Royal Lancaster London Hotel Review

Royal Lancaster Stay London

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that my boys have travelled abroad quite a few times in their short 6 and 7 years. But where we have been lacking is holidaying in the UK, mostly due to the temperamental British weather, which clouds the fact that the UK boasts an abundance of mini-packages specially built for families. And, its capital city, London, is one of, if not the most touristic place to travel to in the world. Funnily enough, London is literally on our doorstep too!

Last year we decided to change that statistic and enjoyed a lovely Family Fun Package at The Arch London Hotel. We enjoyed the experience so much that we jumped at the chance to try out a one-night stay at the very swanky Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Below is a video recap of our event with more information on our stay below:

The Royal Lancaster London was recently renovated for £85 million, and the prestigious hotel that overlooks Hyde Park has been completely transformed, both inside and out. The front part of the hotel now features a dramatic 8-metre high glazed façade and an impressive double-height reception space.

Royal Lancaster Hotel London

“The hotel has had a rich and celebrated past, having opened as one of the chicest hotels in London in 1967. 50 years later, Royal Lancaster London will reopen in 2017 to once again be one of the most stylish hotels in the capital. Our Thai owner, Khun Jatuporn Sihanatkathakul has been directly involved in the new design which exudes mid-century glamour and understated elegance synonymous with London. We are looking forward to the next 50 years.” Sally Beck, General Manager of the Royal Lancaster London

The lobby has a sweeping staircase which is made of 300 square metres of white Carrara marble. Champagne and cocktails, as well as coffee and cuisine, are served throughout the day, and the 18-storey hotel encompasses a refurbishment of all 411 guestrooms and suites.

Royal Lancaster London Hotel Lobby
Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Royal Lancaster London Hotel Lobby
Royal Lancaster London Hotel Lobby

Every guest room boasts a beautiful view of London, which overlooks the greenery of Hyde Park and most of the famous landmarks in London. The Duty Manager at The Royal Lancaster mentioned to us that around 3 months before New Year’s Eve events, the rooms get booked up so that people have a first class view of the fireworks when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day. Can you imagine how that would look from the 15th floor!?

Royal Lancaster London Hotel - View of Hyde Park

Our stay at the Royal Lancaster Hotel

Enjoying a birthday family stay at the @royallancasterlondon for the weekend. Time to feel like royalty for a change! #ThisIsTheLife #royal #royallancaster #healthyrecipes #hotel #birthday

Posted by Motherhood Diaries Global Magazine for Parents – Pregnancy & Parenting Blog on Saturday, 20 October 2018

It was a beautifully clear, but relatively chilly day and the boys had been raring to go since 6am. We parked up at a nearby spot, which we had found from Parkopedia, right in the heart of affluent London, next to Hyde Park. You could spot The Royal Lancaster from afar, amongst the roadworks and other building works still happening at the hotel.

Royal Lancaster London Hotel entrance

As you walk into the hotel, you do feel like you are walking into a 5-star hotel. The renovations are evident amongst the spacious marble floors and the high top ceiling lights. There was plenty of concierges around to take our luggage, and as I discussed the details of our stay with the reception desk, the boys waited patiently in the beautifully spacious lobby area.

Royal Lancaster London Hotel lobby
Royal Lancaster London Hotel lobby

Upon arrival, the boys were given Paddington Bear, and the reception manager explained that Paddington Bear had come to visit from Paddington Train Station which is only a 6-minute walk to the hotel. To this day, Paddington has not left their side!

Aidan with Paddington Bear at Royal Lancaster London Hotel

We followed the lovely reception manager to our rooms, which were on the 15th floor. Hubby and I got our own room. 1510, while the boys had their private room, 1508. We were massively surprised by the generosity of the complimentary stay and couldn’t believe that we each had conjoining rooms. The manager showed us how to use the simple keycard mechanism and then showed us around the place, where we could find the amenities.

Being shown to our rooms at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel
On the 15th floor of Royal Lancaster London Hotel

As soon as we entered the room we were taken aback at how light and spacious the room felt and, of course, the breathtaking views!

Royal Lancaster London Hotel Double executive room
Royal Lancaster London Hotel double executive room
View of London from the 15th floor at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Aidan staring out into London from 15th floor of Royal Lancaster London Hotel
15th floor at Royal Lancaster London Hotel

The boys didn’t waste any time settling in, while we had the chance to take a look around the rooms. The TVs in each room offers over 138 international channels and 33 radio stations, so the boys found the football channel quite easily!

We were shown where the Nespresso machine and drawer full of cookies, milk and other complimentary items were and each room was greeted with some lovely sweet treats welcoming us to the Royal Lancaster Hotel (the adults received an extra special gift in the form of a delicious bottle of red wine, which hubby and I enjoyed later!) Hubby fell in love with the couch at the end of the bed, and so did the boys who amused themselves, leaping from the sofa onto the bed and vice versa. And because of space, it meant that they were able to do so without causing any injury! I learned to look the other way on this occasion…

I got myself settled on my makeshift office desk for the weekend, right next to the handy phone. The travel handy is quite an exciting piece of gadget. You can make unlimited calls, and it’s packed full of ideas on how to make the best use of your time in London as a tourist.

