Sabi Phagura visits The Athenaeum Hotel in London’s famous Piccadilly area
I do like a spot of luxury in a prime location in the centre of London, and The Athenaeum is a great advert for that. The five star hotel and apartments on Piccadilly positions itself as your ‘home-from-home’. But let me assure you that most homes, including mine, are not as glamorous as this fine specimen. But the luxury you do get here from the suite alone definitely gives you the feel of privacy within your own four walls.
The Athenaeum has lovely and light bedrooms all with floor-to-ceiling windows and divine Queen sized beds with sitting rooms, many overlooking Green Park. The complementary mini bar is full of snacks and drinks including champagne, wine and spirits. The bathroom, which has one of the biggest showers I’ve ever seen, is so inviting. And with such modern décor, it’s really hard to imagine that this building has existed since the mid-19th century. With so much to do in your room alone, it’s all too easy to slip into the fluffy robe and slippers, and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly.
The Athenaeum hotel is popular for its 24 hour whisky bar and is approached through the glossy silver and pink lobby. Just as well. With over 300 whiskies to sample, spanning from the Scottish Highlands to Japan, you could be in there for a very long time. Sporting mirrored pillars, velvet sofas, and side tables made of glass, this bar is far from masculine. Don’t fancy a whisky? Champagne, cocktails, gin and Slimline Tonic are all available on the menu.
The Athenaeum’s restaurant has been awarded a second rosette. The menu is by no means extensive which makes choosing what to eat even easier. But you definitely won’t be disappointed. There is still something for the meat, fish and vegetarian lovers, and the portion sizes are considerable. The Pan Seared Diver Scallop with Amaretto Butternut, Nut Brown Almond & Pea Shoot was the best I have ever tasted, while the Pan Fried Turbot Parsnip Purée, Pickled Radish, Cauliflower, Long Stem Broccoli, Lime & Ginger Blanc for the main went down a treat. Puddings are best eaten in the Garden Room. The afternoon tea hangout during the day turns into a “pudding parlour” for help-yourself desserts. I guess you could say it’s the adult version of a kid walking into a sweet shop.
The Athenaeum Hotel’s offerings extend to a 24 hour gym, but with the great outdoors on your doorstep, and the staff agree, it would be a shame to workout inside. The aforementioned greenery outside the rooms and suites covers 465 acres if you include Green Park (47 acres) just yards away, St James’s Park (58 acres), and around the corner, Hyde Park (a whopping 350 acres). You can borrow a bike for free from the The Athenaeum hotel or just don your trainers for a jog until your heart’s content. You can even borrow a kite and chase it around the open areas. And on your return, there’s a fully functioning spa awaiting at the hotel complete with a wet area and a chill out zone to recover.
Room rates at The Athenaeum start from £260, whilst the suites are available from £599 per night. For more information, visit www.athenaeumhotel.com.