loving Annie (7 reviews), 03 Apr 2008
by halpn1 (2 reviews), 10 Jun 2005
by Anonymous, 24 May 2005
I have since reccomended this hotel to everyone I've spoken to .
by Leroy Smith (4 reviews), 05 Oct 2004
Have we missed a great hotel in London? Let us know.