Four seasons in England

There is something reassuring familiar to Four Seasons regulars around the world. Whether on the coast of Mauritius, on a peninsula in Costa Rica or on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. There is the same cachet of great opulence with telepathic service. They certainly know how to create luxurious, fun and glamorous spaces. As for England, whether in the heart of London or the heart of the Hampshire countryside, the standard is constant.

Sky Suite Spa in London Park Lane. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons

Welcomed with the best of welcomes at hotel on Park Lane by a chic, learned and humorous man at the front desk, I knew I was going to have a truly inspired stay. Park Lane borders Mayfair and are the two most expensive properties on a Monopoly board. For most tourists, the main local attraction is Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s home, while discerning shoppers adore Fortnum and Mason, the supplier of all kinds of goodies and delicacies and historians would raise an eyebrow at Apsley House ( with its address being ‘Number 1 London’) the home of the Duke of Wellington who delivered Napoleon’s freedom at the Battle of Waterloo. And, of course, there’s Hyde Park, London’s central artery of greenery and tranquility where, if you’re lucky, you can catch the cavalry going up and down with their silver feathered helmets on their pairs of stead sporting their brightest coats.

Park Suite in London Park Lane
Park Suite in London Park Lane. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Park Lane

The interior of the hotel has been very elegantly organized. As I stepped out of the elevator to the first floor, I enjoyed the photos of horses and gazed at the spectacular and breathtaking chandelier that lights up the lobby. It is a magnificent centerpiece of crystals with its reflective bursts of light offsetting the white reliefs on the walls. Such a lively awakening for all my senses. In the dining room are vases of faces by Fornasetti, artefacts in the alcoves and a sculpture of clasped hands by Lorenzo Quinn, son of actor Anthony Quinn, who powerfully expresses human interconnectivity. There is an impressive wall to wall wine cellar and two huge crystals create incredible energy in the private zebra style dining room.

Amaranto Terrace in London at Park Lane
Amaranto Terrace in Park Lane London. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Park Lane

My room on the 9th floor overlooked the Hyde Park Corner circus which is full of red buses and black London taxis. I sat in my Eames-inspired lounge chair among a selection of Assouline books, lacquer sliding doors, and walls with framed black and white photographs. The room was decorated with beautiful artifacts and the lacquered wood was offset by the tranquil silvery blue furniture with decor in calming, neutral colors and a bathroom aroma rich in Bulgari products.

Amaranto Lounge in London Park Lane. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Park Lane

I was in for a real treat at Amaranto, the hotel’s modern international restaurant. It is so spacious on its marble floor from room to room of people sharing joyous moments while savoring fine cuisine from a menu featuring world famous luxury products such as Dom Perignon p2 champagne. 2002 as well as Royal Beluga caviar with its light gray to dark creamy texture alongside Vietnamese jumbo prawns, Italian burrata, octopus and lobster.

Four seasons hampshire
Hampshire four seasons. Courtesy of Four Seasons

And then for my country visit, an effortless hour from London just off the M3 motorway, I came to Four Seasons Hampshire Hotel. Amid rolling hills, this hotel is a combination of a restored 18th-century Georgian-style mansion with more recent additions embracing a charming pink cottage. The old brick blends harmoniously with the new and it is here that Henry VIII first meets Catherine of Aragon, the first of his six wives.

Four Seasons Hampshire
Four Seasons Hampshire. Courtesy of Four Seasons

I went for a bike ride and later for a walk along the paths of neatly mowed grass where picnic benches were scattered in scenic spots among the hotel’s 500 acres of grounds. In the park there were imposing sculptures, from the nearby Farnham sculpture park, of a hare, a deer, rabbits, wild boars and a labrador. Ideal in daylight and spectacular when illuminated at night. The old walls of the kitchen garden and the high trimmed hedges in front incorporated a magnificent flower garden and, in the spirit of a country estate, croquet, tennis and horse riding were the sporting options.

Four Seasons Hampshire
Four Seasons Hampshire. Courtesy of Four Seasons

What I liked about the interior was the vibe: a mix of beautifully plush traditional antique rugs with curvy staircases lit to showcase their organic stone-colored steps. It all took me to many different scenes with the coloring of the scenery echoed through the windows by nature. I loved the cozy living room with wood paneling and fireplace, the floral centerpieces and the grand piano overlooking the aisle.

Four seasons hampshire
Hampshire four seasons. Courtesy of Four Seasons

My room was sumptuous with its superb central shell light; the soothing sage green of the walls offset by mustard curtains; the antique upholstered furniture and teal blue leather seats with natural tones and sleek retractable reading lights and my bathroom had colorful marble flooring and Asprey products.

Carrot Restaurant at the Hampshire Four Seasons.
Carrot Restaurant at the Hampshire Four Seasons. Courtesy of Four Seasons

Wild Carrot, the hotel’s flagship restaurant, offered me refined and exquisite cuisine. I descended a staircase into a large, spacious open room with wooden floors and eight huge glass doors overlooking the hills. The eclectic art and leather seats, some on pedestals, others in horseshoe benches were adorned with bright green foliage and cast iron lighting. In the stylish menu, I chose well: particularly enjoying the British pea soup with candied shallots, crème fraîche and herb oil. The nearby Wild Carrot Bar had a men’s club feel with little nooks of privacy amid lavish textures of red leather seating and green, mustard, blush, and teal velor.

Hampshire Four Seasons Pool
Hampshire Four Seasons Pool. Courtesy of Four Seasons

One of the truly remarkable assets of this hotel, through the old stables surrounding a beautiful cobbled courtyard, is the swimming pool with its heavenly length, warm temperature and glass ceiling. It leads from the inside seductively to the Vitality Pool outside in which all the latest jets and Jacuzzis have pounded my muscles as I roll my eyes up to the open air, swallows dancing by day and the stars at night.

Ten Trinity Square is another branch of the Four Seasons hotels and located in the Financial District and the three hotels share a scenic route service where you travel along the River Thames between the two London hotels, past Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, before enjoying the Royal Botanic Gardens and then arrival in Hampshire from where you can visit Highclere Castle, the famous setting of Downton Abbey and the pretty Chawton Cottage where Jane Austen wrote her novels. Whether regional or seasonal, this hotel chain is alive and well in England.

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