* Prices may differ from that shown
I have now stayed at The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, twice now and i have to say that on both occasions the service, attentive but not over-powering, the consideration, decor, space, cleanliness and personlisation is second to non.
It is one of the most well known hotels in the world and this hotel has been called home by some of the most well known people in the world from Members of Parliament to Actors.
On my second visit, i arrived in a taxi outside the hotel and immediately there was a porter at the door dressed in immacualte green dorchester uniform opening the door for me. He then took my luggage and escorted me to the check in desk.
Upon check in, the attendant said "Welcome to the Dorchester", however once she had found my booking she began to apologised and said, "I am so sorry, welcome BACK to The Dorchester".
The service is impeccable and the staff cannot do enough for you.
The rooms are immacualte, spacious and luxurious.
The food is well presented, fresh and the hotel serves great English food but also food of different tastes, cultures and countries. There is a restaurant in the hotel called The Grill for modern cuisine and also another one called 'China Tang' which is chinese food at its finest.
The price can be quite steep, especially in the week however the saying you get what you pay for certainly rings true for this hotel.
Additionally, on my second visit it was my birthday. When i telephoned to book theroom, i was asked it it was a special occasion, not expecting it to matter, but when i got to my room later in the evening, a knock on the door showed to be a waiter who had bought me up a chocolate birthday cake compliments of The Dorchester Hotel.
This hotel is very highly recommended. High quality service, luxurious hotel.
I have little experience of London hotels because until the middle of last year I was a resident and had no cause to stay in any of them. All that has changed now I reside in Bermuda and on business trips, I always try to sneak in a stopover in London to see my beloved city once again and to stock up on vital supplies such as new dresses, handbags and shoes.
February this year was my first opportunity to do so and I decided that I would like to experience one of the most famous hotels in the city, The Dorchester. This weekend presented another opportunity for a London stopover and I could not resist another night. Or perhaps more to the point, I vaguely recalled that during my last visit I had a beautiful room, however I met up with friends in the cocktail lounge and drunk so much red wine that I decided to try the experience again. Properly and soberly this time.
Booking and check-in~~~~
On both of my visits I booked via The Dorchesters own website, there did not appear to be any way to get the room cheaper although I tried a couple of the big sites like Expedia. There are a huge range of room rates available, probably 15 to 20 options, I chose the cheapest rate both times of GBP255 which was called the Weekend Rate and included breakfast and a bottle of champagne on arrival. I didnt really want a bottle of champagne as I was by myself and would rather have had a cheaper room rate but that was not an option.
The booking process was very simple but it should be noted that 17.5% VAT is not included in the price quoted, this is mentioned on a subsequent page during the booking process but it could easily be missed and is not an insignificant amount.
I arrived at the hotel by taxi and doormen in green morning coats and top hats immediately rushed to open the door, welcome me and after I got out of the taxi they unloaded my luggage and brought it inside. Although there was not a queue at reception on either occasion, the check-in process is quite slow. I am not sure why, but they seem to spend a great deal of time working out what room should be allocated. Despite being attended to straight away, check in easily takes 20 minutes. On one visit I arrived at about 2pm and on the other midday, both times a room was available straight away which I was pleased about.
I was taken to my room by one of the front desk staff and offered a short tour of the facilities on the way, the luggage is delivered a few minutes later and I was even asked if I want help unpacking! I graciously declined, that was just a bit too indulgent for me.
Although I booked the same room and paid the same rate on each of my two visits, the two rooms I was provided were very different in size. On my second visit there was about a foot of space between the bottom of the bed and the TV cabinet, it felt very pokey and claustrophobic and I was very disappointed.
One half of me tried to convince the other half that it did not really matter how big the room was for one night, but after three minutes of internal debate I called the front desk and explained that I was not happy as I had stayed in a much larger room on my last visit and had booked the same room type this time. Within five minutes the person I spoke to personally came to the room to collect me and show me a different room, which was to my satisfaction and the same layout as the room on my first visit. My luggage made it to the new room before me. It would have been preferable to have been offered this room in the first place, but at least the situation was rectified promptly and without argument but this is a cautionary tale for anybody making a first visit as if I had been given the small room the first time I possibly would not have questioned it.
This room, like the one from my prior visit was gorgeous. In fact the smaller room was just as beautifully and immaculately furnished, it was just small. Entering the (larger) rooms and you are in a hallway with the bathroom at one end and a door to the bedroom at the other, this immediately creates a feeling of more space and I think the internal hallway also reduces the possibility of hearing noise from the corridor outside the room.
