It's almost 8 years since J5Travel was birthed, approximately 4 days and 12 hours after I had quit the hedge fund business for good. A few months after that I was strongly encouraged (polite terminology) to start a weekly ezine in order to stay in front of our potential clients as much as possible. I really did not imagine that all these years later I would be penning Episode #400 having just missed one week in that entire period, thanks to lousy wifi in Galapagos.
I am proud of that feat and am still amazed that I absolutely relish getting this communication out to y'all. That's enough of that, and I reckon when we reach #500 we'll celebrate properly with something special.
This week is of course the Coronation in my homeland of England. I realize I featured London heavily just a few weeks ago following the team's trip, but I'm heading back again this week just because I still think London and the entire United Kingdom are actually underrated as a destination despite being particularly popular this year. Here's a Top 5 of UK hotels with right royal connections, where you can at least pretend in some style that you lived like royalty.
Top 5 - How to Hobnob with Royalty (sort of)
1. The Goring (above and below)
The Goring is London's last remaining family-owned luxury hotel with over 100 years of passion for hospitality. A grand hotel with impeccable manners, The Goring has 69 beautifully appointed suites and bedrooms. Nestled in Belgravia, The Goring stands out from the crowd with its very own Royal Warrant (assuming Charles renews it), exceptional service, and fleet of footmen. Queen Elizabeth II was believed to hold her annual Christmas lunch here – in the Michelin-starred dining room designed by her nephew, Viscount Linley. The restaurant serves the best of British food and the hotel is home to one of London's favorite Afternoon Teas. The newly refurbished Goring Bar has also become a lively new destination in London's bar scene.
2. Cliveden (above and below)
There is some serious royal history at the present day Cliveden House Hotel. Frederick, Prince of Wales lived at Cliveden with his family in the 18th century, while later it became a favourite haunt of Queen Victoria, and Cliveden also hosted a young Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on one of their earliest royal engagements in 1938, to visit the Kennedys, who were houseguests of the then-owners, the glamorous Astors.
Cliveden is unique...no one could resist an invitation to Cliveden; From Churchill to Chaplin, Lawrence to Lennon. Fortunes have been made, plots hatched. One of the world's finest luxury hotels, just 40 minutes from London, this grand stately home is set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent National Trust managed Grade I listed formal gardens and parkland, a sublime escape from the city. Cliveden has wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames and is one of the finest luxury hotels a short journey from Heathrow Airport. This tradition of fine hospitality and entertainment continues today. Never out of fashion, Cliveden remains elegantly decadent.
3. Mandarin Oriental, London (above and below)
A favourite of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who held their pre-wedding party in the ballroom, the Mandarin Oriental beside Hyde Park has been frequented by royals for generations. When it was the Hyde Park Hotel, Edward VII, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret were fans, and the Duke of Edinburgh would hold his polo cocktail parties here.
Re-invented and re-imagined in 2019, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London once again offers luxurious accommodations between glorious royal parkland and the fashionable Knightsbridge. The internationally renowned designer Joyce Wang drew inspiration from the hotel’s royal heritage and peaceful parkside location, as well as the glamour of the 20th century’s golden age of travel. All 181 guest rooms and suites are more luxurious than ever before, with the addition of two new penthouses, both featuring terraces that overlook the royal park. Many of the guest rooms and suites are interconnected, making them ideal for families.
4. Claridge's (above and below)
One of London’s most famous hotels, Claridge's has had the honor of hosting not just the British royal family, but royals from all over the world. After the war in 1947, just before the wedding of the then-Princess Elizabeth, a harassed diplomat was said to have telephoned Claridge’s and asked to speak to the King. "Certainly Sir," was the response, "but which one?"
At the centre of London’s Mayfair, Claridge’s is an art deco jewel that is the embodiment of grand English style and timeless glamour. For more than a century, it has preserved its unique heritage, adding all the modern flourishes a guest could wish for, bound together by world-renowned service that is impeccable, intuitive and highly tailored. Claridge’s has breathtaking rooms and suites inspired by its Victorian and Art Deco heritage; the finest afternoon tea in London served in the grandeur of the Foyer & Reading Room; vintage champagnes and rare spirits in the stylish Claridge’s Bar; intimate nightcaps behind the Lalique door of The Fumoir; the quiet calm of Claridge’s Health Club and Spa and glittering spaces for parties and celebrations. It is a unique combination of splendour and charm.
5. The Savoy (above and below)
Since opening in 1889, The Savoy has become a beacon for the rich, famous and powerful. None more so than Edward VII, who was almost part of the furniture, such was the time he spent in the hotel. It would later become the location for the first official outing of the royal family after the Second World War, and in the years prior, saw two young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, sneaking in for cocktails.
The Savoy is part of London’s luxurious DNA. London’s most celebrated and glamorous hotel, it's perfectly placed on the banks of the River Thames and steps away from vibrant Covent Garden. The Savoy boasts 267 rooms and suites, accompanied by some of the best restaurants in London. From cocktails in one of the award-winning bars to seasonal fare in Kaspar’s, or the best of British in Simpson’s to a traditional Afternoon Tea, the hotel welcomes guests for a truly inspiring culinary experience.
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I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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