I have ticked off many Four Seasons establishments abroad from my to-visit list and yet the hotel closest to home remained a mystery to me. Park Lane is lined with swanky hotels attracting businessmen and tourists… hidden just behind these obvious choices on Hamilton Place is the Four Seasons. Less ostentatious with a restrained luxury, this hotel is for guests desiring splendour without wishing to show off about it… definitely my favourite kind of central city accommodation.
As much as I was tempted to look round the rooms and admire the stylish classic design, I resisted in favour of the spa. Up in the lift to the tenth floor, the spa at this Four Seasons is certainly one of a kind, offering a light and lavish rooftop sanctuary that includes the spa, lounge and fitness centre. The fabulous London skyline surrounds the building and a different view is available in every room. Up here it is miraculously calm and peaceful, you can’t hear the cars below nor the chatter from the lobby. It made me ponder why so many hotels shove their spas in the basement, light and elevation brings a natural serenity that instantly refreshes you, especially if you are a busy Londoner wishing for some time out.
There are nine treatment rooms, vitality pools, steam rooms and saunas for hotel and spa guests to enjoy. After my tour I would have been very happy just to hang out up here and read a magazine, but I was lucky enough to be booked in for a personalised facial. Guests are given a cup of tea and cleansing flannel before treatments and asked to change into soft fluffy white robes. The changing rooms are like a beauty parlour with every toiletry you could need.
It was perhaps the best facial I’ve ever had, and it doesn’t surprise me to hear it is one of the most popular on offer here. The therapist really homed in on what was needed for my skin rather than demanding I try something particular. The curtains closed, the lights dimmed and I lay on a soft warm bed ready to be pampered. After a deep cleanse, exfoliation and extraction, relaxing massage and specialised mask, I felt fresh, radiant and youthful. ESPA products were used, and my therapist allowed me to pick out my favourite scents for the facial. To complete the treatment, my scalp was massaged with an enriching Moroccan oil treatment, to correct scalp skin imbalances and relieve tension and stress. It was relaxing and my hair was left with a lustrous shine and silky softness.
I got back in the lift to travel back down to the ground floor for an Italian dinner in Amaranto. It was a feast… spotting most of my favourite Italian dishes on the menu I had to opt for four courses, which in retrospect was perhaps a little greedy! After some crumbly 24 month aged Parmesan to nibble on with our Prosecco we chose starters, as advised by our waiter: flavoursome Culatello DOP with a traditional Gnocco Fritto and Burrata with smoked Tuscan tomatoes. It was the Burrata’s addictively creamy taste and texture that led me to almost lick the plate clean.
Homemade pastas are available in two sizes: both the ravioli with ricotta and spinach and the rigatoni carbonara with crispy cured pork jowl were delicious, light and simple with fresh ingredients and vibrant flavour. The meat course came next and I would say, if you are toying with the idea of pasta vs meat, go for pasta in the summer months. Crispy pork belly arrived with glazed carrots, peas and fresh marjoram. Balsamic glazed beef fillet with smoked aubergine and wilted spinach was the ideal man’s meal, rich and heavy, and it went down well with my guest.
If you can manage dessert, I’d stick with something simple, though the six miniatures did tempt me the tiramisu won me over eventually. It was huge, really far too big, which was a shame because it looked beautiful and tasted good but I just felt overwhelmed by the whole thing.
We left the Four Seasons fully satisfied. My experiences here prove this hotel is much more than just luxury accommodation and spa, it also has a restaurant really worth visiting.
More information and book here.