Welcome to InterContinental London Park Lane. Our unique city offers something special to everyone. The Concierge Team and I will be delighted to help you experience and capture its essence.
Once the site of a royal residence, InterContinental London Park Lane is now the epitome of modern elegance. Located between Mayfair and Knightsbridge in view of Buckingham Palace, the hotel is not far from the Tower of London, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. Also worth seeing are the Victoria and Albert Museum, Madame Tussauds and the National Portrait Gallery.
Adjacent to the hotel is Apsley House, a museum most visitors miss. Once the grand home of the Duke of Wellington, his descendents live there still. Packed with the Duke's extensive art collection, its address was for many years 1 London. From there, walk past Wellington Arch and on through lush Green Park to Mayfair, the heart of London. Filled with the UK's most exclusive stores along Savile Row and Bond Street. Nearby Piccadilly has the renowned Royal Academy of Arts - worth walking round for its splendid interiors alone. With lunch approaching, drop into Nicole Farhi's restaurant 'Nicole's' on Bond Street for something light. Alternatively, try something more substantial at any of the restaurants in the quintessentially English Fortnum & Mason department store, also on Piccadilly.
After lunch, head to Whitehall where you'll find The Churchill Museum & The Cabinet War Rooms for an evocative look into recent history. From there, take a cab to the Millennium Bridge. It has the best view of St Paul's in London and it's a short step over the Thames to Tate Modern. The UK's leading modern art collection is housed in a former power station. The old turbine hall is a massive space used solely for immense art installations. If you have time, walk down to Borough Market, one of London's oldest 'fruit and veg' markets, or maybe take a cocktail at the distinctive Oxo Tower with its perfect river views. Otherwise, hop on the Tate Boat service back to the London Eye. This is a must - even for Londoners - and your early-evening 30-minute ride will give you spectacular views of the city. Advance booking is essential via the Concierge: we can also arrange private pods and champagne rides.
London's West End has the best collection of theatres in the world - many of them gems of Edwardian and Victorian architecture - attracting the biggest stars. We're happy at the Concierge Desk to recommend a show or arrange tickets for any performance of your choice. Enjoy a cocktail in the bar and then let our experienced chauffeurs drive you for the evening. For dinner, The Wolseley is great for food and star-spotting, with a buzzing atmosphere. The Wolseley is equally good for breakfast and lunch. For other restaurant suggestions, please ask at the Concierge Desk. After the theatre, we can arrange to guest list you in one of many exclusive private night clubs to keep you dancing till the early hours.
London has always attracted all nationalities due to the richness of its culture, the diversity of its society and its vibrant economy. The tolerance of the people living here has helped the city become a melting pot of ethnic groups: currently over 300 different languages are spoken in London. Be aware of the cultures around you and respect their ways.
Euros and US dollars are not accepted in the UK. Most outlets accept all major credit and charge cards.
It is customary to tip in London. On average, consider adding between 10 per cent and 15 per cent to your bill. Many London restaurants automatically add a discretionary service charge.
Queuing is still a strong British habit. Therefore, when paying at shops or purchasing tickets at a venue, always look out for the queue and join it if you don't want to cause offence. Ask the Concierge for advance tickets for tourist attractions and you'll avoid the queues altogether.
The UK weather changes from day to day. Wear layers so that you can remove or add according to temperature. Autumn and Winter are generally mild but wet, averaging a temperature of 8-10 degrees Celsius. Spring and Summer average 20-25 degrees Celsius but can still be very wet.
DID YOU KNOW ?
Taxi drivers in London are required to pass a training test called 'The Knowledge', involving memorising the location of over 25,000 streets. Preparation for the test takes two to four years, making London's taxi drivers the most knowledgeable and safest in the world. You can hail a passing black cab if it has its taxi light switched on.
Houses of Parliament
While repairs on the roof at Westminster Hall in 1914 were being carried out, tennis balls were found in the rafters believed to date back to Henry VIII. In 1761, 3,000 candles were lit during the dinner celebrating the investiture of George III and Queen Charlotte.
The first underground system in the world now boasts 12 lines divided into 'Zones', Zone 1 being the most central and Zone 6 being the outermost ring (including Heathrow Airport). For use of both Underground and bus networks, purchase a daily Travelcard, sold at all Underground stations. When using the underground escalators, always stand on the right to allow people to pass.
