|The Cranley and The Royal Park Hotels- Homes Away From Home|
In preparing for my recent travels to London and Paris, I made plans to arrive in London 4 days prior to the scheduled group itinerary. I reached out to my friend Jonathan Epstein for accommodations through his company, Celebrated Experiences. His recommendations were not the typical big hotel city stay. Jonathan suggested I split my time between 2 unique sister 4 star boutique hotels in London, The Royal Park Hotel in Lancaster Gate (near Paddington Station and Hyde Park) and The Cranley Hotel in South Kensington,(in Bina Gardens and Chelsea) just a half block off of Old Brompton Road. The process was quick and easy. The reservation confirmations and handy destination information were sent along with hotel brochures in a nicely presented package.
The Royal Park and The Cranley are similar in style, converted charming townhouses, very warm and inviting. Both hotels have under 50 rooms and have a “comfy” at home feeling. Traveling alone, I felt at ease in both neighborhoods and they are both conveniently located to public transportation and taxis. I arrived several hours before check in and was served complimentary coffee and cookies in the sitting room while my accommodations were prepared. I appreciated the assistance with my luggage, which I desperately needed. I am not a light traveler by any stretch of the imagination! In the evenings, complimentary champagne and canapés are served, such a relaxing way to end a busy day of sightseeing and shopping!
One thing both leisure and business travelers will appreciate is the FREE Wi-Fi! Continental breakfast was included in my rate and I found it to be more than adequate to start the day. I particularly enjoyed the fresh, flakey croissants with a variety of TipTree jams from Wilkin and Sons Ltd and the strong French pressed coffee to get me going. I enjoyed it so much, I am now the proud owner of a cafetiere! Service is cordial and prompt. An upgrade to a full English breakfast is available for a nominal charge. Breakfast is served in your room, in the Garden Terrace at the Royal Park or on the front patio at The Cranley. For dining outside of the properties, both are located within very easy walking distance of restaurants of all price ranges and cuisine.
Though small in room count, the accommodations are spacious at these hotels and they do not lack in cleanliness, luxurious amenities or personal service. The beds at both properties were very comfortable, the rooms are well appointed. It was nice to be recognized and greeted by the staff every time we met. The concierges are friendly and knowledgeable. They marked maps where the hotels are located and the places I should visit. They were very helpful throughout my entire stay. Fully stocked mini bars, flat screen tvs, dvd players, quality hairdryers, I-pod docking stations, post cards, heated towel bars, robes and slippers are just a few of the amenities that come to my mind. I do have a fondness for luxury toiletries and I was not disappointed by the quality and selection of Penhaligon’s toiletries provided!
I would not hesitate to recommend the Royal Park or The Cranley. My favorite between the two is the Royal Park. Don’t get me wrong, I had no complaints whatsoever with the service and accommodations at The Cranley, it is just a matter of personal preference. I liked the layout of the accommodations a bit better at The Royal Park as there is a separate sitting room from the bedroom versus a one large room. I also enjoyed sitting in the private Garden Terrace at The Royal Park in the mornings and evenings, though I must admit, it is fun to people watch in the street side patio at The Cranley. The Royal Park and The Cranley are homes away from home in the big city of London!