2011 Hotel Review: London’s elegant historic Athenaeum Hotel is our choice for the best in London.

Hotel Review: London’s elegant historic Hotel Athenaeum is our choice for the best in London.

A boutique FIVE STAR PLUS gem with a link to the past.

One can never capture the feeling of cruising the past in most hotels today.  That chic traveling public is gone.  Clients arriving from a trans-Atlantic crossing on the liners Queen Mary or United States are history.  No one travels with maids and trunks today.  One barely hopes your baggage (and the plane) makes it to your destination – except of course when flying in your own jet.

So in all great cities the experienced traveler is always looking for that special hotel.

London’s exclusive Athenaeum combines many of those values – with a very up to date modern atmosphere.

I enjoyed a week’s stay just after Christmas, with a wonderful elegant suite overlooking Green Park.  It was everything you could wish for in a hotel room, if not more. From the complimentary Mini-Bar (excluding alcohol), Ren products, Frette sheets, coffee/espresso maker, slippers, bathrobes… the list is endless.

Julie Zamil of Southern California’s Willlett Travel recommended and booked the hotel.  Her knowledge of luxury hotels and all aspects of deluxe travel is impressive.   Her services equaled the terrific operations at the Athenaeum.

And the hotel certainly goes the extra mile for customer service, which is simply outstanding.  An essence of a nearly forgotten type of Englishness: discreet, personal, friendly, interesting, lavish, quirky, down to earth and brilliant.

This is the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at in the UK – the hotel exceeds expectations.

Click here to visit the hotel’s excellent website.

And the wireless is free!

The historic, privately owned Athenaeum Hotel and Apartments is located opposite Green Park on bustling Piccadilly in central London, England. Hyde Park is 500 metres away and Piccadilly Circus is half-a-mile away. Buckingham Palace, Harrods department store and Oxford Street, the countries biggest shopping street, are within a mile, as is Westminster Abbey. Green Park is the nearest Tube station to the hotel.

Originally an Edwardian gentleman’s club, the Athenaeum was later used by Rank Pictures to accommodate visiting Hollywood stars.

The clubby Whisky Bar has 157 single-malts, and the 24-hour lounge offers light meals and afternoon tea.

There is a business centre, a wonderful spa along with a 24-hour gym with steam room, Jacuzzi and sauna.

If guests fill out the hotel’s detailed questionnaire, the hotel promises to remember every detail of their preferences for their future visits.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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