Makeshift office desk at Royal Lancaster London Hotel

Each guest room has hidden international plug sockets, which means you don’t have to carry your own with you. Mirrors are placed strategically around the room to make the place feel bigger and brighter, and each is equipped with a day and night blinds. There were also little switches located by the side of the bed which enabled you to switch on a night light if you needed to make a bathroom pit stop in the middle of the night. I found this particularly helpful for the boys who were able to see the bathroom quickly and prevent accidents. It also meant that one wouldn’t wake the other either. 

We had booked dinner for 6.30pm so I figured it would also be a good idea to get breakfast sorted early too. We like to eat breakfast in peace, so we always order breakfast to our room. It also means that if the boys do anything embarrassing over breakfast, no one is around to see it.

Breakfast menu Royal Lancaster London Hotel

Each guest are also provided their own bathrobe and slippers (even kiddie sized for the kids) and lovely The White Company toiletries to accompany the waterfall showers and underfloor heating in the bathrooms. Honestly, I could have lived in the bathroom, it was so cosy!

The bathroom at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Kids and parents' bathrobes at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
The White Company toiletries at Royal Lancaster London Hotel

The Gym

Before we were scheduled to head down to dinner, I thought I’d try out the gym services located on the 2nd floor (which I always do) and was pleased to see that I had the entire gym to myself.

Lovely and spacious, the gym was kitted out with state of the art machines, including a row of treadmills, bikes, and cross trainers. And there was a rather sizeable mat area to exercise with weights too, as well as complimentary water and towels. Each machine boasted its own Technogym equipment, which meant that you could watch TV, play games, listen to the radio or your own music connected by Bluetooth.  You could even work out while imagining you were outdoors, by selecting the screen you wanted, for example, a route by the beach, mountain climbing or skiing. I tried all of these settings and found that it was just easier to listen to my music while watching TV with subtitles. 

Route to the gym Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Gym at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Technogym equipment at gym Royal Lancaster London Hotel

After the gym, I had a lovely hot shower under the standing waterfall shower which was amazing! I loved the products so much they smelled lovely and left my skin feeling really soft and smooth. After that, we all got ready to head down to dinner because we were starving at this point.

Nipa Thai Restaurant

Ready to tuck into some 5-star Thai food, which we could smell on the way from our room, we headed around the corner to be greeted by the restaurant manager. You can opt for different types of cuisines at the Royal Lancaster, including the classic Island Grill. But as the boys had never eaten Thai before, we figured we would introduce them to not just any Thai Restaurant but an award-winning 5-star Thair restaurant with ethically sourced authentic Thai food.

The first stage of The Royal Lancaster’s refurbishment was with the redesign of Nipa Thai back in 2015. Nipa Thai is located on the first floor and offers a holistic experience, with the refreshing smell of essential Lemongrass oil that permeates the restaurant.

The 55-seated restaurant offers a teak panelled interior with traditional Thai furniture and ornate décor crafted in Thailand. Each of the traditional cuisines is prepared by the Head Chef Sanguan Parr and her dedicated team of all female kitchen staff.

Nipa Thai restaurant Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Nipa Thai restaurant Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Nipa Thai menu Royal Lancaster London Hotel

At 6.30pm the restaurant was quiet, and the couple next to us looked in horror when they saw our family of four seated right next to them. So, for the first half an hour we were unable to relax and kept nitpicking at the boys to sit straight, be quiet and act gentlemanly. We were grateful to start seeing people flock in at around 7pm as the restaurant became louder and more animated. We could relax a bit, and, in fact, the boys were on their best behaviour, so we felt quite bad about what we were like with them at the beginning. In hindsight, it was the best behaviour we had ever seen from them at the restaurant! Our nagging paid off!

There are no kids menus available at Nipa Thai so we just went for it and ordered a set list of what we thought the kids would eat. We ordered the Suriyan Menu for us, which contained the following:

  • Ruam Mitr – a selection of Chef’s individual Thai starters)
  • Tom Kha Koong – Coconut and lime based soup that included prawns, lime leaf galangal and lemongrass,
  • Kaeng Massaman Kai – Chicken, onions and baby potatoes in well-cooked coconut milk and Massaman Curry Paste,
  • Phad Kra Prao Pla – Crisp Fried Seabass with aromatic coriander, chillies and fired holy basil,
  • Phad Pak Ruam Mitr – which was friend mixed vegetables
  • Kao Suay – Thai Jasmine rice
  • Ice Tim Ka Ti – Coconut Ice Cream
  • Kafae Rue Cha – Coffee or Tea

It was quite a lot of food. The appetisers consisted of spring rolls, dumplings, chicken satay, prawn crackers, and a tray of sweet sauces. The peanut sauce was absolutely delicious. The first course was soup with a coconut cream based sauce with lime and 3 main dishes, jasmine rice, mixed vegetables, i.e. broccoli, mini sweetcorn, coconut-based chicken, and sea bass, which had a bit of a kick to it. The dish that had chicken that came from the bone was a firm favourite amongst all the boys, but the peanut sauce for me was the winner. It was ridiculously good!

