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REVIEW: The Athenaeum hotel

REVIEW: The Athenaeum hotel


the athenaeum spa

Right off the bat, let’s put it out there: The Athenaeum is in a pretty special location, steps from The Ritz and Buckingham Palace Gardens. Dripping with wealth and history, the area is always alluring, but aloof – an air of the unobtainable permeates the postcode.

But if you’re lucky enough to bag a hotel room for the night, you can at least play at calling it home – and that’s where The Athenaeum comes in. Fairly nondescript on a road of upmarket hotels and restaurants, this classy abode doesn’t scream ‘look at me’ – and that’s exactly why we like it.


Step through the doors and you’re met with a fairly unassuming lobby, with fine details that demark its high calibre. Mirrored surfaces,  velvet sofas, squishy armchairs and gilded detailing comes together to form a sleek package that impresses but doesn’t overwhelm – the Double Rosette restaurant through the back is filled with high-backed red banquettes and competent staff, complete with a rustic whiskey bar. 

the athenaeum

Deep in the basement lies another little secret – a compact spa that doesn’t fail to impress. Two gorgeous hot tubs and a steam room sit alongside a gym and beauty treatment room, where you can have everything from HD brows to a traditional Moroccan scrub, facial and massage. Running routes around Green Park are provided, but if you’re venturing out, we’d advise borrowing a kite, some bird seed and a bike for the ultimate adventure – all for free, natch.

Food is contemporary, often a slight twist on traditional British fare – we went straight to the restaurant after checking in, sampling seared South coast scallops with pork belly and pancetta, followed by a trio of English lamb and triple cooked chunky chips.

As the restaurant was a little quiet, we cheekily asked to take the remnants of our bottle of wine and dessert up to our rather splendid room – and were so glad we did when we saw it. 

The Athenaeum hotel

A beautiful palette of royal blue and gold plus exquisite furnishings confirmed this was true luxury. We loved the tiny Royal Guards lining the shelves next to the bed (just visible in the picture above, on the right) and the beautiful chairs in the window overlooking Green Park. The bathroom was pretty too, awash with marble and ESPA products.

We thought it couldn’t get any better – until we realised the mini bar was free. An episode of Mock The Week with a bowl of sticky toffee pudding and a glass of wine, lying in a soft bathrobe, made us feel like princesses – in fact, we reckon this might be the closest you can get to living like Kate Middleton – minus the paparazzi, bodyguards, scrutiny and constant diet. I know where I’d rather be…

Where: 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ

Price: From  per double, per night

More info:

Amy @ FashionBite xx

Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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