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It was on a stereotypical drizzly mid-autumn evening in London when I first discovered the legendary Athenaeum Hotel. Somehow, a reservation mix-up left me without a place to stay in London. Serendipitously, soaked and dripping wet, I stumbled into the lavish Athenaeum Hotel on Piccadilly in need of a place to stay, and as they say, it was love at first sight.
Anthenaeum Hotel Living Wall
The Athenaeum is one of London’s most storied hotels. Interestingly, the landmark property is family-run by the same owners who maintain The Grove in Hertfordshire, a five-star palatial English countryside retreat located 18 miles outside of London.
Upon arrival at the star-studded Mayfair dwelling, the first thing one notices is the glorious living wall. The Athenaeum Hotel’s Living Wall is a symbol that begins at street level and reaches all the way to the tenth floor in a secure structure jutting away from the building. Created by award-winning French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc, the wall sports a mixture of native and exotic plants using a technique that enables urban plants to grow vertically without soil.
At the door stands the dapper, handsomely dressed-to-the-nines doormen led by the striking 6-feet 6-inch authority on all things London.
Anthenaeum Hotel Doorman Jim Burns
At the door stands the dapper, handsomely dressed-to-the-nines doormen led by the striking 6-feet 6-inch authority on all things London, Jim Burns, who has greeted luminaries Stephen Spielberg, Harrison Ford and, more recently, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West.
“I’ve been blessed to meet so many people from all walks of life. I even had the opportunity to meet Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela,” Burns said.
The Athenaeum Hotel remains as timeless as its 1864 Victorian upbringing when the property was a gentlemen’s club called Hope House, a favorite haunt of English author Charles Dickens.
Anthenaeum Hotel Lobby
In front is an outdoor seating area perfect for people sipping espresso while people watching on Piccadilly Street. As you enter the luxe boutique, immediately to the left is a small nondescript concierge desk that one might miss as you head to the reception area. In front of the reception desk is a relaxing seating area that shines bright with natural sunlight through the oversized glass windows facing Green Park.
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Anthenaeum Hotel Suite
There are 18 posh cosmopolitan apartments that mimic private Mayfair homes in separate quarters, connecting to the main hotel quarters of 162 bedrooms and suites absorbing nine floors. Many rooms come with astonishing sweeping views of Green Park. Despite its massive size, the Athenaeum Hotel’s mantra to be seen as a luxurious boutique hotel works splendidly into the accommodation.
A few years ago, the hotel received an in vogue makeover by English award-winning residential and hotel designer Mark Hulbert, whose projects span the globe. Hulbert took a stodgy feel turning guest quarters into a smashing, fundamentally British schematic complete with miniature statues of Her Majesty The Queen, toy double-decker buses in shadow boxes, and each room comes with the cuddly stuffed teddy bear Athenaeum mascot.
The culinary duo of celebrity Michelin-starred brothers Jeff and Chris Galvin have been dazzling gourmands for more than 20 years.
Galvin at Windows
Located a stone’s throw from the reception desk is Galvin Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and casual dinners in an open floor plan. The culinary duo of celebrity Michelin-starred brothers Jeff and Chris Galvin have been dazzling gourmands for more than 20 years.
Their eatery on the ground floor of the Athenaeum Hotel features a comfort food menu with an emphasis is on traditional Gastro-British spreads using locally sourced food, creating seasonal food while incorporating Galvin favorites of smoked salmon from nearby Scottish waters and their mouth-watering grass-fed steak tartare with toasted sourdough. Keeping in touch with the hotel’s theme of being inviting to all patrons, Galvin is perfect for a casual burger or fanciful caviar.
The Bar at the Anthenaeum Hotel
Located on the grand floor is The Bar at the Athenaeum Hotel is where virtuoso mixologists create craft cocktails and serve prized single malt whiskey from the hotel’s private reserve. Cozy couches and comfortable leather chairs create a lounge feel drawing an eclectic crowd from all walks of life.
Located below the ground floor of the Athenaeum Hotel is the REN Spa allowing for a relaxing solace from busy London days of exploration. Rejuvenate and leave stress behind in our two-cedar wood hot tubs, sauna, steam room, and relaxation area.
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The majestic family-run Mayfair hotel keeps with its theme of something for everyone, offering child-friendly services without compromising on five-star luxury. The 18 private residence apartments come with cooking facilities. Many of the hotel rooms can accompany extra beds and cots for kids. There’s even a Children’s Concierge offering nannies and babysitters. For guests wishing to bring their pooch, the luxe-boutique is pet-friendly.
New to the property is The View, akin to a private members club located on the top floor. The elevated Shangri-La is available to guests only and features cozy designer seating and daily complimentary food and drinks from Galvin Restaurant.
At the forward-thinking Athenaeum Hotel, you'll find that individual experiences matter.
116 at The Anthenaeum
At the forward-thinking Athenaeum Hotel, you’ll find that individual experiences matter.
“We want each guest to feel like they are staying in their own home. Our guests come first. You can see it in the way that our staff greets each patron. Our traditional values from our past are at the heart of the hotel today, but we keep up with contemporary times,” Athenaeum Hotel General Manager, Joanne Taylor-Stagg, said.
Hotel aficionados love the low-key vibe and attention to detail at the bespoke Athenaeum Hotel, where each guest receives the royal treatment.