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Short stay: The Wellesley, Hyde Park, London, UK

Opened in December 2012, The Wellesley is a 1920s townhouse boutique hotel has been beautifully restored with a modern take on the art deco style and with every modern convenience. Named after Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington who served twice as Prime Minister between 1828 and 1834 and later as leader of the House of Lords, it combines sophisticated luxury with exceptional service. The welcome I was warmly welcomed and personally shown to room by the receptionist who explained that my butler would call shortly. 10 minutes or so later, my butler, Cicero, came to the room and gave me a quick tour of the room, showing me how everything worked and explaining that he was on call should I need. The room I stayed in room 402, a Junior Suite with views of Hyde Park – when combined together with room 403 next door, it forms the Charlie Chaplin Suite. The interior of the hotel has been designed by Fox Linton, drawing on the inspiration of the building’s history as a famous jazz club. Despite drawing on its historical past, the hotel has plenty of contemporary touches. Wellesley bedroom Stylishly furnished, the room had a super-comfortable bed, ample seating, a large flat-screen TV and a desk from which I could work. Wellesley desk Wellesley chair A selection of magazines included Vogue, GQ and House & Garden. Wellesley magazines The bathroom The bathroom is light and airy and finished in veined Carrara marble. Wellesley bathrom Hermes toiletries are provided. Wellesley toiletries The facilities Since I just needed to get on with work, I opted for room service rather than going to the hotel’s Oval Restaurant (Italian cuisine) for dinner. I ordered the linguini with lobster, chilli and a tomato sauce, which was full of flavour, along with a side order of asparagus, followed by the cheese selection. Wellesley room service Wellesley cheese The hotel also has a Jazz Lounge where the voices of many jazz legends have been heard, as well as the exclusive Crystal Bar with its large collection of some of the finest Cognacs and whiskies. There is even a bespoke humidor, with one of the most exciting collections of cigars in the world sourced from leading dealers and by private auction – overseen by food and beverage manager Giuseppe Ruo – as well as a Cigar Terrace and a distinguished collection of the finest spirits and cigars. I did make it to the Oval Restaurant for breakfast where I had the full English. Wellesley breakfast location Wellesley breakfast Other nice touches There was fresh fruit in my room on arrival, along with a personal note. Wellesley fruit Another nice touch is the provision of an in-room iPad which includes all the information you need whislt staying – everything from the weather forecast to the room service menu. Wellesley iPad There’s even The Wellesley Rolls Royce which is available to take you anywhere within 1.5 miles of the hotel on a first come first serve basis. Cost Deluxe Queen rooms start from £550 per night, and a Junior Suite with a Hyde Park view such as the one I stayed in, starts from £1,100 per night. The best bit I particularly liked the homely atmosphere of the hotel – it is big enough to have a small-but-cosy restaurant and intimate bar, but also small enough that you feel as though you are a valued guest. The final verdict I was travelling on business but this a lovely, well-located hotel within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Picadilly or Harrod’s, making it well-suited for tourists also. Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of The Wellesley.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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