On the corner of Mount Row and Chandos Place, opposite where there used to be an 18th century workhouse, sits the wonderful Connaught Hotel.
I've never been the kind of person who has the money and inclination for prestigious expensive hotels, preferring low budget rooms with a good bed and shower (after all I will be out all day tramping the streets with my camera, meeting people and seeing the city, not lounging about in my room), but the Connaught could change my mind. Hmmmm, now all I need is the means.... If I did have money to burn I think I'd stay there a few times so that I could try out all the different types of rooms.
Most hotels are having to constantly revamp their suites to keep up with all the high tech nonsense we all seem to need these days yet, unlike other hotels I have visited, The Connaught has managed to achieve this without loss of style or elegance. In addition to this, the communal areas are wonderful; the staircases, carpets and floors, and the two little lifts, one dark purple and the other dark green... it's like stepping into a film set.
The ground floor is given over to some top quality bars and restaurants
; and they are really good. I had some lovely canapés and martinis (and champagne too!) in the award-winning Connaught Bar but had no time to stay longer to sample the restaurant. If anyone wants to take me to Hélène Darroze at the Connaught any time, my response is 'yes please!'.
Oh, and there's spa in there somewhere. I wasn't interested in checking that out as I'm not really into spas, but I hear their Aman spa
is good. What is with hotels and spas? Isn't the great big bath in the room enough?! I do like the idea of outdoor spas of old though; taking the waters and all that. I've never said or written 'spa' so many times. Spa spa spa.
Finally, situated on the pavement outside the main entrance to the hotel is the marvellous and bizarre Tadao Ando water installation, which I have yet to see in action. I have heard it looks great after dark when it's all lit up and the steam is in action.