A Park Lane fixture since 1931, the Dorchester’s interior may be thoroughly, opulently classical, but the hotel is cutting edge in attitude, providing an unrivalled level of personal service. With the grandest lobby in town, amazing views of Hyde Park, state-of-the-art mod cons and a magnificently refurbished (to the tune of £3.2m) spa, it’s small wonder the hotel continues to welcome movie stars (the lineage stretches from Elizabeth Taylor to Tom Cruise) and political leaders (Eisenhower planned the D-Day landings here).
You’re not likely to be eating out, either: the Dorchester employs 90 full-time chefs at the Grill Room, Alain Ducasse and the wonderfully atmospheric China Tang. There’s even an angelic tearoom in the new spa: the Spatisserie. The Dorchester is due to open an entirely new hotel, 45 Park Lane (www.45parklane.com), early in 2011 in the former Playboy club premises, almost opposite the entrance to its predecessor.