First opened in 1975, the Intercontinental has been through numerous refurbishments in the intervening years, and recently won Best Business Hotel in the UK at the Business Traveller Awards. The latest multimillion-pound renovation is by RPW Design and is just reaching completion this spring.
What’s it like?
No matter whether you are checking in, meeting someone or dining at one of the restaurants, at least two liveried and friendly doormen are there to greet you. Before you’ve taken a few steps into reception, there’s someone else smiling as they enquire if they can help, so that’s good security, but also a great welcome. The long reception desk is immediately ahead, the Theo Randall restaurant is to the right, and the lounge and bar to the left. Check-in was quick and we were in the room only two minutes after entering the hotel.
Where is it?
On Hyde Park Corner at the junction with Piccadilly and Park Lane, although the entrance is around the back on the quieter Hamilton Place. The hotel is well located for transport connections west to Knightsbridge and, ultimately, Heathrow, via the Piccadilly Line (45 minutes), while a short walk or bus ride will take you to the shops.
There are 449 rooms and suites, of which 135 have been renovated (all on floors three and four) and are now distinguished by being part of the “Mayfair Collection”. Other rooms start (in terms of price) with the entry-level Classic rooms (18 sqm), which look into the inner courtyard, Superior (20 sqm), Deluxe (22 sqm; pictured below) and Executive (29 sqm). Those that have been redesigned start with the Mayfair room (21.4 sqm) and then the Mayfair Deluxe at 22 sqm and upwards in terms of price and size.
The new rooms have a more muted and modern look to them, with “natural tones, luscious textures and organic materials”. There’s also a “suite style”, which means they feel as spacious as possible and also more like an apartment or high-end home (residential, in other words).
The surrounding Royal Parks – Hyde Park and Green Park – are the inspiration, so you see an embroidery pattern of the plane tree, prevalent in the parks, on the headboard of the beds, a carpet design inspired by the veins of leaves at autumn time, bedside tables with bronze handles in the shape of a leaf, and a metallic resin sculpture representing a tree trunk.
All of the rooms have king beds, good-sized desks, free wifi, USB ports, and UK/US/EU charging points. Rooms also have marble bathrooms with showers, Mitchell and Peach amenities, a Nespresso coffee machine and a kettle with a selection of teas, as well as a widescreen TV (exact size depends on room layout).
For Luxury suites and above there is complimentary access to the newly refurbished Club Intercontinental lounge on the seventh floor. For a payment of £145 including VAT and service, other rooms can access the lounge too. (A Mayfair Deluxe suite is pictured below.)
Food and drink
The hotel has two fine-dining restaurants: Ella Canta for Mexican food (see businesstraveller.com for a review) and Theo Randall for Italian. Just off reception is the Arch Bar, which has live music in the evenings, and the Wellington Lounge for afternoon tea.
There is a good-sized, well equipped and modern fitness centre on the first floor.
The mezzanine floor has a wide range of rooms, from seating a dozen people to a ballroom holding 750 people for a banquet.
An excellent refurbishment of these rooms, and the Club Intercontinental now makes the most of the great views over Hyde Park Corner.
An unbeatable location
The Club Intercontinental
1 Hamilton Place; tel +44 (0)20 7409 3131; parklane.intercontinental.com