We really enjoyed our nine day stay at the Athenaeum, extending our stay twice. We stayed as a couple and an eight year old child.
The hotel is positioned very well in Mayfair: On Piccadilly, across the road from Green Park, near Green Park station (which has three major tube lines running through it, Victoria, Pidcadilly and Jubilee that have ready access to major destinations), just down the road from the Ritz, Bond Street, a walk to Harrods, Buckingham Palace, Pall Mall, a bit longer walk to Oxford Street and Covent Garden. You won't get a better area to base yourself for touristing in London.
The Athenaeum is a luxury five star hotel, but not necessarily one of the top traditional English style luxury hotel like Claridges or the Savoy. The common rooms were not particularly grand, were rather more small and intimate, and were not of a historical period. However, this was reflected in the room rate which is very good value for a London hotel at this level of luxury and service.
The rooms have been renovated in the last few years into a stylish modern English classical look. They were light and our room (one level up from standard, perhaps a deluxe king) was spacious. The beds were exceptionally comfortable and my son's temporary bed had a very thick mattress and sturdy base. The room was quiet, with thick curtains to ensure a long sleep if necessary. The decor was attractive and comfy, with mirrors lining the walls in the bathroom, behind the bed and on the cupboard doors. I loved the large magnified makeup/shaving mirror in the bathroom. Also, the heated towel racks, quality fittings, and yes a rubber non slip mat in the bath (you don't have to use it, but after my son suffering a fall in the bath in another hotel on our trip, I was grateful for this sensible addition). The room was adequately lit with overhead lights as well as lamps (unlike many rooms we stayed in) which meant that light could be adjusted to need. The large digital moving picture on the wall was cool. My least favourite aspects were that the toilet required an energetic flush with a pumping action and the air conditioning seemed to have a life of its own, on some kind of a cycle, which kicked in very warm in the early morning making sleep under a thick doona difficult, and remaining quite cold during the day.
The hotel was very generous with what they included as complementary services. The room had facilities for tea making, including a espresso coffee machine but they also offered a completely complementary bar with a quality array of snacks such as nuts and dried fruit, crisps, chocolate bars and soft drinks and alcohol. The room had a high quality wifi which again was free.
On our (early) arrival to the hotel our room wasn't ready. We were taken into the bar by Cora (a duty manager, who was a favourite of ours) and offered complementary drinks while the room was prepared. She took us through procedures for the Queen's Jubilee which included the hotel offering us a picnic basket for the street lunch. Nice touch! During those days we were also given a complementary fruit basket daily in our rooms.
The hotel was the best we had ever experienced for kids. After check-in we were taken up to our room by the Kids' Concierge. Our son was told he could contact him or any of the staff, whenever he desired, for an array of services and they kept to this. He was given a welcome basket in the room (teddy, yo-yo, kids' map of London with stickers, birdseed for feeding the birds in the park across the road). He was allowed to choose between a number of game consoles including wii, playstation, Xbox 360 and Nintendo. There were over 1000 games and DVDs on offer. When he ordered one of these, it was brought up with a huge bowl of freshly cooked popcorn. Kids were also given quality free meals when dining with any adult at the restaurant. What a wonderful welcome for children! My son was delighted and positive the whole stay, which made our own trip that much more relaxing. He was comfortable enough to run downstairs and pick up items or speak to staff on his own.
Staff were mixed with some being more reserved, but a few of them, Cora, the duty manager, Fabiano, the excellent concierges and all the doormen were so friendly that life at the hotel was really up beat, notwithstanding the daily rain. We had frequent chats with quite a few of them. This was possibly not the kind of elite and reserved style of service you may experience in one of the traditional English hotels, but it was very welcoming. Everything was made easy, it seemed like anything could be done, if necessary. We had no serious issues while we were there, and if there had been I felt they would have been promptly fixed.
Meals were good, but rather expensive. We only paid for breakfast there once: 27.50 pounds for full English and I think 22.50 pounds for Continental was a bit pricey for us, particularly when we were there for so long and were eating sparingly by that stage. The quality was, however, high. The fixed menu dinners were better value with a number of courses for around the same price. The staff were extremely accommodating of our dietary needs, serving up gluten free bread soy hot chocolate and adapted meals without any fuss.
On check-out we mentioned we would miss the large jelly babies that they kept in a jar at the front desk that we raided each day, as they were so yummy. The receptionist disappeared shortly and came back with a large pack of them to take with us. Such thoughtfulness and generosity was a trademark of our stay there. We were genuinely sad to leave the hotel, it was like saying goodbye to friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- By the Royal Parks Intimate and sophisticated, the fabulous 5-star Athenaeum is your home-away-from-home in Mayfair, central London. You're opposite Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace, just down the road from national museums and galleries, and close to world-renowned shops and theatres. Michelin-starred chefs For eating and drinking, there's afternoon tea (voted "Best in London 2012"), an restaurant run by Michelin-starred chefs, and a fine bar - home to a large collection of whiskies and signature cocktails. For a little "me-time", our spa offers relaxing treatments, relaxation room, wet area and a well-equipped fitness room. Free WiFi, iPod(R) docks All guestrooms are spacious with modern decor and premium bedding. You can catch a game on the plasma TV, stream tunes through the iPod(R) dock, and browse the Web with free WiFi, all while sipping an espresso coffee. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Athenaeum Hotel And Apartments
- Athenaeum Hotel Apartments