I was very impressed with the bedroom. The bed is huge, it is described as a king but this would be a US king which is much larger than what we call king size in the UK. It was covered in huge plump cushions and pillows and matching comforter and the sheets were high quality Egyptian cotton and were so comfortable to sleep in that I plan to replace all my sheets at home as soon as is reasonably practicable. I had an excellent nights sleep.
Also in the room were a couple of armchairs, a dressing table, two wardrobes and a huge TV unit which contained the drinks cabinet underneath. Minibar would simply be the wrong expression to describe this minibar. The TV was probably about 34 inches and offered local channels, music channels and pay on demand films. It was quite a sophisticated system for choosing what you want, but I thought that GBP5 to listen to some music was a bit much to be honest and I didnt bother to check the price of a film. No, I was quite happy to make do with some local channels particularly as I have not seen UK TV for many months and it is surprising what you miss. It was my bad luck that it was the night of the Eurovision song contest though I must admit.
The bathroom was generous size, cream marble tiles and walls, white suite with antique style taps. The bath was very large and deep and proved impossible to resist, especially knowing there was champagne to be drunk. The shower was over the bath and it was easy to use and the water pressure just right. Towels ticked all the right boxes; huge, white, fluffy and plenty of them as well as the Dorchester robes with hoods.
Turndown at the Dorchester is more than just turn down, it is an entire servicing of the room. All the complimentary toiletries were replaced and even though I had simply moved the shampoo out of its spot but had not even opened it I got a new one. The toiletries were very good size and quality and although I dont normally bother taking them home with me, on this occasion it seemed foolish not to.
Other hotel amenities~~~~
There are a few dining and drinking options in the hotel including the famous Dorchester Grill which I did not visit, although I liked the look of the décor very much. The Grill is on the ground floor behind reception and close by there is also the Promenade which is a very pleasant lounge serving light meals and high tea. I had a late lunch in here, it was very crowded with people in for high tea but they managed to find me a table and the staff could not have been more courteous. It was not a cheap lunch though, GBP 30 for a lunch of poached salmon and potato salad with a small bottle of mineral water.
On my fist visit I spent the evening in the cocktail bar which is decorated in funky reds and purples with mirrored walls. The evening did pass in somewhat of a haze but I believe the wine was about GBP 40 a bottle and we had some absolutely delicious spring rolls for snacks which were GBP10 a plate. Although I was here on a Friday night it was not particularly crowded either so we were able to spread out and be comfortable.
Breakfast was included in my room rate and I had this in my room both times and I had a room service dinner the second visit too. Room service was wonderful, plenty of variety and choice and service was about 20 30 minutes. When the food did arrive it was on a huge trolley / dining table covered in white linen and was all very grand. The food was good too.
My final indulgence of my stay was a visit to the Dorchester Spa for a massage, I was not sure how far this gets booked up so I made my appointment weeks in advance as soon as I booked the room. I arrived for my appointment about ten minutes early so not enough time for a good look around, however there did not seem to be a great deal by way of pools, jacuzzi, steam room etc, or perhaps I just missed them. The massage was excellent though, one of the best I have had and hopefully the standard of my therapist is indicative of them all. I thought the charge of GBP 75 for one hour was very reasonable as well and quite typical in central London.
The Dorchester is ideally situated for a trip to London being close to many attractions and key shopping locations. I would highly recommend a stay here for a dose of indulgence and pampering or for a special occasion and I would further recommend taking advantage of the dining and spa amenities. I have seen reviews on other websites that have criticized the high prices of food and beverage in particular but I kind of accepted this was never going to be cheap and set my expectations accordingly.
Everything about this hotel oozes quality and luxury but I think what made the experience so memorable and positive for me was that every single member of staff made me feel like I was a highly valued and important customer.
Park Lane, London W1K 1QA, England
Tel: +44 20 7629 8888, Fax: +44 20 7629 8080
Looking across the soft green swathes of Hyde Park, The Dorchester is one of the most desirable places in the world to stay. A luxury Mayfair hotel of great repute, it embodies the highest of traditional values, with spacious rooms and suites of great charm, glorious dining and entertaining, and a spa of exquisite indulgence. For over half a century the hotel has remained a pinnacle of luxury and ease. Superbly located in the heart of London's Mayfair on Park Lane, between Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner, The Dorchester is close to exclusive London shopping in Bond Street and Knightsbridge and is within easy access of many London attractions including Buckingham Palace, West End theatres, the Royal Albert Hall and the National Gallery.