With places like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Hyde Park, London is a place like no other. I’ve connected through London more times than I can count, but I had never given this city much more than a passing glance until my recent visit in the fall. I found London to be a place for every type of traveler, even those who – like me – don’t typically spend much time traveling in cities.
I spent 3 days exploring some of the best sights in the city and spending my evenings relaxing at the Sheraton Grand on Park Lane. This art deco property is situated in the affluent area of Mayfair with shopping, dining and some of London’s top sights right at its doorstep.
Here are my best tips on what to see in London as well as my experience staying at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane.
Exploring London with Sheraton Grand Park Lane
Sheraton’s New Five Senses Suite
After a long-haul flight, I always try to give myself the rest of the day to relax so I’m rested and ready to explore the next day. Sheraton Grand’s new Five Senses suite was perfect for my first afternoon and evening in London. For travelers looking for the ultimate luxury experience, the Five Senses experience will not disappoint.
Sheraton developed the Five Senses experience by working with a psychologist to understand how the five senses can be stimulated to give a more luxurious, personal and memorable stay.
You are asked preferences on color of flowers, which fragrance you would prefer (the sea or lavender), a bespoke menu of towels which you touch on arrival to make your choice, and a range of favorite champagnes to add the final element of luxury/personal preference to the stay.
Here’s what you’ll find with this luxury package:
- Touch: your choice of the finest quality towels; included beauty treatment of your choice at local Mayfair Salon Nails & Brows; personal bath butler
- Smell: your choice of fresh lavender or sea salt scent in diffusers and bath salts
- Taste: champagne and fresh fruit upon arrival; Happy Hour served by a private mixologist; afternoon tea in Palm Court
- Sound: vintage record player with a selection of Jazz music
- Sight: favorite color of flowers on arrival; views of Green Park from your windows as green was noted as the most popular color in their psychology tests
Sheraton Club Rooms
After a night of pampering in the Five Senses Suite, I switched to a Club room in order to get a feel for the other rooms in this hotel. These rooms are located on the 7th and 8th floors and boast stunning views of London and Green Park. Club rooms include complimentary breakfast; tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day; and complimentary beverages.
I truly felt spoiled during my entire stay at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane — from my encounters with each staff member to the tiny details of both the Five Senses suite and Club room. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in luxury hotels and these special touches are not universal, so it’s nice to find a hotel who values their customers.
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Restaurants
Palm Court — Palm Court is the center and heart of the hotel. It was restored recently to its full art deco glory. The afternoon tea is served in a birdcage style unit with ornate pastries & dainty sandwiches and a harpist plays daily.
Smith & Whistle — The Smith & Whistle bar is based on crime stories of the 1920’s and the restaurant serves a best of British menu and a limited edition Pie & Mash menu. I tried the Best of British Pie and it was delicious!
Mercante – Mercante is an Italian market place restaurant offering fresh tastes and modern Italian dishes served in a contemporary environment at the front of the hotel.
What to See & Do in London
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane is situated in the ideal location for exploring the best sights in the city. Many of these locations are within walking distance and there’s also a tube station within a 5-minute walk from the hotel!
Big Ben: Iconic Big Ben is just a 15-minute walk from the hotel and worth a visit for those classic photos of London.
The Shard: Visit this 95-storey skyscraper (the tallest building in the U.K.) for one of the best views of the city!
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: These world famous gardens consist of iconic glasshouses, historic buildings, formal gardens, and botanical art exhibitions. Kew is also famous for its global research and plant conservation.
Burlington Arcade: Walk through a piece of history at this covered shopping arcade. Right in the heart of Mayfair and within minutes from the Sheraton, this grand arcade was built in 1819 by Lord Cavendish to provide war-widows with employment opportunities and to give shoppers a place to go free of pickpockets and other crime. Even if you’re not a shopper, this place is worth a visit for the history alone!
St. James’s Park: One of the prettiest parks in London, St. James’s Park is a 10-minute walk from the Sheraton.
Buckingham Palace: Just on the other side of Green Park, I recommend visiting Buckingham Palace to view the changing of the guards and for a few photo ops in front of the palace and fountain.
Tower Bridge: This unique suspension bridge which was built between 1886 and 1894 can’t be missed during your visit to London. The views of the bridge at night are worth braving the cold!
London Eye: Another iconic spot in the city, which is just across the street from Big Ben.
Flying from the West Coast of the United States to London can be quite the journey, but thankfully British Airways offers a direct flight from San Diego to London and their Club World seats convert into a bed so I was well rested once I arrived in London!