An elegant, contemporary art deco-style apartment with interconnected double-width, sliding doors that can be opened to create a single space, the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane’s Grand Suite is a calm, sophisticated sea of sage, mustard and teak framed by clean lines and sleek furniture. But there’s more to it than retro accents that give a hint of jazz – a vintage turntable and casually stacked vinyl here; mid-century lamps and bold brass fittings there – and its floor-to-ceiling views of Green Park. The team at the Mayfair hotel has worked with a behavioural scientist and psychologist to create the Five Senses Suite experience exclusively for the Grand Suite’s guests – this is a space that provides a true feast for the senses.
Don’t think the Grand Suite’s carefully crafted decor – a skillful homage to the hotel’s 1920s beginnings – is borne of either whimsy or Sheraton branding necessities. Oh no – there’s science at work here, you know. The hotel worked with consumer psychologist and behavioural scientist Patrick Fagan to research and provide the things that make guests feel happy.
Found throughout the suite, the colour green, it seems, makes people smile (it had more of a relaxing effect on me, but I guess the net result is the same). And so it continues, with the hotel promising that Grand Suite guests who book the Five Senses Suite package will have each sense stimulated in some way. No element of your overall experience is left to chance, and the quietly opulent luxury of your environment becomes merely the backdrop to a 360-degree infusion of happiness.
You get to choose which record to play (as long as you like jazz, you’ll be fine) and can feast upon a seasonal basket of fresh fruit whilst quaffing your preferred brand of champagne and gazing over bouquets of flowers in your favourite colour – oh, and that Green Park view is quite lovely to look at, too. Touch is taken care of with a choice of three of the softest, fluffiest towels available and a silk eye mask. And all the while, the room is gently scented with a choice of fragrance: the sea or lavender. (I opted for the sea, but only because I wanted to stay awake long enough to have every sense totally overloaded).
But to ensure the suite experience really stands apart, the team go further than providing fluffy towels. No sooner had I popped the cork on the champagne than I was joined by an excellent nail technician from local Mayfair salon Nails & Brows for a mani and pedi I won’t forget (in fact, I’ve booked another one since). And after a rose-scented bath (prepared by my butler, of course) in the magnificent marble bathroom’s cavernous tub, it was true, I was feeling pretty happy. And I hadn’t even had a gin yet…
Cue Michele, the impeccably groomed, hipster mixologist who arrived with a clinking trolley full of cocktail concoctions and the kind of Italian accent that made sure I paid attention to all of his g-informative insights. With all the pomp and theatrical skill of a stage actor, he prepared two drinks for me – a classic and a contemporary – both of which could better be described as alco-art. But despite looking so pretty, they begged to be tasted, and I was instantly lost to my Martinez. The precursor to the gin martini, it was originally made with Old Tom gin and then for decades after with London Dry Gin. If you want to know more, you’ll have to book Michele. Let’s just say, rarely have I felt quite so louche as when I was reclining on the sofa sipping from vintage crystal and listening to the history of the very same cocktail I was drinking.
What to expect
On arriving at the hotel, guests are spirited up to the suite by their own concierge. The array of tech available could be overwhelming (iPads, lights, even finding the plug sockets – or was that just me?) but the concierge is so friendly you almost want a reason to call him up, and anyway, there’s more important things to focus on: the choice of just which wardrobe you want the butler to hang your clothes in as he unpacks for you, for example; which scent you’d like to permeate the room during your stay; which champagne is most to your taste.
This is one part comical, most parts fun, asking you to consider things about your own tastes you may never have done before. You’ll need to book in your beauty experience (you can do this before you arrive if you have a particular time in mind); decide on the exact hour you want the mixologist to make you happy; and when you want your bath run. All this is its own special kind of pampering, so once you’ve got through the list and are left alone you can’t help but feel relieved – no, relaxed – and ready to sip your chosen fizz and wander the 95sq metres of your apartment to the soft strains of jazz vinyl.
Guests also get to sample the global ‘Sheraton Sleep Experience’, which promises to allow you to ‘craft the sleep of your dreams’. The initiative is available across the Sheraton portfolio, and with pillow menu, down blanket, and fine linens all customised to guests’ tastes, it’s certainly one of the best nights’ sleep I’ve ever had.
Not so keen
The fireplace that divides the lobby from the living room is fussy and superfluous. It disrupts the otherwise open-plan design and is an unnecessary obstacle to the fluid lines of the rest of the suite.
In Mayfair and near Park Lane, the hotel faces leafy Green Park and is a short walk away from Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and Mayfair’s chic restaurants and boutiques.
The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane hotel’s Five Senses Suite experience starts at £1,570 per night. B&B entry-level accommodation at the hotel starts from £294 per night.