Why Go: The Lanesborough, considered among the top hotels in London, just spent 19 months and nearly $100 million to become even better. Renovation work aside, the 24-year-old hotel boasts a prime Knightsbridge location overlooking Hyde Park; a Regency landmark building with a unique residential feel; and a renowned managing director, Geoffrey Gelardi, who has been with the property since its inception. The hotel reopened in July with Gerlardi no longer working with St. Regis but as a management partner with Oetker Collection. Now a sister property to Le Bristol Paris, the Lanesborough has, in one of its most notable changes, replaced Apsley’s restaurant with Céleste, helmed by the protégé of the Le Bristol Paris, Michelin three-star restaurant Epicure.
What to Expect: The design firm of the late Alberto Pinto conceived the 93 rooms (from about $1,100 per night) and public spaces at the Lanesborough. Famous for its work on the nearby Dorchester hotel, private yachts and aircraft, and Britain’s most expensive residence, the firm looked to the hotel’s Regency-style architecture to inform the interior decor. One can expect elegant furnishings, vertically stripped drapes and bedspreads, and embellishments at every turn. But fabric choices aside, a lot has changed behind the scenes since the 1990s. Internet connections, climate controls, demands for connecting rooms, and more, all needed to be addressed. Now, each room has three Sony tablets: two on the nightstands to control high-tech amenities, and one on the desk to order room service and more.
How to Get There: Book a transfer by car—a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, or a limousine—for the 12-mile drive from London Heathrow Airport. A faster route involves taking the 15-minute Heathrow Express train to Paddington station and catching a short taxi ride to the hotel. (lanesborough.com)