A Gracious Welcome
Our time in London was so completely extraordinary that it’s hard to believe that it actually happened. This was my first trip out of the continental United States and I know for fact not my last. Though I believe I may have now ruined all future stays elsewhere because of this trip. It was so lavish, luxurious and full of beauty that I can’t even fathom how the next trip could begin to top it.
After three flight transfers across the States, where we were unfortunately unable to sleep a wink due to excited anxiety of what was to come, we landed in London’s Heathrow airport just before noon on a Wednesday. The airport is incredibly well put together, very easy to navigate and is connected to the cities tube system. We decided we would travel by tube to our hotel which was only a thirty or so minute ride away. Glancing out the windows of the train to see the stone houses and fairy tale chimneys of the neighborhoods on the way to our hotel was dreamlike. One of the first sights I had seen of London were vine covered brick walls and wood shingled rooftops which deeply thrilled me. The architecture alone gives me goosebumps. When we finally came to our stop at Hyde Park Corner we stood in amazement on the crossroads of Piccadilly Road and Duke of Wellington Place and gazed across the street at our hotel. By American standards it is not a hotel but a sophisticated manor or castle. The hotel we were about to be staying in was The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel.
We approached the stronghold while the kind, smiling doormen opened the threshold gates for us. We entered the vestibule and in to the gorgeous lobby where we were warmly welcomed by Mr. Naylor-Leyland, the house manager, and his doting staff. After checking in and getting acquainted, we were invited upstairs to our room, which I must say I was happy to be getting to since we were going on hour twenty five of no sleep. I never understood the true concept of jet-lag until this journey, but even with discovering this new misfortune of travel we were able to recover in absolute style. As we walked into the room we were surprised to see a welcoming gift of chilled champagne awaiting our arrival. Oh Lanesborough, you cheeky lot, you’ve spoiled us rotten.
We were introduced to Kasia, our butler, who was incredibly professional and an absolute gem. Yes, we had our very own butler at our beckon call during our stay. Though I thought it would be strange having someone wait on us hand and foot, you can get used to this type of luxury quite quickly, I assure you. She gave us a tour of our room and showed us the specs of every detail. The view out onto Hyde Park Corner, the multi-chambered bathroom and walk in closet, the disappearing bookcase flat screen television, and environmental controls at our finger tips on either night stand. We were staying in The Lanesborough Suite, fourth bedroom, which was designed by well known photographer and interior designer, Alberto Pinto. The whole sweet is 840 square feet, which is about a hundred more than our own apartment at home.
The room was adorned with the most beautiful blue, cream, and gold color scheme that I have ever seen in a hotel. But The Lanesborough really isn’t the average or even the above average hotel. No, it is an elite and luxurious lifestyle experience and I can only pray that I get to experience it again. We were absolutely famished from our travels and were happy to get the opportunity to sit down and rest our weary heads. Kasia brought tea to our room as a part of the welcomed room accommodations. The tea was served with the most fantastic sweet and savory house made biscotti I had ever had the pleasure of nibbling on. There was a lovely bowl of fruit in our room which we assumed was a part of our welcoming gifts, but ended up being the gift that kept on giving because it would magically refill everyday as a part of the house keeping service. After sipping tea, and enjoying our treats of biscotti and assorted fruits, we retired to the kind size bed where we watched movies until we passed out from happiness and exhaustion. We have so, so much more to share from our days following our arrival and are so very excited to share our experiences and photos.