Thursday, September 06, 2007

Diary Entry: Four Seasons Hotel

Canary Wharf, London

Talk about indulgence, friends from Maui who flew into London spontaneously in early August celebrated a 50th birthday with a whirlwind 20 hours at the Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf, a stay which included a Rolling Stones Concert at 02 the same night. This presented an excellent opportunity to evaluate firsthand how a top grade luxury property indulges a guest. At every juncture this hotel exceeded expectations. From the moment they passed through the front door and into the vaulted lobby the Hawaiians had the feeling of being pampered. The doormen smiled with their welcome- even the recorded voice in the elevator was polite, reassuring. Outstanding properties typically allow staff a “discretionary budget” to insure a guest’s comfort and loyalty. It’s clear Four Seasons has this down to a fine art, as the following describes.

Wendy and Dano arrived 10am, hours earlier than official check-in time. No problem, instant accommodation, swept into the room, where a beautifully presented fruit array and bottle of wine were waiting- the hotel had arranged everything in advance. The fatigued couple immediately settled in;

Wendy needed an emergency boot repair. The hotel amazed her with a 1½ hour turnaround, and then several follow-up calls from the concierge to make sure everything was done to her satisfaction;

Around noon a birthday cake was delivered to the room;

Her lavish birthday lunch that afternoon downstairs at Quadrato Restaurant (kooky Philippe Starck-like high-backed chairs, warm wood accents, cool lighting, amazing wine list, over-the-top service, loaner reading glasses, fully exposed theatrical kitchen) was followed by yet another happy birthday platter.

Then a long nap, followed by a chauffeured car to the venue.

After the concert, a midnight snack in the room: flawless room service presentation, “like from the restaurant- had to eat it all”;

Wendy recalls it as the comfiest bed she ever slept in, customized and personalized with choice of duvets and pillows. She loved the Bulgari amenities in the bathroom, the leather-covered window seat, the view of the Thames, the elegant turn-down service;

The next morning they failed to pick up their wake up call- and soon a very polite person knocked on their door to be sure they were on-time for their car to the airport. “We couldn’t have been the only people in the hotel, but they made us feel like it.”

Four Seasons Hotel Canary Wharf

46 Westferry Circus

Canary Wharf, London E14 8RS

Tel.+44 (20) 7510-1999