There are 147 theatres in London, on average showcasing 76 plays, musicals and 19 operas daily. Many theatres offer tours which are extremely fascinating as most of them were built during the Victorian period. The concierge team will be delighted to assist you with recommendations and reservations.
Wellington Arch is the large arch located in the middle of Hyde Park Corner which can be seen from many of the hotel rooms. It was built in 1828 as a memorial to Sir Arthur Wellsey, the 1st Duke of Wellington. The immense bronze statue crowning the arch is the largest in the UK. Until 1992 the arch housed the second smallest police station, now a small museum.
WHAT TO PACK
There is so much to see - so don't forget your camera.
Loose, comfortable clothing
The weather can be changeable. Wear layers so that you can remove or add when necessary.
We recommend you exchange some money - enough to cover airport incidentals and transportation to the hotel - before you leave home, so you can avoid queues at the airport ATMs.
Whatever the weather take an umbrella with you. With the English climate you never know when it could rain.
In London you really can walk everywhere - it's the best way to get around and learn about the city.
Heathrow Airport (LHR) is Europe's busiest hub. Located 16 miles/26km (west) from the hotel, expect a road transfer time of 45 minutes to one hour depending on the traffic. Taxi fee: approximately £100. Taxis (London Black Cabs) are available with no advance booking from dedicated taxi ranks at each terminal. Larger vehicles are available on request; please book in advance via the Concierge. There is a train shuttle service called the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station. Trains run every 15 minutes between 5am and 11.40pm with a journey time of 15 minutes. The fare is £18.00 for Single Express Class. Allow up to 10 minutes to walk from each airport terminal to the main station. Once in Paddington station you may reach the hotel by taxi, fare: approximately £10. Total journey time to the hotel is approximately 50 minutes. London Underground - the 'Tube' - also runs regular services into central London. Fare: from £4.50. Take the Piccadilly Line direct to Hyde Park Corner station. From there the hotel is five minutes' walk. Complete journey time: 50 minutes. Please note that a busy road junction separates the Underground station from the hotel so your route is via underpasses. If you are carrying a substantial amount of luggage the short journey will be a little difficult. Gatwick Airport (LGW) is the second largest airport in the South of England, located 31 miles/52km (south) from the hotel. Road transfer time is around one hour and 15 minutes. Taxi fare: £129. Larger vehicles are available on request; please book in advance via the Concierge. A train service called the Gatwick Express runs every 15 minutes from 5.50am until 00.50am. Fare: £16.90 for an Express Class Single ticket. Journey time 35 minutes to Victoria station. You will be able to purchase the ticket on the train from the conductor; credit cards are accepted. Once at the station, take a taxi to the hotel, fare: journey time 10 minutes. The Gatwick Express is a fast and efficient way to travel to central London; however, should you be travelling with a substantial amount of luggage you will find this journey a little difficult, as luggage porters are not widely available at either station. London City Airport (LCY) has a runway surrounded by water located in the regenerated Docklands area. It's served by regional and international airlines. Located 11 miles/17km (east) from the hotel, road transfer time is around 45 minutes. Taxi fare: £79. Larger vehicles are available on request; please book in advance via the Concierge. The train service is the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) running westbound from 5.31am until 00.21am to Bank station, fare: from £4.00. The train journey is not direct so you will need to change at Bank station for the Central Line to Holborn station, then change for the Piccadilly Line to Hyde Park Corner. Expected overall journey time is 50 minutes, but is only recommended if you have a small amount of luggage. This airport has a terminal for private aviation. Stansted Airport (STN) serves a number of popular budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair. Located 40 miles/65km (north-east) away from the hotel, road transfer time is around one hour and 15 minutes. Taxi fare: £129. Larger vehicles are available on request; please book in advance via the Concierge. A train service runs every 15 minutes from the airport terminal to Liverpool Street station between 5.30am and 00.30am. Fare: £18.80 Express Class Single ticket. Journey time 45 minutes. Once at the station take a taxi to the hotel, fare: approx imately £129; journey time 20 minutes depending on the traffic. Stansted has a terminal for private aviation.