The perfect hotel for a London staycation
There’s something incredibly indulgent about a staycation in your home city. We’ve reached the time of year when holiday allowance is running low and that cheeky getaway you so longed for is slipping ever further from your grasp. While a real break might not be feasible, one shouldn’t underestimate the restorative powers of a night of rest and relaxation in one of London’s plethora of luxurious lodgings.
Shepherd’s Bush might not spring to mind as the first port of call for a night away from home, yet stepping through the doors of the Dorsett, you may be pleasantly surprised. Tucked next to the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (I must have walked past it a hundred times and yet never noticed its presence), the subtle addition as it is to the Green, it’s the perfect spot for those wanting to escape the town centre, while keeping a lower profile than in the West End.
Despite its seemingly inconspicuous profile, the hotel features 317 Chinese-inspired bedrooms and suites along with two sumptuous restaurants and a distinctive bar, plus a spa - just the ticket for a night away from home. Upon arrival it’s impossible to not be wowed by the impressive central atrium with its smooth wooden curves and luxuriously inviting velvet sofas; if one were to take afternoon tea this would be the location. Nevertheless, with an evening of much anticipated alone time stretched ahead of me, I headed straight upstairs to my suite.
The Dorsett is undoubtedly designed for the technological traveller in mind; with complimentary internet access, a ‘Handy’ phone in each room (acting as a tour guide and local directory), a work desk and docking station, all useful additions to make your stay easier.
While Shikumen serves a menu of elegant and creative Asian cuisine, including authentic Beijing Peking Duck, a range of Dim Sum and fresh Scottish seafood, Pictures is a contemporary brasserie style restaurant offering a European menu.
I began with delicious beetroot-cured Lock Duart salmon, accompanied with dill cream cheese, a hearty rye bread and a delicate dose of tarragon oil. A plate of braised Irish ox cheeks followed, so tender they disintegrated on first bite, served with a creamy earl grey-smoked mashed potato, oxtail croquette and winter vegetables. My choice of dish proved quite the remedy for the grey autumnal drizzle, further justifying my reasoning to batten down the hatches and have a cosy night in…
Supper complete, I retired to my room for a bubble bath with a view overlooking the rooftops of Shepherd’s Bush thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. After donning the prerequisite bathrobe and making a pillow fort on the king size bed, a night of Netflix chick flicks sent me off into a peaceful slumber, only to be roused by my pre-ordered breakfast tray arriving the following morning.
Half the fun of a hotel stay is ordering breakfast in bed and the Dorsett didn’t disappoint. Fresh fruit salad, a pot of hot coffee, toast and jam and a hot plate of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, potatoes and sausage (the breakfast of champions), was enjoyed even more while luxuriating in bed wrapped in a bathrobe.
Along with its beautiful interiors and tasty cuisine, the other star attraction is SpaMika, which offers both guests and London locals four treatment suites and a variety of holistic treatments, as well as a sauna, aroma steam room and an infra-red cabin. Note to self: there is no better start to a Monday morning than all the above.
The spa has selected its product partners with the utmost care, choosing brands that reflect the holistic nature of their offering including vegan brands and those which use only botanically sourced ingredients.
In keeping with Dorsett’s underlying ethos of blending the best of the East with the West, Spa Mika’s therapies have been inspired by the orient and western philosophies. Treatments range from Hot Bamboo and Jade Stone massages to a Strawberries and Cream natural body polish and Fig & Vanilla body mask with the signature treatment a popular Shambala's Pan Asian Face & Body Ritual.
I tried an express 25-minute facial and a 25-minute back, neck and shoulder massage, both perfect tasters of their longer treatments and yet just enough to set me up for a restful week ahead. Should it be of interest, there’s also a range of private couples’ treatments available in the double infra-red cabin Spa Mika therapy Suite, and you can also hire the spa privately for exclusive use.
It was tempting to spend all day alternating between the sauna and steam room and yet I somehow managed to tear myself away and drift back to real life. With the seasons changing and the days getting shorter, if a real break is out of reach then Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush is a great option for your next London staycation.
Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush
58 Shepherds Bush Green
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