A few years back, we drove to Bath from London and then over to Wales. What a wonderful place! Not Bath, Wales, although Bath is lovely as well. The tour of the old baths and the descriptions of lead leaching into the water really explained a lot. Hmmn. Wonder how the water supply is in Washington D.C.?
At any rate, I thought that the resorts in Bath were a real hoot. Picture a lovely hotel. Then picture a little swimming pool out back, surrounded by a nice little solarium, and filled with more chlorine than you have ever smelled in your life. I'm not sure if the Brits are big swimming-pool pee-ers, but there was no way that I was going to actually get into the water! Perhaps Calistoga has wrecked me.
During out last trip to England, I was almost eight months pregnant and my feet were killing me so much that the wonderful concierge at Brown's (I adore that place) brought me in a wheelchair. We flew in for a party, actually, and once the party was over, it wasn't too much fun tooling through Picadilly Square looking at people's crotches (never really realized the "point of view" aspect of wheelchairs before, you know?) At any rate, the amazing concierge at Browns just made us reservations at a hotel in the garden district, and we were off.
We had a lovely stay at Browns. The rooms aren't to die for, but the tea is lovely, and it's so rare to have people being nice to you in London, that I'd say it's top priority! Here are reviews, BTW. Yup, just like I said, not "world class top notch" the way so many hotels are nowadays, but seriously, people are so RUDE in London, that it really felt as though the Brown's concierge was there to actively take care of you. (And so many concierges are lousy, too.) Also, it has a real sense of place, which is more than I can say for many other hotels. Okay, I'll be honest. As an inveterate Agatha Christie reader, Browns seems to definitely channel -- to almost be Bertram's Hotel, which is really fun. We still joke about staying at the Connaught, which we began calling the "can not," based upon the responses that we kept getting from the ostensible "service." "Excuse me. May I please have some toast?" "No, you cannot. We are no longer serving it." And so forth. (Here's a review - made me laugh) However, it's in a lovely neighborhood, and if you need custom-painted china, we now know just the place to go! By the way, if you were to have custom-painted china made for yourself, what would you put on it? We thought and thought (remember: we used to live in a Victorian), and it's very difficult trying to aesthetically iconify your life and then look at it for meals, you know? Oh, especially if it needs to coordinate with linens.
By the way, I'll bet that the Connaught gets a lot better if you stay there about three times, although I don't know how they are at really remembering you. (It seems like the type of place that really prides itself on pampering return guests.) So, if you can survive the first visit, maybe it gets better?
We've also stayed at other nice hotels in London, but really can't remember much about them. No personality, a bit generic. No good lobby restaurant...
What a beautifully green place!
Things to do in Wales