Brummell recommends: a staycation at The Dorchester

Just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park, The Dorchester on the buzzing Park Lane is the most London of all London hotels and perfect for the ultimate indulgence

Travel and Wellbeing 8 Jul 2024

The Promenade at The Dorchester

The background

Instantly recognisable balconies with its yellow-striped awnings, aesthetically pleasing curves and a grand Park Lane location, The Dorchester is a true gem among some of London’s finest hotels. The renowned Sir Robert McAlpine-designed London hotel, which first opened its doors on 20 April 1931, has welcomed many famous names through its doors including Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor and now, of course, Brummell. We headed to “The Dorch” to check out its latest magnificent refurb and enjoy a little indulgence of the finest kind.

The Vesper Bar

The space

Strolling up to The Dorch’s famous revolving doors, it’s hard not to feel a sense of grandiosity – we even noticed our posture had improved – at the impressive ground floor presented ahead of you. The Promenade, the luxe and aptly named restaurant that leads from the entrance to China Tang at the back is resplendent with plush seating and an abundance of flowers (the scent is divine) and flanked by the hotel’s Vesper Bar (designed by Martin Brudnizki), Alain Ducasse and The Grill by Tom Booton – just a handful of the hotel’s five restaurants and three bars.

The grand entrance to The Dorchester on Park Lane

Following a renovation in January 2023, the hotel is at its finest, not least in our remarkable third-floor suite overlooking the park. Marble floors, high ceilings and opulent furnishings abound, it’s the perfect kind of home-from-home that you really will not want to leave. A walk-through wardrobe leads to the elegant main bathroom – complete with giant bathtub, waterfall shower (with room for the whole family) and Japanese toilet (if you haven’t enjoyed the novelty of its so-called “wash n blow dry”, have you even lived?) – and the lavish bedroom, fit for royalty. The yellow colour palette reflects the sunny awnings on the balcony outside and extends to the living/dining room – a palatial fireplace-adorned space that is so comfortable, you’d be tempted to put your feet up and order room service for the duration of your stay. Which would be fine if it weren’t for the serene call of the subterranean oasis that is the Dorchester Spa underneath the hotel (Brummell enjoyed the most soothing and relaxing hour-long massage here) and the five acclaimed restaurants waiting for you downstairs.


The food

Brummell headed to Vesper Bar just off The Promenade on the ground floor. Vibrant house music pumped from the decks of the resident DJ as we were guided to our velvet seats at a low-lit table in the middle of the bar. Every drink on the Essentia cocktail menu is available as a non-alcoholic alternative and has a story behind it, including Brummell’s favourite: Morning Sunshine – a refreshing tequila-based cocktail with genever, lychee, kiwi and magnolia – served on an illuminated coaster that streams a beam of light through the prism of ice cubes like the morning sun casting rainbows in a room. This perfectly sets the tone for our dinner reservations at The Grill by Tom Booton, a hop, skip and a jump from Vesper Bar across the lobby, where we enjoyed its soon-to-be-legendary Steak Night menu. Brummell ordered the fried shimejis and mushroom XO BBQ stuffed chicken wing with Fabal glaze, and a succulent 300g ribeye to share with crisp-and-fluffy doorstop chips. What a delight!

The Grill by Tom Booton

The Bill

Rates start from £1,070 per night for a Superior room, the Dorchester Suite starts from £6,360 B&B per night based on two adults sharing with breakfast included. Cocktails for two at Vesper Bar from £44; Steak Night (available Thursday and Friday) at The Grill by Tom Booton is £55 per person.

The Verdict

There’s a reason the Dorchester has been voted ‘the perfect’ hotel on numerous occasions – an effortless, luxurious experience that was as soothing as it was fun thanks to attentive and friendly staff, exquisite surroundings, therapeutic treatments, delicious food and cocktails, and an abundance of choice – all at one of the glitziest addresses Monopoly has ever seen.

The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA;