Over a year has passed since the world as we knew it changed forever. So used to hopping on a flight to Firenze or a train to Paris, suddenly we were confined to not just our island, but our postcodes, and the concept of a quick, last-minute city break became a distant memory. Summer on a Spanish beach or winter in a Bavarian market were whipped off our collective list of options in a way we could never have imagined.
Thankfully, 2021 is finally turning into the year of rebirth we so hoped it would be. Vaccines are being dished out, hugs are once again legal (cautious ones, mind – whatever that means) and holidays are creeping back into the national psyche as something we may actually get away with this year. After nigh on 18 months of cabin fever, we may finally get that change of scenery we all crave.
That said, we should perhaps not get too excited – there are still a fair few hoops to jump through before we go gallivanting across the globe as we once did. For the great many of us who may still be a touch nervous around foreign infection levels, or frankly can’t be arsed with all the rigmarole around seven nights in Mykonos, there is one ideal solution: Hotel Week London.
Finally allowed to reopen, and with the intention of bringing respite to those of us who are aching for the chance to escape the home office for a decent length of time, Hotel Week London sees some 45 of the capital’s most luxurious hotels come together to offer discounts and enhanced packages for domestic travellers. The initiative officially runs from 28th May until 6th June, but many of the properties have already extended their offers until the of June. Here, we round up some of our favourites – plus a couple of bonus options if you want to venture further afield.
Anyone who has strolled down High Holborn for business or pleasure will surely have noticed Rosewood London, so striking is the building itself. Entering through its impressive courtyard we can find a selection of bars, dining room and wellness centres, as well as some of the most elegant suites in the city.
Admire the artworks lining the foyer and hallways, enjoy an extraordinarily fancy pie in The Pie Room and end the night sipping fine scotch whisky on the al fresco MacAllan Manor House.
252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN; Rosewood
Dukes is a little gem, nestled in the grand old streets of St James’s and as renowned for the legendary martinis crafted by maestro Alessandro Palazzi as for the luxury of the accommodations.
The Hotel Week London offer includes an aperitif designed in celebration of the occasion by the man himself which will no doubt be the perfect warm-up to dinner at their Great British Restaurant followed by cigars and cognac in the garden. Burn off all the indulgence in the morning with a walk around Green Park, mere moments from the hotel’s front door.
35 St James's Pl, SW1A 1NY; Dukes
MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK
With a spectacular frontage on Knightsbridge, minutes from Harrod’s and just at the top of Sloane Street, the Mandarin Oriental is ideally located for a break which takes advantage of the return of retail.
Add a terrace from which you can gaze onto Hyde Park, extensive spa facilities and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal on-site and you have one of the most luxurious experiences on this list. Spectacular views from the suites and the legendary service associated with the brand complete what is a truly exceptional offer.
66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA; Mandarin Oriental
ANDAZ LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET
Andaz London has breathed new life into a Victorian building on the edge of Shoreditch and is perfect for those who want to explore the vibrancy of East London. It houses no fewer than five restaurants, and offers in-room wellness treatments perfect for revitalising the body after a long afternoon pounding the pavements of the local area.
A fresher, more modern vibe abounds at this end of town, and this property captures it perfectly. Check out the signature Suite 104, designed by Sir Terence Conran and offering great views of the surrounding area.
40 Liverpool Street, EC2M 7QN; Hyatt
THE LANDMARK LONDON
Marylebone is one of London’s most stylish neighbourhoods, with a wealth of big name brands alongside fantastically chic independent boutiques and an array of eating and drinking options that will leave you spoilt for choice.
Fortunately, the sprawling edifice that houses this hotel has enough under its own roof that you need not leave its embrace to find the luxury you deserve – the Mirror Bar is known for having the best cocktails in the area, perfect for unwinding after a tough day at the in-house spa and building an appetite for dinner in the Winter Garden in the building’s spectacular atrium.
222 Marylebone Road, NW1 6JQ; Landmark London
Scotland’s capital needs no introduction as a place to visit for its astonishing cityscape, world-class bars and locally sourced cuisine. The chapel which forms the frontage of The Glasshouse was built in 1846, making it a relative adolescent in this ancient town, and was restored as part of the renovations to create the hotel.
Luxurious suites and a location at the top of Leith Walk, just steps away from both Old and New Towns, make this a fabulous base to explore from, but the real star must surely be the two-acre roof terrace, overlooking the historic Calton Hill and the perfect place to enjoy an al-fresco breakfast or a post-meal cigar.
2 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA; The Glasshouse
Simply put, the Isle of Skye is stunning. From the Fairy Pools to the Old Man of Storr, you are guaranteed to find scenery that will take your breath away whichever corner of the island you choose to visit. Kinloch Lodge is the ideal start and finish point for this exploration – a family business set in a farmhouse that dates back to the 17th century and today offers warm welcomes, wilderness pursuits and whisky.
Rise at the break of dawn to stalk deer around the grounds and return to a hearty meal and a roaring fire before taking a place by the firepit in the grounds to watch the sunset. There can be no better tonic to such a long period spent with nothing but your laptop and living room to stare at.
Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV43 8QY; Kinloch Lodge