Hotel review: The Lancaster London’s breathtaking views over the city skyline
10:37 01 May 2015
Walking into our hotel room on the Lancaster London’s 18th floor was one of life’s jaw-dropping ‘wow’ moments.
Wall-to-wall windows boasting sweeping panoramic views over Hyde Park and the capital’s skyline greeted us in our executive room, alongside sophisticated decor and sumptuous furnishings, including a huge bed with crisp white, plumped up pillows you just want to sink straight into.
As the sun set, bouncing its pink glow off glistening skyscrapers and landmarks like the London Eye, I was reminded how magical London really is – as you sometimes need to be, after a long and dreary winter barely seeing the light of day. It also hit home that I don’t take advantage of what’s right on my doorstep enough, and a weekend at this luxury four star retreat allows you to do just that.
The 416 room hotel – just around the corner from Lancaster Gate Tube – is Thai owned, and it’s not long before that South East Asian influence shines through. From a vast marble-floored reception and Buddha statuettes, to the renowned Nipa Thai restaurant.
Run by an all-lady kitchen brigade headed up by Sanguan Parr, this restaurant has won a raft of awards – including one from the Thailand government for the authenticity of its cuisine.
It’s easy to see – and taste – why, with all the herbs and spiced flown directly in from Thailand and its focus on country’s central region, combining hot flavours with the mild and sweet.
And if its traditional food offering isn’t enough to transport you to the Land of Smiles, then the decor most certainly is. Recently revamped, there’s shimmering gold details, artefacts, big white orchids, velvet furniture and teak panelling, making it every inch the opulent Thai experience.
Manager Kaseam Jongpitakrat – who has been at the restaurant since its opening 18 years ago – recommended for starters the kao krieb pak moh, which were delicate gem-like rice parcels in different colours, filled with sautéed chicken fused with shallots, roasted peanuts and served and with crisp lettuce, fresh chillies and coriander. With these, and our sharing platter of traditional Thai treats, we were already blown away and the rest of the meal lived up to the lofty expectations. The chicken in my kaeng massaman curry fell away from the bone at the slightest touch of my fork, smothered in a rich and creamy coconut sauce with onions, peanuts and potatoes.
My partner also devoured his pad Thai dish, with its huge juicy prawns, crunchy peanut shavings and a perfectly zesty kick. It was the best – if not better – than I tasted in Thailand itself.
After some drinks in the lounge area, it was back up to the room to admire the striking city views at night time – even more stunning lit up with thousands of glittering lights.
Having enjoyed one of the most restful night’s sleeps in ages, the following day was kick-started with breakfast in the hotel’s buffet restaurant which overlooks Hyde Park and serves a range of options, from traditional Thai to continental or a hearty full English. The Island Grill which serves up traditional British fare also offers breakfast, a la carte, as well as lunch and dinner.
The breakfast set us up perfectly for a day of exploring, ambling and people watching – through the park’s Italian 150-year old ornamental gardens, along the Regency streets surrounding the hotel and onto Notting Hill.
After another night of pure relaxation at this stunning hotel – which is well on its way to becoming five star – we headed home, fully refreshed and even more in love with London than ever.
Rooms at Lancaster London start at £129 for one night. To book or to find out more click here