Located in Portman Square, a block behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and minutes from Marylebone, one of my favourite London neighbourhoods, the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel is a hotel I actually know very well – as I used to stay there a lot when my corporate life brought me to Portman Square (where my company HQ was located).
It had 10 years since my last stay, and coincided with its refurbishment and the launch of the new Regency King Suites which the hotel has invited me to review and share with my readers via social media (on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), during my stay.
Here is how my stay at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel went.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
A week before my arrival, I received an email from the Guest Experience Manager, asking me if there were any requirements I had prior to my stay, so they could be organised with housekeeping. I had no special requests and also informed the hotel that my arrival would be after 3pm, but no specific time.
– The entrance and outside
I arrived by taxi and the bell man on duty helped me get my luggage from the taxi, but I asked to take it inside myself as it was only a small carry on. The outside area is always quite busy with a fair bit of foot traffic, but every time I entered or left the hotel I was always greeted and the side door opened for me. I do have a thing against revolving doors!
Getting these photos with no cars and/or people was challenging but I did it! As I walked inside the hotel, someone by the door asked if I was checking in and quickly directed me to the right hand side, where the reception and concierge areas were located.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
I did not have to queue at all, and check in was processed in around 5 minutes. I was told about the wifi (more on that later), the club lounge which I had access to and also where the bar and restaurant were located. I was escorted to the lift – and I saw this happen repeatedly to other guests throughout my stay, which was a nice touch.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
I was indeed.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I had a Regent King Suite confirmed and that was the room that I got.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room?
I declined any help and was offered again at check-in, which I declined, again.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
Wi-fi is complementary and the only thing you need to access it is your email address – so I was asked to double check it in my check-in form.
Getting to the room
The one thing I thought really left the hotel down were the lifts. They were scratched and the design wasn’t the most appealing. Also, you can’t really see yourself in the mirror (which would be a plus). I thought it was just me as I am short – but you will see that I have taken this photo later and Mr. O is next to me and you can’t see him either. It is a detail – but lifts are part of the experience and I think these ones can be improved.
On the other hand, the floor corridors were very very nice – no flowery carpets in sight! The atmosphere felt very cozy and serene – and really really warm. The hotel has gorgeous wallpapers and carpets – in different textures and you see the theme in the rooms too.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
A spacious living room, with a separate seating and working area. I also liked the decor which was in a variation of grey, with warmer colours mixed in. The hotel has been refurbished also with the help of Winston Churchill’s family, so you will find a lot of memorabilia throughout.
The room was not cluttered and was tastefully decorated.
– Welcome amenity
I was welcomed by some desserts and a bottle of champagne. If you don’t get it when you try the suites, let me know.
The room faced Portman Square and you were treated to great views. It was also very quiet – you cannot hear the traffic (and I was only on the 4th floor). We also had a separate guest loo.
– The bedroom
The bedroom was located to the left of the suite, accessible via double doors. I loved the room. The grey and mixed texture decor theme continued and I really thought it was fantastic. Subtle Pinstripe & Grey tones reminiscent of the great British tailoring industry that Churchill so adored.
The furniture itself here felt a bit more corporate, but wasn’t offensive.
– The bed
We had a king sized bed which was as advertised but I thought the bed was too hard, and so were the pillows. This is a tough one as 50% of us want hard beds, and the other 50% want featherbeds. My husband did not mind but I kind of did. The things you get used to!
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
No problems here and we had enough hangers for both of us. We also had a separate chest of drawers under the TV which we did not use but would be useful for longer stays, of course.
– Iphone Charger/Dock
No more phone-specific gadgets! We had this ihome speaker which worked with a USB cable (not provided) and doubled up as phone charger, alarm clock and whatever else.
– Bathrobes and slippers
Yes, but did not use.
– Coffee and Tea
We had a Nespresso coffee machine in the living room.