For the boys, we ordered Chicken Pad Thai and rice noodles, which were a big hit, and fish cakes, which were too spicy. The boys got to try a bit of everything also, and their overall reaction to Thai food was a huge success. They ended their meal with Ice Tim Kluay Tod, which was Crunchy fried banana topped with honey and vanilla ice cream. It was a rather sizeable dessert dish so I was amazed to see that they had finished everything on their plates. We had our lovely coconut ice cream served in a coconut shell, which was delicious as well. We especially loved the coconut flakes inside the ice cream too.

Nipa Thai, although, upmarket in its appearance, was a lovely comfortable and cosy setting which the boys enjoyed taking in, especially the decorative ornaments on the shelves, which looked like Thai deities or gods. The only issue we had was that our youngest, Aidan, accidentally bit off some glass from his extra thin glass of water. And, even though it was his fault technically for messing around with the glass, we had expected more of a commotion from the wait staff, as the broken glass had gone into his mouth. We had no idea whether he had swallowed it or if it had fallen somewhere else.

Overall the food was absolutely delicious, and I would recommend anyone who loves Thai food to try out Nipa Thai without fail. You won’t be disappointed! Click here for more information on Nipa Thai and its authentic food offerings.

Nipa Thai menu at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Nipa Thai menu at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Coconut cream soup Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Family of four enjoying Nipa Thai Royal Lancaster London Hotel

I ended up chatting to our neighbouring table, and all three boys got bored, so they ran around the lobby area and had their picture taken until my youngest had to come and get me, so they could go back to the hotel room to shower and get ready for bed.

Lobby Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Boys having their photo taken while mummy chats to strangers at Nipa Thai Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Boys having their photos taken while mummy chats to random strangers at Nipa Thai restaurant.

The boys got to enjoy a lovely bath in their own private bathroom while I lounged on the bed watching TV and drinking tea. It was so nice to relax without having the noise of the kids to break me out of my mellow mood

Boys bathroom Royal Lancaster London Hotel

It didn’t last long though…

Boys in bathrobes Royal Lancaster London Hotel

After a bit more jumping around the boys were ready for bed. However, as soon as they got into bed, they couldn’t sleep. Overtired and excited from the day’s events, they decided to work out how all the lights next to their bed worked, and it took us a good few hours to settle them before they were actually able to pass out. It was around 11pm!

“I love that there is a desk next to the bed and so many switches to control the lights!” Aidan, 6.

Aidan massively overtired and still awake 4 hours past his bedtime! Royal Lancaster London Hotel

Hubby got to work taking photos of beautiful London at night, and some of the pictures that he took were breathtaking! Here’s one:

London at night view from Royal Lancaster London Hotel

Nevertheless, it was a comfortable night, and we all slept like logs. I planned to go to the gym before breakfast, but I was having so much fun relaxing in our comfy bed that I decided to stay in bed until breakfast came. And, wow, there was a lot of food!

We had literally ordered everything on the menu, thinking they would come out in small portions. We were wrong.

Breakfast at Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Breakfast Royal Lancaster London Hotel
Breakfast at Royal Lancaster London Hotel

At around 11.30am, we packed our belongings, said goodbye to our home for 2 days and headed home with lots of beautiful memories of spending some real quality time together as a family for a change and being waited on like VIP.

Prestons leave Royal Lancaster London Hotel

What did everyone like about The Royal Lancaster Room?

“My favourite thing about the whole room was that it was huge and we were next door to mummy and daddy so if we needed them we could open the door and come to mummy and daddy’s room,” Aidan, 6

“My favourite thing about the whole room was that it was next to mummy and daddy, but we could close the door and have our own privacy if we wanted to,” Aron, 7

Upon exit of the Royal Lancaster, the duty manager approached us with a little bag of chocolates and a card that requested we review our stay at Tripadvisor. As The Royal Lancaster is an independent hotel, reviews mean a lot, so we will be reviewing our stay because we enjoyed it so much!

I would say the only negative thing to comment on was that complimentary water was a little on the low side. I had to keep calling to ask for more which I don’t like doing. Perhaps, it would be nice to stock 1.5l or 2l bottles of water in the room, as we used most of our smaller bottles for making tea.

Our recap video again:

*Thank you to the Royal Lancaster London for our complimentary one-night stay, we had the best time! All opinions above are 100% our own*

Photos by *Preston Perfect Photography*

Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: