ICON 360: Exclusive virtual reality video tour of The Dorchester

ICON 360: Exclusive virtual reality video tour of The Dorchester

Filmed with a 360-degree camera, this footage allows you to explore the space in a number of ways. If you’re watching on a desktop or laptop, you can change your viewpoint by placing the cursor directly on the video to click and drag around each room.

If, however, you are watching on a mobile phone or tablet, simply point the device in the direction you want to look. Should you have access to a virtual reality headset, you can watch the video in 3D for an even more immersive experience.

 Over the course of its almost-90-year history, The Dorchester has firmly established itself as one of the world’s great five-star hotels. Certainly that was the intention when, in 1929, Sir Robert McAlpine announced that he wanted to create a luxury hotel that would “rank as the finest in Europe”. The hotel opened on Park Lane in 1931 and now sits alongside the very best places to stay in Europe.

Since its very earliest days, The Dorchester’s heady combination of glamour and refinement has drawn prestigious guests from all over the world, from royalty and politicians to film stars, musicians and artists.

Prince Philip celebrated his stag night here; Ernest Hemingway spent much of the Second World War in the hotel bar; and Alfred Hitchcock declared it the perfect spot for a murder, what with the body-burying potential presented by Hyde Park, just across the road.

harlequin suite, dorchester, london
The Harlequin Penthouse is the hotel’s largest (and most expensive) suite.

Elizabeth Taylor was a frequent guest in the hotel’s largest and most prestigious suite, the Harlequin Penthouse. It was in these very rooms that she was offered the starring role in Cleopatra, the most expensive film of its time.

The lurid pink bathroom that connects to the second bedroom was, in fact, installed specially at Taylor’s behest. It is rumoured that the actress carved her’s and Richard Burton’s initials into the marble bath.

Another of the hotel’s popular accommodations is the strikingly exuberant Oliver Messel Suite, designed in 1953 by its namesake, Oliver Messel, who was one of the leading theatre designers of his day.

He brought a distinctive theatrical flair to his work at The Dorchester, with a design that encompasses a broad range of styles, from English country house elegance to extravagant rococo. In testament to its architectural and artistic significance, the suite has been listed by English Heritage.

Oliver Messel’s work was valued so highly by the hotel, he was later asked to design two reception salons: The Penthouse and The Pavilion. Again, Messel drew on his stage sets for inspiration, namely The Sleeping Beauty for The Penthouse and The Magic Flute for The Pavilion.

alain ducasse, dorchester london
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester has been awarded three Michelin stars for its modern French cuisine.

One of the hotel’s most recognisable areas is The Promenade – ‘the drawing room of Mayfair’ – a place to both see and be seen. The afternoon tea served here has been recognised as one of the finest in London, while the spectacular floral arrangements (by resident florist Philip Hammond) have achieved their own renown.

To one side of The Promenade is Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, awarded three Michelin stars for its modern French cuisine. A most unusual feature is Table Lumière: a private dining table in the very centre of the restaurant. It is secreted from prying eyes by a veil of 4,500 fibre optic lights.

More informal dining can be found at The Grill at The Dorchester, which serves classic grill favourites alongside the restaurant’s signature blue lobster chowder. Another of The Grill’s key offerings is its sweet soufflé menu – the first of its kind in London.

The eye-catching chandelier in the centre of the room consists of 32 pieces of hand-blown Murano glass, and represents the flaming grill itself.

Source: The Telegraph

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Christiana Polycarpou

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