I've stayed in Five Star hotels from Honolulu to Helsinki and beyond - NEVER have I been treated as well as I was at the 41 last week. I've book conferences at hotels with more than 100 people and never been treated this well by the staff.
The 41 team is simply the best I have encountered in 30 plus years of travel.
I do not typically write reviews, but Fred, Stefan, Monica, Viktoria and all of the 41 team were so efficient and genuinely engaging I wanted to share our experience.
We called from the airport saying we were in the arrival lounge and wanted to know when we could access our rooms. The plan was to drop our bags and tour London a bit. The instant reply was come right away, we will accommodate you. Good sign.
We stepped out of the cab to be greeted by name..."are you Mr..." We were a party of five and easy to spot, but still another positive sign, but nothing exceptional yet.
It started with look of the front door. The entry way is a single door on Buckingham Palace Road - our cabbie told us he thought it was a private club - and that is the feeling you get when you enter and throughout the hotel. There is an attendant at the door - who also knew our name, and offered to help with bags immediately. Down a short corridor we took the express lift to the 5th floor.
Once upstairs, things were taken to a higher level of service. The lobby (library) area is similar to a private club. This the London you see in the movies. Dark paneling, a fireplace, plush curtains, a bust of Napoleon here, one of Shakespeare there, but skylights that make it bright and airy.
In a corner sits a desk, where you check in and someone from the staff is on call 24 hours a day. Whether you are just passing through or stopping to have drink, someone always greets you by name, asks about your day and offers to help with reservations, transportation, etc.
I have never been a fan of European breakfast rooms, but the way the 41 does it in the library makes it very special. The breakfast, all day snack buffet and evening cocktails and hot hors d'oeuvres in the library were excellent. The food was always fresh, varied and with a lot of options. You can order hot items off the menu too.
At breakfast, Stefan roams from table to table engaging guests on what they plan to do today, offering advice and some very funny stories. He was outstanding with our children, they really liked him, he gave them as much attention as he did the adults.
By the third day, the wait staff knew what we wanted for breakfast, what we liked to drink in the evening - very impressive. When my favorite bourbon was out one night Monica noticed and ran to the bar in their sister hotel next store to get me my favorite drink without me asking. Superb.
Fred, the assistant manager and without a doubt the hardest working Frenchman in London, seemed to always remember what we told him we were going to do that day when we returned. I was very impressed when we told him our next stop was France and he offered his phone number so we could call in case anything went wrong at our next stop - how often does hotel staff offer help AFTER you leave. Fred is exceptional, a true professional, really outstanding.
On about the fourth or fifth day of our stay, Fred sent roses to our room for my wife and daughter - for no reason, just to be thoughtful.
When we wanted to get into Gordon Ramsey's restaurant, Monica made it happen as if it was the easiest thing in the world - but I know it was not.
Fresh fruit in the rooms, fresh ice every night, note cards left at turn down suggesting things to do the next day. It was superb service without ever feeling forced, you got the feeling they really liked their job and liked helping people.
I never encountered a single member of the staff, from maids to doormen, desk staff to waiters that did not have a positive attitude, a smile and a hello for us - hard to match that.
The rooms are elegant, the furnishings are top notch -- the quality is as good or better than anything you will find at the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton and the service is far superior. The entire hotel is on the fifth floor, so street noise was not a problem. Americans will think the rooms are small, but for London they are large. Our two older sons staid in a room with a small sitting area that was larger than what I normally get as a Jr. Suite at the Intercontinental on Hyde Park.
We were able to walk easily in three minutes to the front gate of Buckingham Palace and St. James Park. Cabs were easy to get and doormen really hustle to make sure you do not wait long - not always the case in London.
For years I have stayed at the Intercontinental when I travel to London on business, this time with the family I wanted to have something more British. Now, I will be moving over to the 41 because of the staff - it feels like home.
- Also Known As:
- 41 Hotel London
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- All-inclusive luxury hotel with club like atmosphere & 21st century business technology; near Buckingham Palace & Westend theatre. ... more less
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