Traditional English glam with a huge dose of humour, The Goring is a surprise and a gem. I knew it was going to be nice. Kate Middleton and her family were based here in the lead up to her wedding to Prince William. What I didn’t expect were the tongue in cheek touches. The bespoke wallpaper in the lobby has hidden animals and humourous depictions of members of the Goring family and long time staff. Otto Goring opened the hotel on March 2, 1910. It had heat and ensuite facilities in every room… a world first. His great grandson Jeremy has been in charge since 2005. He continues the family tradition of tip top service that has made The Goring a favorite of the Royal family. George Goring was honored with an OBE in 1990; the hotel was granted a Royal Warrant in 2013 by the Queen. The Queen Mother was a regular in the Michelin starred restaurant designed by her grandson David Lindley. Eggs Drumkilbo, a fancy lobster and egg dish, was her favorite lunch. It is still on the menu. It is delicious. All this may sound terribly posh, and it is. But The Goring is also wonderfully welcoming, even to families traveling with young children. There is a fabulous dress up box, Bedtime Story Library and a Baaa-bara sheep toy to keep. Larger examples of the iconic Baaa-bara are scattered throughout the hotel. Adults may want to take a big one home. They are the perfect footstool.
Number of Rooms: 69 rooms
Sweet Suite: The Royal Suite where Kate Middleton is rumoured to have stayed (the hotel is too discreet to confirm or deny though a google search says this is where she spent her last night as a single woman). The suite is huge, with two large bedrooms, sitting room, dining room; filled with a mix of antiques, mod cons and witty touches. It feels like you are visiting a rich, well connected but quirky friend. There is a portrait of Queen Victoria in one shower; an invitation to a Royal baptism in a drawer. The walls of the master bedroom are covered with the same silk as was the dining room of the Titanic. While, in a clever play, the silk used in the powder room is the same as the throne room of Buckingham Palace. Get it? It also houses an original Thomas Crapper toilet. Hard to believe all this was created for a 2011 unveiling to mark The Goring’s centenary. It feels much more established. And it is pure magic.
Favorite Thing: All suites come with the complementary evening cocktail…a daily libation individually prepared in your room to enjoy while you dress, bathe or just hang out. My first night the perfect Gin Martini was served while the next night I enjoyed a Kir Royale. It was so glamourous.
Near By: Buckingham Palace, Belgrave Square, Victoria Station & theatres, Knightsbridge, Mayfair & Sloane Square are easy walks
Amenities: beautiful private garden, Michelin starred restaurant, bar, valet parking, room service, small gym, free WIFI, non-smoking hotel, complementary newspapers, private dining, afternoon tea