The Athenaeum, London

Welcome, says the very tall, silver haired hotel doorman with a smart red tie and top hat, and he actually sounds as though he means it.

The Athenaeum is located in a seriously posh part of London where the streets are filled with the latest model Porsche, Maserati and Rolls Royce cars, but the vibe at this hotel is all about feeling at home. Family-owned with five-stars, the hotel overlooks Green Park in Piccadilly.

It’s lux all the way with plenty of marble and mirrors making our room seem like a stage set but it’s the little touches that make all the difference.  The very thick, piped bath robes and equally plush white towels, the soft feather pillows and quilt on the queen-sized bed and the refreshing aroma of the bergamot-infused toiletries. 

Best of all, I opened the complimentary (except alcohol) mini bar to discover some of my fave things – Ben & Jerry ice cream, Mars bars, and gourmet potato chips.

Things I loved about this hotel include the oversized shower, which had seriously great water pressure, the extremely comfortable four poster bed, and the separate mirrored vanity nook.

Starting the day in the Athenaeum's dining room with a fruit salad bowl of raspberries and black berries followed by a full English breakfast with eggs, sausage, bacon, tomato and a side of black pudding seemed the right thing to do.

While the wrap around high-back chairs provided plenty of dining privacy we did spot the odd celebrity lining up for breakfast but it wouldn’t be nice to say who.

The location also makes this hotel special.  A short walk through Green Park and you are on Buckingham Palace’s doorstep.  Hop on a Big Bus tour,  minutes from the front door and you find yourself touring the streets of London as the guide reels off a list of places straight from a game of Monopoly.

What's great about this hotel?  Excellent position, free wi-fi, warm welcome, on-site spa, opposite Buckingham Palace and Green Park, and a well-stocked complimentary mini bar.

Bottom line: Best rate I could find on Wotif - £317 per night.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of The Athenaeum and travelled to London courtesy of Cathay Pacific Airlines.