Dazzling Dorchester London

One of London’s most revered five-star hotels, opened in 1931, a Grande Dame in a list of London properties, the legendary Dorchester is still a glamorous destination. I’ve always loved the splendid entrance, gazing toward the vast corridor of the dazzling Promenade Restaurant. The lobby spells luxury from the moment you arrive! Towering leafy palms, tufted sumptuous banquettes, flowers designed by noted designer florist, Philip Hammond. The Dorchester ambience is timeless. And the Promenade is one of the best people watching locations in all of London, sip your tea, nosh on petite sandwiches or a sumptuous breakfast; gaze about, it’s an elegant playground of grand international sightseeing!

Promenade Restaurant at The Dorchester London

Did you know Prince Philip hosted his bachelor party at The Dorchester? History has been made here on many occasions. First impressions are important!

The Dorchester rooms and suites are old school elegant, everything is quite splendid and flawless! Steeped in history, many of the suites have views of Hyde Park, decorated in an opulent chintzy style as the period dictates. Many have been redecorated in restful prints and color tones, so there is the perfect room for every guest, whether you prefer old school flamboyance or a more modern look. Oh, the bathrooms, are quite divine, over-size soaking tubs, acres of marble and polished chrome, two sinks for sharing. I also had a small window that opened for fresh air. I felt like Royalty during my stay, granted, my gorgeous Dorchester suite was destined for a Queen! No matter the size of your room or suite, there are always comfy chairs or sofas, modern amenities include big screen televisions, wifi, everything you would expect for refined living!

Multiple distinctive restaurants for your pleasure. Of the highest culinary palates, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester offers three Michelin Star French cuisine in an elegant dining room. If you haven’t been cosseted in its centerpiece, the ‘Table Lumière’, you’ve squandered a glammy evening! Cocooned by a luminescent curtain of 4,500 shimmering fiber optics, guests can enjoy the ambience and buzz of the restaurant while being screened from view of other diners. Of course, there is a special Lumière’ menu, extraordinary experience on all fronts! The Grill is a traditional style restaurant featuring yummy local dishes ranging from grill favorites on the carving trolley to the restaurant’s signature blue lobster chowder. All topped off by an extensive sweet soufflé menu – a superb ending to a classic meal! The interiors were recently refurbished, the clubby space is a sparkling jewel of zinc, copper and glass. Do mosey downstairs to China Tang a space with beautiful décor evoking 1930’s Shanghai. Be transported back to the sumptuous, golden age of Art Deco splendor where a cocktail bar and traditional dim sum menu add to the ambience. China Tang bar is the perfect place to sit back and relax. The full Chinese and Cantonese restaurant menu is also available in the bar. Even if you don’t have time for dim sum, don’t leave the hotel without sipping a cocktail in the gorgeous bar. At China Tang, the menus don’t compromise on classical Chinese and Cantonese recipes. there are some delicious dishes, including the Peking duck. Presentation is an art, the roasted duck is presented whole and a glistening mahogany brown, long neck and head in place, tucked away gracefully under the breast. Be prepared for proficient server flair and a mini-theatrical experience as they slice and roll into delicate pancakes. Peking duck is served over three exquisite courses, each more imaginative and delicious than the last.

China Tang at The Dorchester London
China Tang at The Dorchester London

Spa – Everyone needs a different kind of spa treatment. Some want to pop in for a moment of luxury, to enjoy a treatment and get on with their day. Others long for a private, soothing space in which to find some therapeutic calm amid the roar. Here you are free to find your own way to take time for yourself, whatever that may be. Highly recommend Carol Joy London Caviar & Algae Detox. To cleanse the body and relax the mind, lymphatic drainage techniques, aromatherapy and meridian therapy are combined with precious Caviar Algae and Pink Himalayan Salts in this full body treatment. The body is detoxified, blood circulation improved, and skin texture refined using the mineral rich and revitalizing effects of Caviar Algae and Salts, leaving the body rejuvenated inside and out and the mind calm. Add on: the advanced treatment option includes the addition of Cellular Vacuum Massage to aid the detoxification of the body further. Facials, nail care, exotic body scrubs and massage and every day of the week, definitely make an appointment for a blow out or hair trim – this spa is totally full service. Gentleman’s barber, including a shave, steam room, professional trainers for a work out – this is one of the hotels you could call home!