– Free bottled water
Yes, on arrival we had 2 large bottles and on turndown, 2 little ones were left by each side of the bed, alongside a glass.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I did have a nice surprise as there was a copy of Vanity Fair, a Hyatt magazine and a London book. Ironically, I had brought the exact same magazine with me to read.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
Absolutely no complaints here – we both had sockets by each side of the bed. And not just UK – which was a nice surprise (the other socket was European). In the working area, they were hidden behind the curtains which made it very neat.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The bathroom was fair sized and very neutral, which is the best thing a hotel can do. It had a separate shower and bath, a vanity area for ‘hair styling’ and a single sink (I would have preferred a his and hers sink, and would have expected it in a suite). It also had a FABULOUS warm-seat Toto loo which did everything you could imagine. I am forever terrified of touching the buttons but loved the warm seat.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
I was able to operate the shower without supervision, you will be glad to hear.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
The towels were really think and plush and soft and really good quality. And large bath towels.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
The hotel’s official brand is Molton Brown and in the suites, you don’t get just the normal 4 little bottles. You get those in the shower (30ml, replaced daily), and a large sized 100ml set (not replaced daily – and worth being included in a future ‘Toiletries worth stealing article’). I was also delighted to see Molton Brown’s face wash which I adore and cannot travel without (and one you need ‘to get’ from hotels as you cannot buy it), and also an eye gel which is really good. So happy days all along. You will also find the Orange & Bergamot range at the hotel’s public spaces, which is my personal favourite.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
All there, nothing too complicated.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
There is a ‘hair styling’ area, which came with a sturdy hairdryer and hair straighteners (which I thought was a lovely touch). Sadly, you cannot plug these anywhere which defeats the purpose. And it isn’t easy to find a place in the whole suite where you can dry your hair and look at a mirror, so the hotel needs to look into this.
I had breakfast included in my room rate and I choose to have it at the main buffet, located on the ground floor. The buffet was great actually and you could order anything else you wanted cooked (and made to order). I went continental and loved that they had the chausson-aux-pommes pastries one day – but sadly not the next. I love these.
Breakfast is served at Montagu Restaurant (see below) and also in this adjacent area (see above) which leads to the bar. This area is really busy during the day with meetings etc.
I thought the restaurant turned very well (ambience-wise) from day to night and we had a very good meal at The Montagu. The restaurant is all about British classics (which I love and congratulate Hyatt for being so brave) and the service was excellent. On the set menu, 2 courses cost £25 and 3 courses £30. I had a fabulous Dover sole (£38).
The best bit was the ‘Wine & Cheese Corner’, which is open from lunchtime til close (late!), and you can just pop round for some lovely British cheeses and (non-British, which is correct) charcuterie, paired or not with wine. 2 cheeses with a glass of wine cost £21, 4 cost £34 and 6 cost £47.
I only visited once – admittedly because I forgot and spent all my evenings at the Winter Terrace (see below). There are two club lounges for eligible guests – one that allows children and one that is quiet. It was very nice and had a good spread before dinner. We had a gin each and some nibbles.
I know you are dying to know about the bar. It is the best bit!
And the Churchill Bar is beautiful – and if you don’t get there around 5pm, you won’t get a table. The secret is out and absolutely worth a visit if you are not staying at the hotel. My husband apparently is a regular (I asked him to meet me on the first day – and not in the room – and he was like ‘of course, I go there almost every week, great gin bar’).
My husband tells no lies and yes, there is a great gin collection. But what there is also is something I had no idea existed… a Winter Garden. And it is lovely. I spent all the time that I could there – and it was freezing. Whilst I do not love ‘reused blankets’, I was wearing my mink coat and gladly accepted the hot water bottles. It was a lovely touch. And service was impeccable.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
It was fantastic and never kicked us out.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
I thought the staff were excellent and I felt the hotel was ‘small’. What I mean by this, I only realised that there were 400+ rooms (making it a huge hotel) and it never ever felt that way, and I liked that.
Located on Portman Square, a block behind Oxford Street (the square behind M&S and Selfridges). Brilliant for my London life.
Regency Suites start from £600 per night and standard rooms (which have also been renovated) from £255
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
– Would I stay again?
Without a doubt.
For a quick video tour of the Regency Suites, watch here:
And a sneak peek at the brand new Regency Suites at the @hyattchurchill in #London. Every shade of grey you can imagine (I love grey), and very interesting use of fabric textures. Simple, clean and very comfortable. And a fabulous location… and now I think I ‘need’ a hot loo seat at home. I really do! @hyattregency @hyatt #withhyattregency #placesyoucanexplore #sp
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Hyatt Hotels during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property. For more information about the hotel, visit its official website.