A staycation at The Lanesborough.
‘Cos what doesn’t kill you with experiential sensory overload makes you stronger.
Staycationing is habitual for me. I live just a little too far outside the M25 ring road to taxi home after a night out and not lick the window. I justify each London hotel binge with lots of ranting – to anyone who will listen – about my unavoidable ‘Uber habit’. 16 ubers in seven days sends the disposable spending chakra to pot.
But I reason, nothing cures Uber anxiety like 400 thread count Egyptian cotton, a killer concierge and speedy wifi. Nothing.
I’ve staycationed in twelve London hotels – a shoebox in Shoreditch, a windowless warren near Kings Cross and two hedonistic nights with complimentary mini-bar in Holborn to name but a few. I’ve slummed it, I’ve savoured it and I’ve serial worshipped at many a five-star hotel bar for ‘research purposes’. And in all of this I’ve learned a great deal. Let me share my hard-earned, financially crippling wisdom:
Enlist a friend
Best part of any friendship for me is when you get to share memories together.
It opens up the door to inside jokes, eye-winking and stories that begin with, “Remember that one time …” non?
Kiera Liberati is my preferred hotel crasher/travel twin… she laughs at my jokes and joins in with my “it it’s 5pm somewhere” Hendricks habit. Between us we’ve racked up so many miles on the district and circle, hoovered enough free nuts and olives to feed a small island that we’re no longer in the realm of merely “people who get along” but more in the world of “people who’ve been through some serious shizzle together”.
Skip the solo room service and really good bath and buddy up with someone who can wing-girl you at the bar… maybe even take a cute pic.
Assume worse-case weather scenario
“I’ll buy an umbrella if it rains, there’s plenty of things to keep us entertained in London during a torrential downpour”. Wrong. If it doesn’t soak you through on impact, it’ll frizz your blow-out with a humidity chaser. Stay safe and book a hotel with indoor pursuits.
After Kiera and I checked-in to The Lanesborough and chuckled about the fact our Junior Suite came with a butler…
We had Barbara escort us straight to the spa action; complete with thermal suites, a hydro therapy pool plus on-demand spa butler to top up our Hendricks.
*shout out to Barbara who nailed it with the G&T station awaiting our return from the spa. NAILED IT.
Make use of concierge
Yes I consider myself a fairly well-informed Londoner. This one came home to roost last year when I fleetingly mentioned at a hotel lobby in City Hall that I’d planned to take photos on Tower Bridge… the day of the London Marathon. Nothing like a hurd of lycra-clad budgie smugglers to ruin a cute insta-story.
The concierge at The Lanesborough suggested we take a picnic to the Serpentine Lido at Hyde Park – a stones throw from the hotel – and they gave us a number to call in case of Taittinger-depleated emergency. We took turns to carry the £2.20 watermelon while they sorted the rest. Settling on a cute spot in the park by the water where we spent a blissful two hours lapping up the sunshine/listening to spotify and waiting for rain.
What happens on staycation does not stay on staycation.
AKA: The ego has landed. A change of scene can make you feel quite anonymous. Important life goals become irrelevant. Likewise a table of city-traders take on a whole new decibel level. AND it’s like you stepped off the street in to hotel narnia and you’re now living a movie-star life complete with alter-ego tantrums and entitlement tourettes. Relatable?
That’s the trouble with staying at a top-class hotel… it’s all just a bit too easy.
FYI: Those complimentary truffle-infused nuts, deep-fried corn and castelvetrano olives came with complimentary calories. YOLO.
Consume the calories, create the memories but keep it real….ishhhhh.
Spend your money where your mouth is.
Admittedly this is not something I’ve excelled at in the past. Always preferring a day out shoe shopping to a day in carb-sailing. Alas I’d promised to show Kiera the infamous michelin starred Céleste restaurant – she’d spotted the swanky deco on my insta-stories a pr breakfast ago. We booked ourselves in for the Sunday brunch and seduced my friend Ashley to come join.
Opening liner from the waiter “shall we start with a glass of Champagne ladies?”
It’s a truism of life that Champagne is the elixir of giggles. We hoovered three courses, two flutes of fizz and five OMG moments EACH. I started smugly with an order for healthy ‘poached eggs on gluten free rye w/ ginger and kale’ but two Taittinger’s in and the deconstructed toffee mille-fuille found me.
I challenge anyone to beat the Céleste Sunday Brunch, shoes schmooze!
THE LANESBOROUGH HOTEL hacks:
-Movies are on demand and free… we rang down to Barbara who delivered us warm popcorn and Kiera’s special request for Haagen Dazs ‘cookies and cream’
-Clothes pressing is a gift from the God’s – three pieces complimentary at The Lanesborough
-Take Barbara’s tech lesson – our junior suite was so high tech the T.V. was hidden behind a Canaletto and we needed to use an iPad to open the curtains
-Door-men at the hotel entrance are up for taking cute photos – just ask
Huge thanks to THE LANESBOROUGH for a night/day to remember.
All words, styling, creative direction my own