This landmark grand dame sets the standard for London's hotel world.
From the day it opened in 1931, The Dorchester was hailed as the most modern and luxurious hotel in London ... and it still is. The Rolls Royces, Daimlers and stretch Mercedes parked outside announce a celebrity clientele that frequently wants publicity along with tight security and attention. From heads of state to international industrialists, guests come here for personal service (a ratio of almost 3 staff per bedroom) plus the latest technology. The rooms are among the best in the city, restored to the remarkable standards of the past that made the hotel so famous. Bedrooms are large and furnished with antiques in grand English country-house style. Some rooms have four-poster beds, swathed in fabrics such as silk that are echoed around the windows. Paintings adorn the walls, while touches like hand-embroidered cushions scattered around add to the home-away-from-home --- or perhaps palace-away-from-palace --- feel. Decorated in white Italian marble, the bathrooms boast the deepest tubs in London; Charlton Heston claimed they were the only ones big enough for him to put his knees under water. Triple-glazed windows, many looking over Hyde Park, shut out street noise. For a cup of coffee in style, Parcafé showcases this Hyde Park view and a variety of beverages and light fare. Among the many dining venues, The Grill at The Dorchester serves traditional British food in a memorable setting; bold murals adorn the walls and plush red banquettes and ornate gold details on the ceiling and doors add to the sense of opulence. The hotel's signature restaurant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, is a hotspot, so make reservations well in advance.