Thursday, August 22, 2019

Does Connaught lives up to its reputation?

This hotel has been around since early 1800s but it really came into forefront of the hotel scene when French President Charles de Gaulle temporarily stayed at the hotel in 1940s.  If it's good enough for a president, a French one at that, then it's definitely good enough for me!

When I first entered the hotel, I had a deja vu experience... something just looks awfully familiar.  Later I found out that Ralph Lauren's flagship store on Madison Avenue in NYC replicated of the staircase at the Connaught for their own shop!  Kinda crazy if you ask me.  But understandable as the stairway is quite gorgeous.

The suite I stayed at is called Sutherland Suite which is divided into three spaces: drawing room, bathroom, and bedroom.  This suite is designed by fame interior designer Guy Oliver who clearly knows what he's doing; everything looked just right.  From the beautiful Adam-esque gilded plaster work on the ceiling to sumptuous furniture; there is no single details that was overlooked by this master interior designer.  The bookcases is really pretty and the gorgeous antique Chinoiserie cocktail cabinet tops off the room.  A minor complaint is the size of the shower which is somewhat compact.  I wish it's bigger.

The Sutherland Suite came with its 24 hour butler.  Given I just left the North Island, the butler service at Connaught, while very good, doesn't compare to my favorite butler in the world: Kiki.  But I am being unfair here... Kiki only had to take care of my villa whereas Connaught's butlers are assigned to take care of more than just one room.  I would say the service standard at Connaught is as good as any Four Seasons/ Mandarin Orientals you will find anywhere although being in England, the butlers here are definitely more formal.

Connaught has a Aman spa which I didn't get to try.  I believe this is the only offsite Aman spa anywhere in the world.  Given every Aman spa I have been to always provide excellent service, I have no doubt this one is as good as the ones at actual Aman resorts.

Restaurants at the Connaught are excellent.  I tried both Jean-Georges as well as Helen Darroze which has two Michelin stars.  At Helen Darroze, they bring out a set of marble balls where you can pick the ingredients you like and this set of marble balls informs the chef which dishes you want.  It's a very interesting idea that I have never seen any restaurant done before.  Since there is no menu, everything is a bit of a surprise which is fun.  I highly recommend it.  The Jean-Georges restaurant is more casual.  The highlight for me was definitely the strawberry dessert.  It is possibly one of the prettiest dessert I ever encountered!  I don't remember the Jean-Georges restaurant in NYC has a dessert as pretty as this one in the Connaught!

I thought the location of the hotel is quite ideal.  You are within walking distance to many landmarks in London not to mention close to all the shops one wants to visit while in this mega metropolis.  For all the Goyard fans out there, the boutique is literally diagonally across from entrance of the hotel!

I was very happy with my stay at the Connaught.  I thought my suite was gorgeous and service standard is high not to mention delicious food.  This hotel is one of those place where you can recommend to friends and family and know that they will have a wonderful stay.

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