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The Dorchester, London

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
London, England, Europe: The Dorchester
Park Lane
Tel: 44 207 629 8888's insider take:

After a multimillion-pound refit, completed in 2003, the Park Lane dowager isn't her blousy old self anymore (some of the 250 rooms were getting a bit droopy—as tends to be the case with anyone born in 1931). Now all is freshly English-countrified with Colefax & Fowler and Zoffany fabrics and papers, with custom-made fruitwood and mahogany furniture alongside the antiques. There's also (very unrural) connectivity centered on an Internet-DVD-CD-printer-scanner-fax-combo machine (seriously), attached to 42-inch plasma TVs in the top 90 rooms and flat-screens elsewhere. The hotel's been hiring, too—a team of e-butlers and Vivienne Westwood's preferred florist are now on staff. Bathrooms are lovely, in Art Deco-style Carrera marble with windows, and, yes, there's quite a spa. The Grill Room is a riot of tartan, but the poor Oriental—despite being London's first Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant—didn't make the cut. Instead there's David Tang's sumptuous China Tang restaurant with mirrored pillars, highly lacquered surfaces, and carp murals, and, more recently, an Alain Ducasse restaurant. Like its sisters, the Meurice and Plaza Athénée in Paris and the Beverly Hills Hotel in L.A., this is as grand as a hotel gets.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 92.8
  • Design: 94.9
  • Food: 90.0
  • Location: 95.0
  • Rooms: 91.7
  • Service: 92.6
Staying at this West End hotel "is like visiting a rich aunt and being given her best guest room." Interiors range from traditional to modern; the doors and paintings in the Oliver Messel Suite have gilded frames. Promenade Bar showcases fire-colored glass "spears," a high-backed banquette, and 37 different vodka labels. Rooms "boast the deepest tubs in London, yet they fill up in three minutes." For even more relaxation, visit the spa, whose focal point is a chandelier of 75,000 South Pacific pearls.

(250 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Spa

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