Travel

London On The Fly

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by Lou Marino
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Where To Stay:

The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Located in the heart of historic London, the Royal Horseguards is a 5-star, 282-room hotel designed to blend traditional British elegance with 21st century luxury. Built in 1884 in the style of a French château, it sits on the banks of the River Thames and literally mere yards away from Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and London’s West End.

This is a property that will surpass every expectation. After checking in, drop in at the Equus Bar directly off the main lobby. All of your worries will instantly disappear as you relax in the plush, deep crushed, red velvet chairs and sofas while you enjoy an outstanding selection of British Afternoon Teas, tailor-made signature cocktails or a tasty selection of nibbles and treats. For those who wish to partake, Equus offers one of London’s largest hand-rolled cigar selections. In warm weather, take advantage of the spectacular views and relaxed atmosphere of the outdoor Terrace, perfectly tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Once inside your room, you’ll revel in the plush surroundings and in most rooms, stunning views of the Thames and iconic London Eye. For your comfort, iPod docking stations, surround systems, flat screen televisions (in both your room and bathroom), laptop safes, complimentary Wi-Fi and supremely comfortable mattresses are standard throughout the property.

Adjoining the Royal Horseguards is One Whitehall Place. Home to many of the British political and literary greats of the 19th and 20th centuries and steeped in history (it was used by the Intelligence Service as its headquarters during both World Wars), One Whitehall Place offers two floors of magnificent event space perfect for your destination event or same-sex wedding.

Connected by an awe-inspiring, circular, marble staircase - the largest of its kind in Europe - each space has its own distinct style. Ranging from the Victorian grandeur of the Gladstone Library, housing 30,000 replicas of original library volumes, to the intimacy of The Cellar, which, as local legend has it, once housed an underground passage that linked The Cellar to the Ministry of Defense, One Whitehall Place offers a plethora of options for your special day. While you are there, consider hosting a party in Churchill’s Bar, housed in the club where Sir Winston spent so much of his time meeting, relaxing and debating while he was on his way to becoming on of the greatest political figures in British history.


Coworth Park

If you are looking to get out of the city and take in the English countryside, Coworth Park is the place for you.

Situated on 240 picturesque acres in nearby Ascot (only 45 minutes from Central London, 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport), Coworth Park combines the warmth and comfort of a classic country house hotel with first-class service and modern, English sensibility guaranteed to put this destination on the top of your all-time favorites list.

From the moment you drive through the gates of the property, you can tell you are in for a treat. Forget the frenetic pace of London. At this retreat, comfort, leisure and relaxation are the order of the day. With a history dating back to 1776, Coworth Park passed through many hands until ultimately ending up as a part of the Dorchester Collection (its eighth hotel).

Reconstruction began in 2008 and after nearly two years, it opened in September 2010. The Mansion House consists of 30 rooms, including one- and two-room suites. Rebuilt in the exact footprint of the original 1776 house (and including three of its original walls), the hotel is one of the most environmentally advanced hotels of its kind.

Another 40 rooms and suites are spread throughout the Stables and Cottages along with its signature suite, the Dower House, which boasts three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, study and sitting room.

Environmental responsibility is taken quite seriously at Coworth Park. A biomass boiler fueled by willow grown on the estate ensures that the hotel is able to produce its own carbon-neutral fuel supply. Rain and surface water is recycled via drainage into the lake to be used for irrigation. The spa has been built into an existing hillside and hosts a rooftop herb garden.

It’s no wonder that Coworth has been the recipient of numerous international awards and accolades including the European Hospitality Award for "Green Hotel of the Year" in 2011.

If you can pry yourself away from the luxury of your room or suite, there are any number of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Equestrian at Coworth Park provides stabling for 40 horses along with a top-notch team of trainers ready to assist both beginner and experienced riders. Two professional polo fields offer guests the opportunity to experience the quintessentially English sport; or if you are in the mood to master it yourself, Guards Polo Academy at Coworth Park offers a full roster of both individual and group lessons. In addition to polo, the grounds at Coworth offer walking and jogging trails, shooting, fishing, mountain biking, tennis and croquet.

After being out and about, some time at the Spa is essential. Spa visitors can enjoy an indoor heated swimming pool, sun terrace and aromatic steam room. With virtually every treatment room and all common spaces lit by a flood of natural light, the Spa at Coworth Park offers the perfect space to relax, unwind and decompress.

After you enjoy the spa amenities and treatments, stop by The Spatisserie for a selection of light meals, Afternoon Tea, wine and Champagne. With spectacular, sweeping views of the English countryside it is easy to understand why Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards have named The Spa at Coworth Park the Best UK Hotel Spa and the fifth best in the world!

As if the lush surroundings, eco-friendly initiatives, outdoor offerings and award-winning spa are not enough, Coworth Park also offers a number of elegant spaces perfect for your same-sex wedding. With stunning event spaces, restaurants, hotel bar and Drawing Room, there are any number of options available to make your special day one that will be both unique and memorable.



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