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While The Dorchester isn’t as old as some of London’s other grand dame hotels, it has a rich history that makes it different from others. After debuting in 1931, it became a central meeting place during World War II. General Eisenhower made the hotel his headquarters during that time. But it also has served as a fun spot during peacetime — Prince Philip had his bachelor party there on the eve of his wedding in 1947, and frequent guest Elizabeth Taylor heard she won the part of Cleopatra while in the Harlequin Suite.
The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel also stands out with its amenities, like Four-Star The Dorchester Spa. The striking space has art deco influences, but is thoroughly modern; the mani-pedi area is closed off with backlit walls of a rainbow of Essie nail polish bottles and the inviting relaxation room is drenched in navy. Battle jet lag with the Sleep Deeply massage, a 90-minute treatment that preps you for bed. Don’t miss the hotel’s restaurants: Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester serves contemporary French food (try the roasted lobster with vegetable matignon and macaroni au gratin), while China Tang offers Cantonese cuisine (order the signature Peking duck).
The luxury hotel also differs from others because of its location. It sits across the street from Hyde Park (request a room with a park view). Head to the park to explore its 350 acres; swim, row or ride a pedal boat in the lake; see the Diana Memorial Fountain; and more. If you’d rather be shopping, The Dorchester is a 10- to 15-minute walk from Old Bond and New Bond streets, where you’ll find high-end stores like Gucci, Hermès and Burberry.