Five-star accommodations, dining and oh, such exceptional service tops the multiple reasons to live like Royalty at The Dorchester in London!

Is this not the most elegant Royal bed you’ve ever seen? I stayed in this suite and didn’t want to depart! The Dorchester, London

Upgrade your life, our clients are exceptionally spoiled by my Dorchester peeps. Diamond Club Amenities as our guests.

Cliveden House, a wicked tale!

The former home of several Dukes, a Prince of Wales and Nancy Astor, now owned by the British National Trust, Cliveden is one of Britain’s grandest hotels in Buckinghamshire. Located in the heart of the English countryside, Cliveden is a luxury country house. The Italianate mansion isn’t the only draw, the grounds surrounding the estate feature manicured lawns and gardens, picturesque gazebos, and classic sculptures. The mansion was built in 1666 by the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and is decorated with antique furniture and period features. Sitting on 376 acres of National Trust grounds, means it is protected. Cliveden House has played host to every British monarch since George I and has been home to three Dukes, an Earl and Frederick Prince of Wales.

Royalty and politicians have cast their spell at this historic manor house. It was at Cliveden that infamous British politician, John Profumo, first laid eyes on Christine Keeler as she luxuriated in the garden pool on a sultry summer evening, the infamous phrase ‘the glance across the pool’ began the scandalous affair that almost toppled the government.
With a history of unapologetic naughtiness, the grand home was built by the Duke of Buckingham’s mistress, the Countess of Shrewsbury. Successive owners sculpted the gardens and landscape, sparing no expense to create a magnificent summer sanctuary.

Cliveden House indoor pool

The current house owes its elegant architecture to Sir Charles Barry, famous for designing the Palace of Westminster. One can imagine with such history, the reputation for finery is upheld in its current reign as a five-star hotel property. Below the balustrade roofline is an etched Latin inscription which continues around the four sides of the house and recalls its history; it was composed by the then prime minister William Ewart Gladstone. On the west front it reads: POSITA INGENIO OPERA CONSILIO CAROLI BARRY ARCHIT A MDCCCLI, which translated reads: “The work accomplished by the brilliant plan of architect Charles Barry in 1851.”

Cliveden House – afternoon tea.

Each one of Cliveden’s 38 rooms and 15 suites – cheekily named after the celebrated characters who have been part of the manor’s checkered history, has a reference adding intrigue and extraordinary charm. Suites furnished in authentic period furnishings are unusually spacious, room to laze and gaze. I loved my Winchester Suite in the main house, overlooking miles of manicured gardens and the spectacular view over the Parterre, all the way to the Thames. A grand corner room, with a cozy dressing room and sumptuous bath. Rooms are located in the main house or in two buildings to each side of the main home. I prefer a suite in the three-story mansion, but all rooms are exceptional. There’s also a freestanding summerhouse, Spring Cottage, by the Thames that sleeps up to six.

My oh so sweet suite! Cliveden House

My arrival was enhanced by the site of an elderly British gent ‘resting’ on a comfy overstuffed sofa, balancing a dainty teacup, cravat properly tucked. He could have been a left-over guest from times past. The grandeur of the foyer is the perfect spot for an after dinner prandial or mid-day cup of tea, whatever your fancy. Do sit and absorb the history and priceless antiques and paintings in this sumptuous space. The ceiling and walls are paneled in English oak, with Corinthian columns and swags of carved flowers for decoration, all by architect Frank Pearson. The staircase newel posts are ornamented with carved figures representing previous owners (e.g. Buckingham and Orkney) by W.S. Frith. Astor installed a large 16th-century fireplace, bought from a Burgundian chateau which was being pulled down. To the left of the fireplace is a portrait of Nancy, Lady Astor by the American portraitist John Singer Sargent. The room is furnished with 18th-century tapestries and invaluable suits of armor. Above the staircase is a painted ceiling by French artist Auguste Hervieu which depicts the Sutherlands’ children painted as the four seasons. Take your time wandering as there is something to gaze at in every nook and corner on every floor.

