Central location overlooking Hyde Park, next to Lancaster Gate Tube station
Relaxed vibe thanks to the light and bright design scheme
Modern rooms have king or two twin beds and White Company toiletries
Stunning Hyde Park views from the Park Suite (especially the bathroom)
In-room features include handy phones with maps and data
Higher-category rooms come with perks like Nespresso machines and Champagne
Popular Thai restaurant and stylish lobby bar found on-site
Large event spaces and meeting rooms
Beehives on the roof produce honey for the hotel
24-hour fitness center with cardio and resistance equipment
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
Entry-level rooms do not have Nespresso Machines or bathtubs
The Royal Lancaster London is a classic upscale property in London’s Bayswater district, overlooking Hyde Park. The location is ideal for travelers, as Hyde Park is packed with picturesque spots and the tube is essentially downstairs. Interiors are fresh and modern as of our 2018 visit, due to a recent renovation. There are 411 rooms, and the nicest feature Nespresso Machines, white marble bathrooms, and panoramic views of London’s skyline. While they vary in size, all have a sharp, modern look and include seating and White Company bath products as standard. The Hyde Lobby Bar and Nipa Thai restaurant are well-liked, and other on-site features include honey from rooftop hives and a 24-hour fitness center. Travelers seeking a more intimate, boutique vibe could check out nearby La Suite West instead.
A cosmopolitan, convivial property, with thoughtful design touches and upscale decor
This towering hotel looks a little stark from the outside, with an unrepentant hardness that's held over from its 1960s roots. Inside, the property couldn’t be more different, with fresh flowers, lots of light, and sweeping polished marble floors. There are subtle nods to the hotel’s history, with Art Deco mirrored walls and abstract art in the bedrooms and lobby. However, as of our early 2018 visit, the hotel had recently undergone a huge refurbishment, so public areas and guest rooms look chic and modern. The lobby is a hive of activity, with guests and locals chatting over drinks in the Hyde Lobby Bar or tapping away on laptops on one of the velvet blue sofas. As a result, there’s a good bit of buzz when you first enter the property. Business guests are numerous here, but the Royal Lancaster also attracts a fair few special-occasion guests and the odd celebrity who like to post pictures of the hotel’s breath-taking views from the Park Suite bathtub. The staff-to-guest ratio is high and check-in is a cool and calm affair.
Next to Lancaster Gate Tube station and Hyde Park, a five-minute walk to Paddington Station
For business guests and leisure tourists, this hotel’s location couldn’t get much better. It’s across the street from Hyde Park and essentially atop Lancaster Gate Tube station, with plenty to see and do all around. The park, of course, is prime territory for strolling, and Paddington Station is only a five-minute walk in the opposite direction for those heading out of town. Notting Hill, with its markets and trendy restaurants, is just 15 minutes away by train (or a 20-minute walk west). From there you can easily walk to the lovely Holland Park. There are a number of quaint, traditional pubs under a five-minute walk away, like The Swan and The Victoria. It takes just 10 minutes to get to Oxford Circus on the tube, which is a haven for shopping and dining out. The bus is another great way to see the city, and buses to Soho and Victoria frequently pass the hotel. The Heathrow Express is available from Paddington Station, taking guests straight to Heathrow in under 20 minutes. It will take around an hour to reach Gatwick Airport by a combination of tube and train.
Bright and sophisticated, with incredible city views and some stylish nods to the hotel’s rich history
Classy and restrained, but in no way dull, the 411 rooms are tricked out with both contemporary and vintage touches. Ranging from Classic Rooms to Signature Suites, all have the same upmarket-home appeal. Premium linens and soft gold accents keep things looking high-end, while fresh flowers and velvet seating feel add just the right touch up upmarket style.
Even the smallest Classic Rooms have king-size beds (though twin beds are available in some units), plus 40-inch Smart TVs, desk and chair space, and ample storage. Air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, minibars, and international plugs are standard. Deluxe Rooms and higher add Nespresso machines as well. Huge windows keep things light and spacious, and, from Classic View categories and up, all rooms have incredible London vistas. The marble bathrooms feel particularly posh, and include premium White Company bath products as well as showers. Full-length mirrors and make-up vanity kits are a huge bonus.
Studio Rooms are particularly impressive and the decor changes slightly from the lower categories. There are mirrored walls behind the headboards, plush blue sofas, and honeycomb design carpets in homage to the hotel’s rooftop beehives. The two Signature Suites sit at either end of the hotel’s 18th floor, and -- unsurprisingly -- they have the best views. However, the Park Suite also has excellent views (including from its bathroom). Extras in suites include Champagne on arrival, separate living areas, yoga mats, and tables with chairs to seat six.
Popular restaurants and bars, 24-hour fitness center, rooftop beehives, and impressive meeting rooms
The main features here are the popular restaurants and bar, which should appeal to travelers looking for a social atmosphere. Although guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out in the area, the hotel’s own Nipa Thai restaurant is a bit of a hidden gem in this part of London. Named after the Thai owner’s wife, the restaurant is steadfastly authentic, with an all-female kitchen brigade. The menu is more traditional in the hotel’s modern British space, Island Grill restaurant. The Hyde Lobby Bar is no less popular, and on our visit was packed with guests and business people as a meeting space, cafe, and light lunch venue. The bar itself stays open late, which is a bonus for the post-theater crowd.
Other notable features include the 24-hour gym with its Technogym treadmills, dedicated weights section, and cross trainers. There is no spa on-site, but discounted spa rates are offered at the hotel’s sister properties and in-room spa treatments can be arranged. In a novel move to cut down on food miles and become more environmentally friendly, the hotel has also installed beehives on their roof. The honey harvested from the bees is used in the hotel’s breakfasts and occasionally given out in goody bags. Finally, the hotel has plenty of event space, with sleek and state-of-the-art equipment, making it popular with corporate visitors. Parking is also available, though it costs extra. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.
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