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What draws me back to London every year for a visit is simply the thought of walking the streets where two London luminaries, Charles Dickens and Alfred Hitchcock once roamed., Being an aficionado of Victorian England, I often wonder how London streets must have looked before the advent of the automobile, in Victorian times, London’s golden age. While the era was far from glamorous, many of London’s most famous building and landmarks were built during the 19th century. Who could visit London without a visit to these London gems: Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the fabled the Victoria Station.Station? All are gems straight out of Victorian London.
Fast forward to modern London and you’ll find a hotbed for what’s new in the world. From the many museums like the Tate Modern, to destination restaurants, famed chefs the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Jaime Oliver, and seemingly with new designer hotels popping up all over town. The most brilliant theatre openings all occur in London. Finding a quirky pub or stylish clothing store only furthers the aura that London is constantly on the cutting edge. If it’s relevant, influential, sophisticated or in vogue, chances are that it’s happening in London. No other city blends contemporary and classic as well as London. The city’s medley of vintage and posh keeps me yearning for more of what this marvelous city on River Thames River has to offer. I can stroll every crack and crevice, meandering off the beaten streets for hours on end.
Most travelers who pay a visit to a favorite city, find a turf where they feel right at home. In London, lodged on prominent Piccadilly Road, and engulfing the region from Hyde Park in the west to the famed tourist center and theater district of Piccadilly Circus, lies the area of Mayfair and Green Park. This smart neighborhood is named after an annual May Fair which used to take place on the site that is now Shepherd Market. It’s not so much the affluent area itself, but its proximity to other London boroughs. I can walk to some of London’s storied areas, and experience startling contrasts of old and new within minutes.
Rooms with breathtaking Green Park views.
The décor will make you feel right at home.
Stunning – Green Park
Welcoming, intimate and sophisticated. For me, no other property conjures up the right magical blend of old world London with modern day amenities than the Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments.
As I prepare to enter the non-discreet hotel entrance, I’m greeted by the dapper, statuesque, Englishman, who I learn is famed doorman, Jim Burns. As I proceed to introduce myself, “he says, “Welcome, Mr. Kontis, we have been expecting you.” Wait, how did he know my name.name?
I quickly learn that here at the Athenaeum, the attentive staff goes the extra mile to make each and every guest to feel at home. Burns reminds me that he prefers the term “linkman”..” Happily, being the link between the inside and the outside of the Athenaeum Hotel.
Linkman extraordinaire, Jim Burns.
Approaching the front desk I encounter a young man who I learn is Michael Beattie along with his luggage lobby porter, Igors. Michael, I quickly learn, hails from New Zealand, while Igors is from Latvia.
“Mr. Kontis, Welcome to the Athenaeum.”
Michael Beattie from New Zealand had reason to be “one happy camper” as his ‘All Black’s proved once again to be invincible in the Rugby World. Along with Igors from Latvia.
As Igors accompanies my bags up to my room, I cannot help but wonder if each staff member has a similar, “guests come first” mentality. I ask Igors, about his job and why is the Athenaeum is such a special property. The young Latvian reminds me that the Athenaeum is a family run hotel, and continues, “I would not call my job easy, but this is the hospitality business. ” “We’re here to provide little touches for our guests. ” “Making the guests feel special makes us proud. ” “A hotel could have a great location, but it is the staff who make a difference. ” “Our hospitality comes from the heart. ” “When a our guests leaves with a smile on their faces, or returns for another stay, this makes me very happy.”
Over 300 Whisky’s and Signature Cocktails
Michael Ball, Beverage Manager and Sommelier says, “You have to taste a lot of whisky to become a Whiskey Sommelier.”
The property is cozy and inviting.
Outside tables on Picadilly and across from Green Park
Darren at the Concierge desk has many recommendations for your perfect London visit.
Helpful Concierge – Alan Read from Yorkshire.
I sit down with concierge, Alan Read, from Yorkshire, who has been at the property for 9 years., who informs me, “I just love making recommendations to our guests.” I mention to Read my love for British Rock Bands from the 60s and 70s. The personable concierge, Read, immediately suggests that I see the musical, ‘Sunny Afternoon’ a musical about the 60s and 70s British icons, The Kinks. Now, this is info that I may have discovered on my own. Read, also recommends pubs and restaurants in the area. Again, the family owned Athenaeum impresses me.
The home stay hotel could not be better located. You’re close to all that London has to offer. Opposite the Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace, and just down the road are museums and galleries, chic and trendy shops, and of course, London’s vibrant theater district. Hyde Park, Herrods, Soho, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Regent Street, Oxford Circus are all within walking distance.
With a wide variety of rooms and suites, all luxurious and spacious, many rooms also include breathtaking Green Park views. You can also choose to stay in gorgeous service apartments, complete with your own front door, just like as if you were back in your home city. The stunning rooftop suite is the perfect London location to entertain guests, or simply to relax and unwind in complete bliss. Whichever room option you choose, you will never go wrong with this u. Understated luxury in a five star world.
Friendly hospitality gems who always remember your name
Nicoletta from Romania – One of the many gracious team players at the Athenaeum.
It has been stated that people on travel frequently are at happiest when they are at home. The Whisky Bar will make you feel like you’re sipping a cocktail in the confines of your living room. The tradition of afternoon tea is an award-winning tradition at the Athenaeum. Continue on to a scrumptious epicurean meal at the lobby floor restaurant. Sip on the finest whisky from nearby Scotland, and be sure to taste the Athenaeum’s special blend.
The Athenaeum Spa & Lounge
Relax at the Jacuzzi
Chill out and rejuvenate after a long day at the theater or shopping at the Athenaeum spa. With an array of treatments to sooth you. Try the Moroccan Rose Ritual, or take away all of your stress with an Elemis deep tissue massage. Should you wish to burn off some of the calories from eating your way through London, the modern gym is waiting for you.
What family hotel would not welcome kids? The Athenaeum takes it one step further towards being family friendly with a dedicated Kid’s Concierge who will treat your children like young royals.
Not just another 5 Star Hotel – It’s a home away from home in London’s posh Mayfair district.