Cliveden House calling bells for staff

There are morning rooms, private dining rooms, a small office with a concealed panel for Mr. Astor’s gin and downstairs discover the wine room accentuated by a massive brick column and vaulted brick ceiling. An intimate underground cave, the Cellar Dining Room is perfect for a more informal setting. Its brick walls, mighty pillars and vaulted ceilings highlight its stake in history. It was once Lord Astor’s private wine cellar, making it ideal for wine tasting. It has been lovingly restored, remaining an unusual and atmospheric function room for smaller parties and private gatherings. 

Suite at Cliveden House

Hidden behind the brick walls of the garden and enveloped in tumbling scented roses and lavender, you will discover a tranquil oasis in the Cliveden Spa, where the glance across the pool defined history. The spa, which is a recent addition to the property is stunning. Enjoy seven treatment rooms along with The Studio for the perfect pampering afternoon. Relax poolside, with two choices in comfy loungers by the sublime heated indoor pool or wander into the garden to sunbathe at the last remaining listed outdoor pool in England.  State-of-the-art Technogym, infrared sauna and infused steam room, two outdoor hot tubs, Jacuzzi, a fitness studio with a daily class schedule, Tennis center including 1 indoor, 2 outdoor tennis courts, and nail spa. One could spend several indulgent days, traipsing from pool to spa treatments, and smashing balls on the clay. Peckish while pampering? Petite spa restaurant within the spa, mosey over in your bathrobe and spend a decadent day. Ghosts linger, I’m certain.

Lord Astor’s private wine cellar, Cliveden House

Cliveden has always been at the center of political and social life. However, it was while Nancy and Waldorf Astor lived here during the first half of the twentieth century that Cliveden became famous for its lavish hospitality and glamorous guests. The Astor’s entertained a diverse mix of people from Lloyd George and Winston Churchill to George Bernard Shaw, Ghandi and Henry Ford. Imagine the stories the staff could share.

Several gardens overlook the River Thames, including the Japanese Water Garden, the six-acre Parterre garden, and the Rose Garden, in which 900 roses bloom during the summer. In the Cliveden Boathouse on the River Thames, you will find a lovingly restored flotilla of vintage wooden launches. Picture book images for one of the most luxurious boat trips on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames imaginable. Pack your straw boater, staff can curate multiple decadent Journeys – pop the champers while cruising to Henley, sail down the lazy river indulging in a luxurious picnic or nibble on creamy butter biscuits in a glorious afternoon tea party – all require little effort and result in sheer pleasure.

The library shelves are stocked with great titles from many authors who have graced the halls and suites: George Bernard Shaw and Rudyard Kipling; amble downstairs to the halls containing black and white photos of the varied guests including Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill. Lady Astor collected celebrities as one might collect priceless paintings.

Cliveden House Screening Room

The bedrooms and suites are beautifully furnished with walls festooned in luxurious coverings and classic art; creature comforts include comfy velvet sofas, and one of the most heavenly cloud-like beds I’ve ever fallen into! Bathrooms are fabulously large, trimmed in cool white marble and offer massive soaking tubs.

Walk the hills, float down the river, but do leave room for a delectable dinner. Mosey downstairs to the grand foyer for a tipple and absorb the history. I recommend reading The Mistresses of Cliveden: Three Centuries of Scandal, Power and Intrigue, before arriving – the walls may whisper.

Cliveden House garden
Cliveden House The French Dining Room


I could easily stay a week, if you can’t linger, do add on a night or two before boarding the long flight across the pond. Fit for Royalty, be you a royal or a commoner, I guarantee you will swoon.