Michelle Chenery reportsFor either foreign or UK delegates, the 390-room 4-star Corus Hotel Hyde Park is very well located. It is in the heart of London, with some rooms overlooking Hyde Park and very close to main-line Paddington Station and Lancaster Gate tube station, with easy access from the Heathrow Express.
The hotel occupies a 200-year-old listed Georgian building and is the Corus Hotels’ flagship.
From my first moment I found the staff extremely friendly and keen to be of service. My 7th floor room was airy, light, and spacious, with two huge windows letting in plenty of natural light and with a view of a quiet street. It was equipped with all mod cons, LCD tv, a desk, a large mirror with convenient plug sockets, ironing board, coffee-making facilities, safe and slippers. There are Executive Deluxe room providing a few more luxuries, including a fridge, an ipod docking station and robes. Free wi-fi is available throughout the hotel.
Within minutes of being in my room I had a phone call to ask if I wanted a table at one of the hotel’s two restaurants that are located in the hotel.
Choice of restaurants
The Bel Canto intertwines French dining with opera. The serving staff are all talented young opera stars of the future. At regular intervals during the night up to four of them will burst into song whilst moving around the tables, belting out operatic arias.
However, I decided to go for the spicier option and had a table booked at Olio's Brasserie.
This a conservatory-style restaurant that serves an authentic Malaysian cuisine as well as a seasonal British menu. I had an excellent table with views over Hyde Park. As appetising as the British menu looked, I had to try the Malaysian food and I was not disappointed. Nice and spicy, hot but not too hot, just very flavoursome good food. I'm sure if I had had the time and the appetite, I would have liked to try everything on the Malaysian side of the menu.
I confess I did take the British desert, because I just could not resist the sticky-toffee pudding with Guinness ice cream. Wow, what a bitter sweet combination but at the same time very more-ish.
The restaurant staff were very attentive, constantly checking on the food and making sure that everything was up to standard. There would have been no problem attracting someone’s attention if there was, as there was a member of staff in sight at all times.
After a sound night’s sleep in a very comfortable bed, I went down for breakfast in the Bel Canto Restaurant. A full buffet awaited me, ranging from full English to cereals and pastries. By the time I had been to get my coffee and a non-healthy plate of full English, my toast was ready on the table, still nice and warm. Continental breakfasts are available in Olio's Brasserie during the morning period.
For those wanting a more energetic start to the day, there is the Circle Fitness Studio, equipped with a treadmill, cross runner and bikes. A few of these machines have ipod compatibiltiy as well as customised fitness routines and HD TV viewing.
There are a total of four meeting rooms available for use, able to cater for groups up to 30 delegates theatre-style. All rooms offer natural daylight and are fully air-conditioned as well as having built-in LCD and drop down screens.
The concierge staff were very helpful in finding alternative routes to avoid the ongoing tube works. The hotel was also supplying guests with money-off vouchers for local restaurants so long as bookings were made through the concierge.