Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is now 50 years old and set in Marylebone. It’s fantastically positioned for shopping with Oxford Street and Selfridges around the corner Bond Street is not much further. It’s also a hip area with boutique shops on the High Street and it’s a 10-minute walk from Hyde Park.
As the name suggests the hotel pays full homage to Sir Winston with memorabilia playfully evident throughout. Wherever I was the presence of the famed politician permeated. There were portraits of him on the walls and busts both in the lobby and on the terrace. The bar presents reproductions of love letters to his wife Clementine. There’s a special library complete with books by him and about him. Copies of his paintings line various walls. There’s even a shop in the lobby offering all kinds of souvenirs, including bow ties, cufflinks, and books.
It all lends a certain Britishness to the place. Even the building itself is suggestive of the great man. Externally strong and robust in structure the inside is warm and soft: such was his renowned character. As I stepped inside the stunning entrance I feasted my eyes on the broad and very long lobby. There’s an open, expansive polished, and pristine marble floor. It’s punctuated with Corinthian pillars and a magnificent centerpiece of freshly-cut orchids, blossoms, and white lilies.
The 440 rooms, which include 50 suites, have a starting price of $480 per night. Most splendid is the vast four-bedroom Churchill Residential Suite, complete with his original artworks. It’s where Michelle Obama stayed during the London Olympics. The decor in my room was tasteful and classic. The muted colors of greys, taupe, and white were neutral and relaxing. These were offset by the hints of spice color in the curtains. There are marble top finishes and Hessian-textured walls. A grey cashmere blanket sat at the bottom of my sumptuous king-size bed. The bed’s tufted suede headboard had a pinstripe pattern. This, along with the herringbone carpets, were in keeping with Churchill’s signature suits. There were further references to him in the books about him on the inlaid library and a miniature marmalade cat in honor of Jock his cat. Jock was named after his private secretary and this cat was next to Churchill on his deathbed. I awoke to the view out over the gardens of Portman Square. My bathroom had a marble sink, a Toto toilet, and luxurious Molton Brown toiletries.
The Montagu Kitchen is the hotel’s restaurant both for dinner and breakfast. It looks out over the Square and has an open-planned kitchen. The décor is contemporary with vivid purple chairs and beautiful lighting. It’s refreshingly spacious in order to accommodate the large clientele. It serves modern, seasonal British dishes and the prices were moderate to high. I loved my green olives and my red lentil soup. Tempted by the lobster and the rib of beef I chose instead a delicious organic chicken breast with courgettes and basil and an array of other vegetables. This I followed indulgently with passion fruit and popcorn blossom. By then I was both full and fulfilled.
The Churchill Bar and Terrace has a luxury, art-deco-inspired interior. Beneath the oval ceiling and before the open fire is teal, mustard, and grey furnishings. There’s a humidor with an impressive selection of Cuban cigars reenforcing, of course, the Churchillian imagery. The bar’s outdoor terrace is a retreat, hidden by shrubbery and heated all year round
The hotel also incorporates but doesn’t own the Locanda Locatelli, an elegant Michelin-starred Italian restaurant. There’s a gym with all the latest machines and a Regency Club Lounge (dedicated to business travelers and families) that offers complimentary refreshments throughout the day. Being on the 8th floor it has far-reaching views over London’s city center. The hotel also overlooks the private Portman Square Garden, a cast area that guests can access and enjoy the use of its tennis court and children’s playground. This hotel is a perfect base from which to launch yourself in the very center of the city.
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