In the footsteps of icons
We were invited to stay in one of the world’s most iconic hotels and, to be honest, excited was an understatement! Having recently stayed at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park (see our review here), and have loved every second of it, to be visiting The Dorchester, queen of the Dorchester Collection, was simply a dream. I’d been to many events at The Dorchester, but this was the first time we had dined and stayed there, and we were in for a treat.
A firm favourite for celebrities through the ages, it was a wonderful feeling walking through the doors into the same space that Elizabeth Taylor had breezed through for her ‘White Diamonds’ perfume launch, and I wondered which suite it was that Louis Armstrong had famously stayed and played his trumpet in.
There is so much luxury history associated with the place and escorted to the Dorchester Suite, I wanted to take in all the beautiful details. Sinking into the plush, colourful, soft carpets is divine and the beautiful antique vases and ornaments make the hotel truly unique.
Through an impressive door, we found our suite. At 124m², there’s plenty of space, and it is used to its fullest potential! The parquet flooring in the lobby leads you in and I was struck by the breathtaking view directly out onto Park lane, with Hyde Park in the distance; a classic London views from the most luxurious room. More gorgeous ornaments adorned the coffee table and we sank into the beautiful plump grey sofa, gorgeously soft and inviting, especially on a grey and rainy bank holiday weekend. There was no reason to venture out, so we stayed and enjoyed our little slice of Dorchester luxury.
The suite has a really good size dining table – perfect for hosting an intimate family dinner, a hen party or just getting ready on the morning of your wedding. An impressive fireplace and plenty of comfy seating would make this a really good space for a little get together.
The bedroom featured one of my favourite hotel beds; a four poster with an exquisite silk canopy, the softest linen and pillows you simply sink into. I don’t usually sleep with three pillows, but trust me, you would definitely make an exception for The Dorchester’s cloud-like pillows. With plenty of space for reclining on the chaise longue and a beautiful writing desk, the room was calm, relaxing and elegant. And I could spend hours just whiling away the time curled up in the bedroom’s window seat, people-watching from a comfy, peaceful nook.
A beautiful white marble-clad bathroom held a sunken bath, apparently the deepest and fastest filling in London, and acute Dorchester duck and wonderful Dorchester toiletries tempted us to try it out!
Of course, the Dorchester Suite comes with a butler, who is on call to tend to your every need. We heard that requests have ranged from sourcing the best seats at football matches to find a dog breeder! Whilst we didn’t have any similar requests, I was quite tempted to ask them to call a few of the luxury fashion houses they have on speed dial to do a bit of after-hours shopping… Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Liberty are well used to calls from The Dorchester. We made do with the fresh apples from an orchard in Devon and the delicious chocolate lollies that he brought as a lovely treat.
Our dinner was at The Grill, a marvellous restaurant of metallic and hand blew glass, and one of six places to eat. We went down early to soak in the atmosphere and watch the hotel transform seamlessly from day visitors to glamorous evening guests.
The Grill’s menu fuses classic flavours and exquisite ingredients with new and modern cooking, and the décor definitely fits the theme. The restaurant was established in 1931 and has undergone a few makeovers in its time. The most recent see it decked in zinc and copper, with pivoting panels to take it from daytime dining tonight, and an amazing hand-blown glass chandelier, which is simply stunning.
The service was polite, friendly and attentive, and starting with a gorgeous salmon taster dish we enjoyed Dorset crab with lemon and basil mayonnaise, gorgeous slices of bread and the most epic cottage pie I have ever tasted. The meat had been marinating for 20 hours and topped with rich, cheesy mashed potato, was like being hugged from the inside, so warm and comforting, a perfect antidote to the drizzly grey streets outside.
The talented sommelier made excellent wine recommendations for the courses, and we were then treated to a plethora of desserts which arrived at our table! A gorgeous lemon meringue tart and a grapefruit parfait were accompanied by a pretty chocolate lacework eggshell over a delicious chocolate creation as well as a mint and chocolate delicacy. Very decadent and almost too pretty to eat… almost…
Tea, coffee and petit fours completed our meal and we took the opportunity to take a little wander around the hotel before we made our way back to our suite and the wonderful turndown service. Lavender and chamomile spray for the pillows and slippers by the bed, I didn’t need more of an invitation to rest a weary head on three sumptuous pillows!
Breakfast was in The Promenade, a very grand area of the hotel with columns, gilding and marble, it’s rumoured to be as long as Nelson’s Column is high. Between us, we enjoyed avocado and eggs, a full English breakfast, sweet and savoury pastries and fresh fruit and juice, served by immaculately turned out waiters to the prettiest of tables. And then it was time to see the spa.
On the ground floor, The Dorchester Spa is just as a spa should be; with blue walls and spring flowers, there’s an atmosphere of calm. Its white marble flooring and glittering chandelier set the tone for a perfectly relaxing morning as I was led through to the changing area and relaxation room. The spa has a wonderful steam room and rainforest shower – which I thoroughly enjoyed before heading off for a 60-minute aromatherapy massage with the lovely Roxana. White walls, relaxing lighting and a lovely calming environment made the massage like a true break from reality for those 60 minutes. Roxana was so caring and helped me choose the aromatherapy oils to relax and destress – perfect!
Sixty minutes went all too quickly, and I was ushered back to the relaxation room and a glass of coconut water and chocolate macarons along with a bag of treats to help continue the relaxation further!
Weddings at The Dorchester
After an incredibly soothing spa trip, it was time to find out more about a wedding at The Dorchester. Timelessly elegant and effortlessly glamorous, a wedding at The Dorchester is something special. From the grandeur of the Ballroom to the charming roof garden that hugs the Penthouse and Pavilion, you’re guaranteed a fairytale wedding.
With 1930s Art Deco glamour, The Ballroom has its own private entrance off Park Lane. Crystal chandeliers and sweet Murano glass birds set against a white gold leaf ceiling – truly exquisite, it took my breath away. For a cocktail reception, this space can accommodate up to 1000 guests, but a more classic dinner dance wedding reception set up would limit you to 432.
The Crystal Suite
The Crystal Suite has its own sweeping staircase which reaches down to a private lobby as well as large windows which let natural light flood in. Beautiful crystal pendants throw light throughout the pretty space. This room can accommodate 50 for a dinner dance set up, but up to 120 for a cocktail reception.
The Penthouse and Pavilion
If you’re after something a little different, why not host your wedding up high? There’s more than a little theatre about this suite, based on the enchanting tale of Sleeping Beauty. The room’s baroque style was designed by theatrical designer Oliver Messel, creating a delightful, intriguing space and the roof terrace adds so much charm with water fountains and views over London. Perfect for intimate weddings of up to 34 guests.
The Orchid Room
Inspired by Wedgewood china, the pale blue hue of this room is so delicately elegant, it’s a perfect calm and private spot away from the main hotel areas. Catering for 120 for a dinner dance, it can cater for up to 250. Hung with crystal chandeliers amongst the iconic Wedgewood inspiration, it’s a stunning room, almost like a wedding in a beautifully elegant teacup!
If you want to follow in the footsteps of royalty, the Park Suite is the place to celebrate. It was here that Prince Philip held his bachelor party on the eve of his wedding, with the very same mural still hanging in place all these decades later. Catering for up to 50 for a classic wedding set up and up to 100 for cocktails, this room overlooks Hyde Park and benefits from gorgeous natural light.
The Dorchester has its own in-house floristry team, tailor making flower displays and taking care of all your floral requirements. They also have a vast knowledge of every type of entertainment you could wish for, with some high profile names on their contact list, so your wedding would definitely be one to remember.
Such a gorgeous hotel, it’s completely evident why it is so iconic. Exemplary service, full of sublime luxury and an opulent history, I’m so glad I’ve been able to experience a piece of The Dorchester. Thank you for our wonderful stay!
53 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA