W1J 7QY Travel Guide
Before and After / Hotel Renovations / Hotel News / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
Last year, we took you around the brand new Royal Suite at the InterContinental Park Lane in London, with its ginormous bed, bespoke furniture, and QEII touches (if you recall, the hotel is built on the site of her former childhood residence).
We recently popped back into the hotel on Hamilton Place to look at some of the rooms us normal folk are more likely to find ourselves in, which are now also being given a touch up: 122 out of 387 regular guestrooms have already been renovated, with further work planned for this year.
From squeezy European Single to California King, we’ve done a lot of sleeping around here at HC. With hotel beds that is, of course. We hear about sleep concierges and pillow menus, see hotels hawking their goods for you take home, and encounter sheets that are somewhat past their use-by date.
If size is of importance (that’s your dirty mind, not ours), the InterContinental Park Lane might just have most hotels beat with the biggest bed we’ve seen in quite some time in its top-of-the-line Royal Suite. King what? Say hello to the Emperor bed, a whopping 7 feet wide.
Hotel Sales / Hotel News / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Constellation Hotels / → All Tags
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sold the luxurious, 447-room InterContinental London Park Lane to an affiliate of Constellation Hotels last week for about $460 million, building upon a fire sale that's been going on for the past decade. Since 2003, IHG has sold 191 hotels, at a rate of about 19 hotels a year, for a $6.1 billion profit.
They made a pretty penny on the Park Lane property, too, flipping it for 62% more than its December 2012 book value, by selling it to a Middle Eastern private investment group, and continuing a trend of Middle Eastern investment in London.
Recently, Qatar purchased Harrods department store and helped to finance the construction of the Shard skyscraper.
IHG says the profits will be used for "general corporate purposes," which we figure will include champagne parties, backstage passes, and pillow fights involving supermodels. Seriously though, we see big numbers thrown around all the time, so we're always more focused on the practical questions, like, will anything change as far as the consumer is concerned?
Hotel Bathrooms / Bathroom Tuesdays / London Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We love a good hotel bathtub, especially when it has a view. During a recent visit to the London’s InterContinental Park Lane, we spotted a worthy entry for our Bathroom Tuesdays in the hotel’s lofty London Suite.
With its soaring two-story windows, this suite – and its bathroom – takes full advantage of the hotel’s vantage point on Hamilton Place, overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the gardens behind Buckingham Palace. Time it right, and you can watch the mounted Horse Guards pass underneath Wellington Arch right from the tub. More of a shower person? Not to worry, you’re covered too.
Hotel News / Sweet Suites / London Hotels / UK Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / Royal Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
London's Goring Hotel may have recently received a seal of approval with its Royal Warrant (gosh, we're still having a hard time with that name), but the InterContinental London Park Lane has its own special royal nod of recognition, too.
Sitting on the site of Queen Elizabeth II’s former childhood residence on Piccadilly, the hotel has just unveiled its Royal Suite, with queenly design elements tastefully scattered throughout, and a view over the Royal Parks, no doubt filled with Royal Squirrels. Heh.
Like most things royal, this suite is a bit complicated. We'll explain. But first, how about some photo gawking?
Fashion Week Hotels / Fashion Hotels / InterContinental Hotels / London Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Today is the official first day of London Fashion Week, and as fashionistas get over their jet lag after flying straight from New York, they're looking to check into a comfortable hotel and eat some comfort food. But keep in mind that consumption of too many calories is still forbidden, so The Intercontinental Park Lane has figured out a way to cater to their cravings while still allowing them to fit into their designers dress: a skinny burger.
The big fad during NY Fashion Week was the juice cleanse, but the Interconti's chef Paul Bates want burgers to be next. The "skinny burger" lives up to its name, too. It's only 143 calories and 2.4 grams of fat, which is like a quarter of a scone from Starbucks. No, it doesn't have bunsgotta cut down on carbohydratesbut at least it's real meat.
Top Kodak moments like this lurk right outside the InterContinental
Who wants to brush up their photography skills? More to the point, who doesn’t? However many pictures we take when we’re travelling (and we take many), it always frustrates us that we have to go through about 20 to get a single money shot.
So if your skills are anything like ours, and you’d like to be able to shoot for mediums more worthy than Facebook profile pics, you might like the package that’s just been unveiled by the InterContinental London Park Lane. They’ve teamed up with the awesome EYE Photographic Workshops, who run photography courses across the world, to offer proper tuition, as you shoot the sights.
There are four itineraries to choose from, and each last a day. Old and New “contrasts new buildings with the old” and pits historic London against “the city’s modern pace of life”. Pro Studio Fashion Shoots gets you a model and a studio in Shepherd’s Bush for the day. Wildlife in Richmond Park does what it says on the tin, as does Petersham or Clifton Nurseries. Though who’d want to return from London with flower shots is slightly beyond us.
The weather in London isn’t quite on a par with the weather in Florida, as the poor Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out to their cost this weekend. According to the St Petersburg Times, the Bucs had to practice for their NFL Wembley gig against the New England Patriots in the ballroom at the Intercontinental Park Lane because it was too wet to hit the turf at Wembley itself.
NFL officials did offer them a room at Wembley to practice in, but they stuck to the ballroom – which holds up to 750 people, and, according to the hotel website, features “natural daylight through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Park Lane and the Royal Parks”. Perhaps they were hoping for a little more grace on the pitch, too.
It didn’t work, unfortunately – the Pats thrashed them 35-7. Still, it’s not every day you get to exercise within spitting distance of Buckingham Palace is it, chaps? That’s something to tell the kids. Maybe.
You know when you’ve been out late somewhere, and you get back to your hotel wanting one more before you go to bed, but you don’t want it to come from a minibar because it’s way too expensive (and also a bit depressing)?
The Intercontinental Park Lane hears you. Its bar used to be open till one a.m. on weekdays and midnight on Sundays, and although we have some extremely happy memories of drinking there with the Miami Dolphins when they were in town, it was a bit too hotel lobby-like to have a proper atmosphere.
So we were intrigued to hear today that on Tuesday, the hotel will open what it calls its Late Lounge. For a start, it’s open seven nights a week till three a.m., which should do just fine for most people. And they’ve jazzed up the old bar space: there used to be the bar area, then a ramshackle cluster of chairs in what felt like a room next door, backing onto the corridor; now there will be floor-to-ceiling curtains to snuggle you away from the corridor, extra seating (on velvet chairs, no less), waitress service and a DJ.
There’s a new menu, too, although that won’t be perusable till next week. Sounds promising though. Now all we need is a repeat visit from the Dolphins, please.