The Dorchester

What’s the difference between a good hotel and a great hotel? It’s a hard question because it isn’t immediately obvious.  Having recently spent a night at The Dorchester in London I now think I finally know.

The Dorchester, London
It all starts from the minute you arrive.  The warm greeting from the doorman, who introduces himself, inviting a reciprocal introduction has already started this well-oiled machine in motion.  Before you even arrive at reception they already know who you are, where you’ve come from etc. so the greeting is wonderfully chatty and informal, yet ruthlessly efficient.  By the time we reached our room, our bags had been dispatched and were waiting for us up at the room when we arrived.
The Bedroom at the Dorchester Suite
We were shown to and around our room by the lady who checked us in at reception – and we were completely taken aback by the size of it and the imposing luxury that greeted us.  Sumptuous sofas, a huge 4-poster bed, a couple of sleek BeoVision TVs, a bathroom with more marble than Venice and an introduction to our own Butler, who stepped in to take our order for coffee and biscuits there and then.

Day room at the Dorchester Suite
There was a fruit bowl that was overflowing, some beautiful flowers and orchids and this was all supplemented by the great view over Hyde Park from the windows.  It really was such a special place to be; almost to the point that we were reluctant to leave our room to go down for dinner.

However, common sense prevailed and we went down to The Grill for what proved to be a fabulously indulgent yet comfortably informal meal which included one of the best Chateaubriands we’ve ever tasted.  Elegantly carved and served at the table with the sommelier’s suggested wine, it was so, so good.  The service was almost perfection in every respect.  Our waiter, Jack, was attentive, but not overbearing, chatty but not intrusive and he interacted with perfect manners but was able to do so with humour and a smile throughout.  Every part of the meal was carried out with such professionalism it was impossible to fault.  To add to the professionalism of the staff we have to mention the decor, which was based on a Scottish theme, with bekilted highlanders waving their sporrans and bagpipes around the tartan-clad upholstery that abounded.  We understand that The Grill is currently undergoing a bit of a makeover, so it’ll be interesting to see what transpires décor-wise.

The Grill at The Dorchester
We left for a little night-cap in the cocktail bar on ‘The Promenade’, where we were serenaded by the resident pianist and served drinks and nibbles while we relaxed and digested that lovely meal.

The Dorchester Spa is described as a haven of peace and relaxation down in the lower part of the hotel and its reputation precedes it.  Due to our own time constraints we weren’t able to avail ourselves of such pleasures, but it really did look very, very inviting indeed.

The Spa Relaxation Room
Location-wise, it’s hard to beat, situated on Park Lane, just up from Hyde Park Corner and within easy walking distance of Oxford Street, Piccadilly and Knightsbridge.  There’s easy and reasonable parking available in the Park Lane car park opposite and Marble Arch and Green Park tube stations are close at hand too.

All-in-all it was not only a truly luxurious and memorable stay, but an education in just how incredible a hotel can be if it gets it right – and The Dorchester most certainly does!

Mr C
Dad to 2 grown-up boys and 3 lovely stepdaughters, I'm Mrs C's right-hand man and 'Bamps' to 6 new 'grand-arrivals' Dylan, Harris, Connie, Toby, Rory and Seren. I enjoy a weekend away, a good film on the telly and a good restaurant. I also love a good rant when things aren't up to expectation or are playing on my mind.

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