Advance reservations are recommended for Locanda Locatelli
The petite gym is open 24 hours
Regency Club Rooms include lounge access for continental breakfast, all-day drinks and evening cocktails and canapés
Parking on site
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Grand five-star sleep in leafy Marylebone that showcases modern artwork and Michelin-starred food
Behind an unassuming exterior reminiscent of a 1970s office building lies a stately five-star hotel that, in keeping with its political moniker, can count Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela as former guests. A revolving door attended by top hat–wearing doormen leads to a glossy marble lobby scattered with modern artworks; several pieces form part of a collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery to showcase emerging artists. Chris Levine's iconic portrait of the queen hangs above reception, and there are arty nods to Winston Churchill aplenty, including a bronze bust by the elevators and a life-size sculpture in the bar. The whole of the ground floor is given over to sociable spaces for well-heeled wining and dining, including the Michelin-starred restaurant, Locanda Locatelli.
Bed and Bath
All 434 rooms underwent a multimillion-dollar revamp in 2011. A cappuccino color scheme runs through all room types, which are efficiently laid out for comfort and convenience, with large oval desks topped with glossy mags, roomy wardrobes, plush velvet armchairs and foot stools. Giant plasma TVs and iPod docks come standard. Bathrooms are on the small side, but many feature both tubs and power showers and they're stocked with Molton Brown toiletries. Regency Club Rooms include access to the eighth-floor Executive Lounge, which is headed by a team of private concierges; free breakfast is served in the morning, drinks (soft and alcoholic) are available all day, and canapés and cocktails are offered in the evening.
Helmed by Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, his eponymous Locanda Locatelli is a Michelin-starred restaurant where high-end pasta dishes (lobster linguine, braised veal ravioli) are cooked in an open kitchen. Reservations are recommended, especially at the weekend. British produce dominates the menu at the Montagu, an alternative dining spot overlooking Portman Square. The Churchill Bar serves potent cocktails (with a bias toward drinks mixed with locally distilled gin) alongside posh Brit bar snacks such as Loch Fyne smoked salmon and Scotch quail eggs. Grab a drink and sink into an armchair by the cozy fireplace, or head outside to the cigar terrace.
In the Area
The Wallace Collection, in nearby Manchester Square, features a collection of 17th- and 18th-century works by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and Velazquez. The small gallery is relatively unknown, even to Londoners, and it offers free entry seven days a week. Iconic department store Selfridges is just around the corner on Oxford Street for a retail fix and free tastings in the impressive food hall. For more independent shopping, head to Marylebone High Street, which is lined with boutiques, delis, pubs and eateries. Top picks include La Fromagerie, Daunt Books and the Designers Guild. For quirky cocktails, make a beeline for Purl, a speakeasy-style basement bar where the drinks are served in silver egg cups and brass goblets, and the menus are hidden in old books. Hyde Park is a 10-minute stroll away. Head to Speakers’ Corner on a Sunday for lively debates, rants and ramblings. Orators have taken to their soapboxes here since 1872 to celebrate freedom of speech. Heckling optional.