You know a hotel means business when you’re greeted by a staff member for each bag you have and a Rolls Royce Ghost bearing the company’s name, The Wellesley Hotel London, on the number plate.
Named after Sir Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, The Wellesley Hotel London was opened in December 2012 and houses 36 decadent suites in the heart of Knightsbridge. Interior designers Fox Linton drew on the inspiration of the building’s history as a famous jazz club and each of the rooms have been individually styled to match the period.
The moment you step through the hotel doors you realise no expense has been spared in the construction of The Wellesley. Nor has it been spared in staff uniforms, furniture, courtesy cars, art, or presentation of your documents and room key. Every single thing has been considered. Even before seeing my room I knew I was in for a very special evening.
Following my check-in, I was escorted to the Charleston Suite and then given a rundown of its features by the Butler who offered to take up to 4 items to be dry cleaned as a complimentary service on your day of check-in, or that’s what I thought she said. I was so overwhelmed by the room I was having a bit of trouble containing my excitement.
Once the Butler waved goodbye I withdraw the automated curtains and spent a moment admiring Hyde Park which sat directly across the road from my suite while three televisions played a soothing jazz track and video about the hotel. I sampled a quick chocolate and a piece of delicious pineapple from my fruit plate and then headed for a shower.
The bathroom was stunning, featuring both stand-alone bathtub and gigantic shower with multiple shower heads and Hermes shower products, and a luffa (very nice touch). It’s those little things that you notice in a place like The Wellesley Hotel London, the extra large bath towels, the super padded slippers, a long shoe horn and brush, effortless WIFI, complimentary nuts and olives with every drink (alcohol or not) in the hotel bars, and the current issue of five different magazines sitting next to a plate of truffles in your room. Suffice to say, impressive doesn’t quite explain it. I decided to take up the Butler’s offer and had a jacket and my shoes picked up to be cleaned and shined (and delivered back to me before 7 pm). Then with a quick spot of shopping to be done I called the Concierge and asked for a lift to Oxford Street, in the Wellesley Long Wheel Base Rolls Royce Ghost.
From that point my experience a tThe Wellesley Hotel London took a rather outrageous turn, chauffeured through the streets of London in a Rolls Royce, cocktails in the Jazz lounge before dinner at the hotel’s Oval restaurant, sampling a delicious Burrata and a salt cod ravioli matched with a very enjoyable Hungarian Pinot Noir.
To conclude the evening we returned to the cigar lounge after a tour of the hotel’s humidor which housed some very special cigars, up to 4500 pounds a pop! I couldn’t help but notice the selection of whisky as I passed the locked glass cabinets, some highlights included an Ardbeg 1977 and a collection of the rarest bottles of Macallan in the world. The barman was quick to turn my attention to the Cognacs, ‘the rarest in the city’, he said. ‘This one was made when the Loius Philippe the first was the King of France’. Oh of course it was!
We picked whiskies from the slightly more common menu, hesitant to spend 5000 pounds on a single nip. The cigar sommelier handed us a cigar each (which he’d individually selected for us earlier), perfectly cut and perfectly lit. We sat back and enjoyed a rather lengthy moment of the ‘good life’ before I retired to one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in, noticing that the clothes I’d laid out to wear the next day had been hung in the wardrobe for me.
I really set the benchmark high on my first night in London. My stay at The Wellesley Hotel London was exceptional and as I checked out I wondered how much better my stay in London could get. Just when I thought my Wellesley experience was over I walked out the front door to find my bags sitting in the back of the Rolls Royce, not a black cab. “Instead of hailing you a cab I thought I’d give you a lift over to your next hotel in this”, said Keith as he opened the door for me. As we cruised past Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard I was perhaps the most content (and impressed) I’ve been for a long time. The Wellesley is a hotel I’d recommend to anyone and no doubt a place I’ll visit every time I’m in London until I’m a very very old man.
To book The Wellesley Hotel London head to their website.