SPA HOTEL REVIEW: THE ATHENAEUM, MAYFAIR, LONDON
Review: Jennifer Bonfield
Located in London’s Mayfair, just a stone’s throw away from Green Park tube and Buckingham Palace, this 5 star residence is a luxury family owned hotel. The hotel features an array of deluxe rooms, suites and apartments (including a penthouse suite) with some offering lush Green Park views, and many designed to accommodate and welcome families.
While you are here you must sample The Athenaeum’s award-winning Afternoon Tea in the Garden Room. The 2 AA Rosette restaurant makes a perfect dinner destination, and fine drink connoisseurs will relish the Whisky Bar featuring over 300 different blends and open 24 hours.
The Spa is located in the basement level with double hot tubs, wet room, relaxation area, sauna and treatment rooms where you can indulge in bespoke REN treatments such as the Moroccan Rose Ritual, or you could opt for a signature treatment such as an Elemis Muselease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap.
As we arrived on a Friday evening our bags were taken care of by the friendly concierge, we checked in and given a tour of the hotel. We were shown to our Deluxe Park View Room, which as the name suggests, boasted beautiful views of Green Park’s gorgeous gardens from the Juliette balcony. The room was light and bright with floor to ceiling windows and the Art Deco styled room featured floor to ceiling mirrored feature walls and bathroom; however, the first question that comes to mind is how long must that take to polish? LCD flat screen TV, DVD player, Bose docking station and mini bar come as standard with morning beverages taken care of with the Nespresso coffee maker. The huge Hypnos beds were so comfortable it will make it hard to want to vacate it in the morning and a sound sleep is ensured by individually controlled air conditioning for optimum room temperature control.
Before dinner we headed down to the Whisky Bar; a masculine concept maybe, but a cosy pre and after dinner lounge all the same. We sampled a crisp glass of Chablis before taking our table in the restaurant. The opulent décor of velvet seating and shiny bronze tabletops paired well with a relaxed, almost romantic ambiance which saw tables perfectly peppered with soft flickering candles and dimmed lighting.
I opted for the Pan Seared Diver Scallop with Ameretto butternut, Nut Brown Almond and Pea Shoot to start, my guest had the Antheneum Ceaser Salad with Chicken. We both followed with Chargrilled Casterbridge Rib Eye Steak, which was cooked to perfection (I wont lie, we struggled a little with the 250g portion). For dessert we shared a platter of British Cheese followed by a Dark Chocolate Fondant with Caramelised Banana and Malted Milk Ice Cream – quite divine. The service was nothing less than excellent; waiting staff were welcoming, efficient and made sure we had everything we needed without being stifling – all in all, my kind of service.
We retreated back to the Whisky Bar for another glass (or 3) from the small, but perfectly formed, wine list (it is indeed a shame I’m no fan of whisky), and relaxed while watching a whole host of different folks drop in and enjoy business drinks, date nights and small friendly gatherings.
After the soundest night sleep I’ve ever had; which could be down to two things – extensive sampling of the wine list or the comfiest bed in the entire world, we headed downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast.
The Continental selection was fresh and extensive featuring everything from smoked salmon and juicy fruit to pro-biotic yoghurts and a huge choice of pastries. You can also select a made to order option such as Eggs Benedict, Full English or pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon. Our freshly prepared poached eggs were cooked to perfection, teamed with freshly brewed loose-leaf tea, skinny cappuccinos and buttered toast. As far as hotel breakfast goes this has to be one the best for size of selection and fresh ingredients.
Apart from a clash of décor themes throughout the hotel, which would notably work better with a solid and streamlined visual identity, this 5 star hotel is indeed a luxe London destination ideal for theatre and sightseeing trips, a jaunt with friends or a maybe romantic getaway. The quality of staff service from the concierge, reception, restaurant and bar was second to none and we left feeling like it won’t be long before we return, even if for just one more cheeky glass of Chablis.
G&G REVIEW RATING:
The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ
Deluxe Park View Room from £460.80 / Night