Kathy Lette first achieved succès de scandale as a teenager with the novel Puberty Blues, which was made into a major motion picture by Oscar-winning director Bruce Beresford. Since then, she’s penned a plethora of bestsellers, including Mad Cows , Nip ‘n’ Tuck, Dead Sexy, and most recently, Men – A User’s Guide.
The lavish Art Deco suites, designed by Diane Von Furstenberg, are seductive, charming and incredibly roomy. My walk-in wardrobe was so vast, even Elton John would want to get back into that closet.
Whether dining in the Reading Room on Parmesan polenta, black Suffolk pork belly or truffled risotto of Cornish lobster with Caspian caviar, or sampling the Michelin starred fare of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, Claridges’ staff are so courteous they practically walk backwards before you like 18th French courtiers.
The bespoke service is so attentive, it’s hard to suppress the urge to wander around like an aristocrat in a smoking jacket making bon mots.
For an inner city hotel, the gym is well equipped with La Boheme views out onto the attics of London. (Although, as the hotel is in the heart of the shopping district, forget the gym and just go shopping – running up bills when bargain hunting is so aerobic.)
A fluffy white bathrobe monogrammed with the guest’s initials says it all really. At Claridge’s, the cup of kindness runs over, but never your bath, as your personal Butler runs it for you.
The hotel is not cheap, but the checkered marble foyer flooring, the sweeping stair cases, the Atrium’s 40 exotic teas, complete with freshly baked raisin and apple scones and Marco Polo jelly, is value for money. My favourite haunt is The Fumoir, a 30’s themed cocktail bar with low lighting and aubergine leather seating. When Kylie received her gong from the Queen, this is where we came to celebrate, in the snuggery.
If the hotel didn’t have wow hip factor, it wouldn’t have attracted such a celestial firmament of stars, from Katherine Hepburn to Cary Grant and Bing Crosby. The hotel has also played host to more kings and queens than you can shake a scepter at.
The hotel is an Art Deco delight. It offers timeless elegance with a modern twist. The dazzling Dale Chihuly chandelier, with more than 800 individually hand blown glass pieces, hanging from the hotels 18 foot high ceiling had me leaping about as though auditioning for Riverdance. Wow! Wow! Wow!
It’s not overlooking Hyde Park like the Dorchester, nor on the river like the Savoy, but it is in the hip pocket of the shopping district, a two-minute stroll from Bond, Oxford Street and Piccadilly.
Claridge’s promises luxury, style, originality and glamour – and delivers on all counts. Dazzling, discrete, sublime and delicious.
A Part of the Ambassador Review Series