A Night at the Playboy Mansion
A Night at the Playboy Mansion
by Wan Zainal Abidin
Being a big fan of the Dorchester Collection, I’ve been longing to visit 45 Park Lane in Mayfair – formerly the site of the notorious Playboy Club. This legendary gentry playground was reopened in September 2011 as The Dorchester Collection’s third outpost in the UK after The Dorchester and Coworth Park, bringing high class hospitality to Hugh Hefner’s former London haunt and offering seasoned jetsetters the alternative of an intimate hotel with only 45 rooms in a very posh location.
I arrived on a sunny October afternoon at this prominent building which is located just steps away from sister hotel The Dorchester, and was immediately greeted by a dedicated host who guided me through the hotel and completed the check-in procedures in the comfort of my suite. From arrival to departure, each guest is assigned a host to look after your every whim and fancy, an experience associated with the finest private members’ clubs.
The distinguished aluminum fins that wrap around every floor of the building lend to the art deco cues throughout the hotel. Executed by Thierry Despont, the famous French designer who is responsible for most of the interiors of Dorchester Collection, 45 Park Lane marries a landmark architecture building with contemporary interiors and a dynamic art collection that includes paintings and unique prints by such luminaries as Sir Peter Blake, Christian Furr, Brendan Neiland and Damien Hirst.
I was assigned the London Suite, a luxurious suite with an adjoining living and dining room that occupies one corner of the sixth floor of the hotel, complete with a wraparound balcony. I spent most evenings having pre-dinner cocktails on the terrace soaking in the London vibe while capturing some of the best views of The Shard and The London Eye on Instagram, much to the envy of my friends. Of course one of the star attractions of my stay has to be the faultless steaks and salads created for my dinner by the chefs at Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s debut restaurant in Europe. What makes this restaurant special too is the constant flow of guests, from eccentrics and ladies who lunch, to media darlings and starlets, who flock to this restaurant for its outstanding cuisine. While Cut offers some of the best dining experiences in London, nearby sister hotel The Dorchester offers some of the most amazing alternatives including Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse and Halal Cantonese options from China Tang. As a matter of fact, my host organized quite a few in-room meals for me from the Dorchester kitchens, including the most scrumptious scones from The Promenade.
On the other hand, The Bar at 45 Park Lane, with its perfect setting and lavish art deco detailing, seems to be the favourite of visiting scenesters indulging in pre dinner cocktails and gregarious nightcaps, accompanied by a sumptuous bar menu also by Wolfgang Puck that includes mini kobe beef sliders and spicy tuna tartar cones.
With so many offerings within the hotel, coupled with some of the best views in town, it’s very easy not to venture out at all…but then the myriad of designer luxuries that line Mount Street just behind the hotel are begging to be discovered.
45 PARK LANE
London w1K 1PN
Tel:(44) (0)20 74934545
Images by the Dorchester Collection