Hotels these days are really pushing the boundaries in terms of trying to offer as much as possible; outlandish design and mechanized service. I’m glad to say that the Corinthia Hotel holds their standards to a high point, without sacrificing anything in the process. Now I know this might be getting a bit too far off base on semantics for an introduction. Yet, I’ve visited plenty of hotels of late where the staff seems terrified of the management (and thusly, me), hotels where I can get a re-fi on my house with the remote on my TV and hotels where I feel like I need to know how to play a Theremin instrument just to run the water. What do these places all have in common you might ask? They all strive to improve the guest experience, but all their excess, fail me.
I think these people have forgotten that you come to a hotel to relax, not to feel like you’re washing your hands in a Bjork video. So I was relieved and impressed to see that the Corinthia’s efforts to maximize comfort did just that, without clutter. When I walked into my suite, I was inundated with the size of it. Then I was happy to see that it was the only thing that was inundating. The décor was elegant and luxurious, but more subtle. Ok the giant door to the bathroom and double doors that closed off the bedroom were bright, but there was something very warm about them and the re-occurrence of that warmth in the bathroom was a nice touch.
Speaking of the bathroom, it’s almost as big as my home and had a giant soaking tub with jets. Hold my calls; put a robe on stand-by. I was charmed by the sliding panels that opened up the bathroom to the bedroom. If you wanted to indulge and watch a 50” plasma TV while soaking or chat with your prepping significant other over breakfast in bed, you have a line of sight. I knew that if I didn’t keep moving, I’d be calling room service for bubble bath.
Back in the front of the suite, I noticed there was a chair for all your needs, thoughtful. There was a couch that folds out into a bed, a high-back reading chair with sturdy arm rests, an ottoman for three and a desk chair that I knew I’d be using to write this from. Down at the pool, I was struck by how far removed I felt from the noise and traffic of London.
Walking around the hotel I talked with a few of the staff of varying positions. I was pleased to see consistency in the balance of personable and professional. I really dislike being in a place where the staff is on edge or discouraged from engaging with the guests. When I met the managers, both day and night, I could see how the tone was so appropriate. For such a simple thing, so few people really get this harmony right.
My bed was a deluxe dream castle composed of fine linens, soft pillows and a fluffy down comforter that seemed to breathe with me as the short night shed its cloak. As much as I feel like sleep is in itself kind of decadent and I really don’t do a lot of it. So it felt fantastic waking up after 5 hours and feeling like I’d slept for 5 days.
Who’d want to sleep the morning away when a sumptuous breakfast could be delivered to your door? I wrestled with the age old quandary or sweet over salty to start the day. I went with the whole wheat pancakes with bananas and strawberries. By the time I heard a knock on the door, my anticipation had been raising expectations. At this point, everything about my stay warranted just that. I first poured a cup of coffee and admired the strong black brew. When I unveiled the pancakes I knew I was in for something good. These pancakes were very dense and thick, which is perfect for whole wheat and they were among the best I’ve ever had. They were so delicious that I ate them without butter or syrup, honestly, they didn’t even need the berries and bananas.
To stave off pancake coma and get the full experience of the place, I went down to the fitness center and ran a bit with a great view of the city in front of me. The fitness center was smaller, but met my needs. It was also tidy and well attended.
Corinthia Hotel, you get it and I thank you for getting it. After resorts that feel like Hemmingway’s Estate Sale and hotels that look like house-of-the-future mockeries, you at long last have delivered an escape from both hectic city life and the hospitality industry’s theme excesses. I look forward to seeing you again very soon.
10 Whitehall Pl
London SW1A 2BD
020 7930 8181