Where to start with The Wellesley in London? I suppose at the beginning and we'll kick off from there. Two weekends ago, Mr. FFG and I made our way down the street from home for a good ole staycation at The Wellesley, London. Yes, we are big fans of finding solace with a mini-vaca in your own backyard. If you haven't tried this, you really should. There's nothing like vacationing without any travel.
The Wellesley in London is a relatively new establishment and has already created a lot of chatter around London not only for it's decadent decor, but also the space's illustrious history. The Wellesley, at 11 Knightsbridge, was originally where London commuters would enter Hyde Park Underground station. It wasn't until the 1930s that the station entrance was moved. After the relocation, 11 Knightsbridge was transformed into a world renowned Jazz Club and pizzeria called Pizza on The Park. And now, in 2013, the site has been reworked once again to create a space with 29 suites, 7 executive double rooms, a cigar lounge, a bar and two restaurants. Not to worry, they still serve Pizza and it's just as good as we remember it from the Pizza on The Park days.
On our arrival at The Wellesley we were told we would be staying in the Charleston Suite. All the one bedroom suites have names that are reflective of the hotel's 1920s decor, and this particular suite seems almost too perfect since I'm currently sitting in South Carolina only moments away from Downtown Charleston. What we discovered inside the suite, however, is something I've never seen this side of the Mason-Dixon line.
Our handsome butler led us into the space and explained everything from the Samsung tablet in the room to the way in which to open the curtains for the most, yet most discreet, view of Hyde Park. The room itself was one of the best uses of space I've seen in sometime. In fact, I found myself taking pictures for inspiration at home rather than for this story. The room was clean and strategically planned yet seemed over the top and wonderfully lavish. Not one detail was forgotten. The door handles were as a big as my arm and seemed to weigh a ton and then some. All of the light fixtures and fabrics used in the room were wonderfully modern and soft yet could have come straight from the era in which they were inspired from. All this and we hadn't even stepped into the bathroom yet.
Upon swinging open the heavy door to the bathroom, we are greeted by a room full of Carrera marble. Our toes are instantly warm as we slide across the floor. The room itself is air conditioned, thank goodess as it was over 80 degrees outside, but the floor of the bathroom is still slightly heated to give you that lovely warm feeling of home. The magic doesn't start and stop with the flooring. Hermes toiletries decorate the bath area and should you get bored of playing with your luxury bubbles, you can switch on the TV that is situated above the bath. If given the opportunity, I could have spent my entire stay-cation just in this space.
However, there was much more to see around the hotel. We had a 1920s inspired cocktail in The Crystal Bar and were given a tour of Europe's largest humidor where Mr. FFG picked out a cigar only to find it was valued at £3,000. Seems he has good taste. The Wellesley has one of the finest collections of cigars in the world and in their collection is one of the rarest boxes of Cuban cigars in existence, and yes it's £3,000 for each cigar. Just in case you are thinking this is a ridiculous price that no one would dream of paying, think again. The Wellesley have already sold a whole box of 100 and are steadily working through the remaining limited stock.
After convincing Mr. FFG to put down the £3,000 cigar, we moved into the restaurant where The Wellesley had live Jazz playing all night. We thought it only right to order pizza from the original Pizza on The Park and were serenaded as we slowly entered into a carb coma. It was heavenly and over all too soon. Although no one was going anywhere without a ride in the hotel's complimentary Rolls Royce service. We definitely surprised friends as we pulled up to the curb at our favourite haunt in Mayfair and stepped out of the brand new luxury vehicle. Oh to have that pleasure regularly! But then it wouldn't be a staycation.
The Wellesley will definitely get a return visit from us, if only just to sit on the beautiful terrace to smoke world famous cigars and drink perfectly mixed cocktails.
London SW1X 7LY