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Sun 8 Jul 2007 11:18 AM

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Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel, London

As the saying goes, the key to success in real estate and hospitality is "Location, location, location", and that is one area where the Jumeirah Lowndes certainly stands out.

As the saying goes, the key to success in real estate and hospitality is "Location, location, location", and that is one area where the Jumeirah Lowndes certainly stands out.

For those in London for business or pleasure, the boutique hotel is ideally placed in the heart of Belgravia village (think Knightsbridge, Harrods, the King's Road and Hyde Park). A ten-minute taxi ride from the Paddington terminus of the Heathrow Express means that you can get from the arrivals section of the world's busiest airport to the genteel tranquillity of the hotel in under half an hour. No mean feat, but one that is matched by the proximity to the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo (3 miles away), City Airport (14 miles away) and Gatwick (30 minutes on the Gatwick Express).

I was smugly thinking that I was getting special treatment as my room was crowned with a plasma screen television and iPod dock - until the concierge explained it came as standard.

Following its reopening in November last year after a $16.5 million refit, each of the hotel's 87 rooms and 14 suites come with all the latest modern amenities.

The marble-finish bathrooms, complete with power showers (not always a given, as frequent visitors to English hotels will testify) and Temple Spa goodies, and 24-hour room service, mini-bar amenities and high-speed internet access come as standard. I was busy smugly thinking that I was getting special treatment as my room was crowned with a plasma screen television and iPod dock - until the concierge explained that this was also standard in all rooms.

The hotel has a specialised "event room" on the ground floor which can be hired for board meetings; with facilities for the same - presentation screen, Wi-fi, conference calls - provided. It can also be turned into a private venue for drinks or intimate social gatherings of up to 30 guests.

The onsite dining options are limited to Mimosa's, rather good, Mediterranean cuisine but if this fails to satisfy all tastes - and this is the big advantage - guests have only to cross the road (literally, although this also brings you into a different council zone, so don't be surprised if the uniforms of the traffic inspectors on your side of the pavement differ from those on the other!), to take advantage of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower eateries.

In addition to the restaurants, guests at the Lowndes have access to the Spa and Health Club as well as the business centre for those, like me, who prefer to leave the laptop at home.

The service is cheerful and friendly from the mostly young staff; although the pre-takeover concierge is still in place ready to offer advice or relate stories from his 30 years of experience at the property.

The clientele mostly seem to be a mixture of business people passing through and returning guests, which is always an encouraging sign.

Definitely one to remember for those wishing to take advantage of a boutique stay right in the heart of town; either as a base for a business trip or simply for some down-time sightseeing.

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