How to Do London like a Royal
Just in time for the Royals’ nuptials on May 19, three London hotels are enticing you to create your own royal holiday.
If you plan ahead, you can score tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (virtually impossible to get in New York) or even Hamilton, which has taken the UK by storm and received more Olivier Award nominations than any other play in Olivier history (this year's awards are April 8). Besides these blockbusters, you might want to consider Young Frankenstein, The Ferryman (a new play), and the remake of Dreamgirls.
To stay, you’ll want to choose one of these three ultra-luxe hotels, all part of the Starhotels Collezione. With their royal packages and royal settings, you’ll spend your time in London feeling as romantically linked as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Touring in the Queen Mother’s favorite Jaguar Daimler limousine, a romantic dinner by Michelin starred Chef Daniel Galmiche at The Gore London (with a bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne), or dining in The Franklin London designed by Bond Girl Anouska Hempel are all possible with the Royal Experience package. Accommodations are royal, of course, with a junior suite or Tudor Suite. Each of the collection’s three hotels, The Franklin, The Pelham and The Gore, can arrange the special program.
The 52-room Pelham London is an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of South Kensington, noted for its eclectic design and impeccable service. Within a grand English country home setting, replete with library and drawing room, you’ll find design elements that are refreshingly modern and urban with the use of metal, glass and colored furniture alongside old Indian and Tibetan fabrics, wood paneling, and antique furnishings. Luxurious Frette Italian linens, Penhaligon's toiletries and Samsung Smart TVs further the blend of old and new. The hotel is near Kensington Gardens, an easy connection to Heathrow via the underground. Complimentary Internet and international calls are a given.
For the past 125 years, The Gore London at Queens Gate in Kensington has been an icon of British hospitality. Even earlier, the building was a residence for visitors to London’s 1851 Great Exhibition under the patronage of Prince Albert, offering a place to stay in “the most fashionable area of the city” at that time. The Gore is located near to many of London’s famous cultural and leisure attractions including Hyde Park’s flower beds, the Natural History Museum’s collections, and the Royal Albert Hall. The exterior and interiors blend Tudor and Victorian English mood with red brick and terracotta on the outside facades, and red carpets, chandeliers, and tapestries together with 18th and 19th-century classical paintings inside. Each of the five floors is filled with period details and hand-picked furniture and art pieces, as are the 50 lavish rooms and suites. Luxurious touches include Frette linens and Penhaligon’s toiletries. The Tudor Suite is a masterpiece among accommodations with a mahogany four-poster bed, a 15th-century minstrels’ gallery, stained glass windows, stone fireplace and high oak-beamed ceilings.
The Franklin is set on a quiet residential street, surrounded by Egerton Gardens in one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods. The hotel is spread across four early Victorian buildings and is a short walk to Harrods and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Surrounding the hotel are private lawns, trees and gardens. The original house dates back to the 1840s, designed as part of the Egerton Crescent, designed by Georgian architect George Basevi. The hotel was completely renovated in 2016 by renowned designer Anouska Hempel, New Zealand-born British starchitect known as “Lady Weinberg” in the design and architecture world. The hotel’s renovation was intended to create a townhouse feeling with a distinctively dramatic and whimsical style that melds Italian with English sensibilities, effecting a Victorian townhouse that feels like an Italian palazzo.
For theater bookings, the hotels’ Clef d’ors concierges can work some royal magic of their own to secure tickets. www.starhotelscollezione.com