If I had to name a quintessential 5 star hotel in central London, then hands down it would be The Dilly! One of the first grand hotels dating back to Edwardian times around 1908 and designed by Norman Shaw it started life as The Piccadilly Hotel, Le Méridien Piccadilly and in 2021 became “The Dilly”
Located at 21 Piccadilly in the West End and within easy reach of London’s attractions, shopping areas, restaurants, bars and transportation system. This hotel provides everything you would need for a stay in Central London.
After a “doff” of his top hat the doorman held the door as I entered the bluest toned reception area with a black and white checkerboard floor. At this point, stop, just take a moment to look up – you really will see the hotel’s name in lights! There are many other photo opportunities and props around the hotel for those Instagram able moments from a red telephone box in the lobby to a Peacock encrusted chair and flower wall.
The hotel’s meeting and function rooms are opulent and reminiscent of the Edwardian period in the style of Louis XIV with epoque chandeliers and detailed oak panelling, updated with all modern AV systems and amenities.
Restaurant and Bar
There are two restaurants, one fine dining Indian located in a Grade II listed Oak Room. With the biggest round Tiffany ceiling lights running the whole length of the room and offset eitherside by Murano Glass Chandeliers. The workmanship of the ceilings, coving and walls is incredible. It seems I spent half my time looking up. The ornate bar and funky armchairs add to the charm of the room. My only criticism, the background music albeit classic RnB made me giggle as didn’t fit with the ambiance of the room maybe think more Bridgerton. This is also where they serve their quirky London themed afternoon tea which is a must for visitors to London.
The second and main restaurant is The Terrace at The Dilly . It has been described as “a botanical oasis with views” and I totally agree. It is a very impressive structure with elegant arches and slating glass room and sides with the added bonus of a secret outdoor terrace overlooking Piccadilly even down to Fortum & Masons. It is perfect for food and drinks all of which are locally sourced. In the 1930’s this terrace was where the first outdoor pool was situated but I will come back to that later.
Downstairs is a Piano Bar. I went to have a look prior to opening. As soon as you open the door the dimmed lighting and smell of cigar smoke tinged with rich leather could only be described as a Tom Ford fragrance. I closed my eyes and was immediately transported to a sultry underground jazz club. I will be visiting in the evening to soak up the atmosphere as a good place for pre/post theatre drinks seeing as you are just around the corner from theatre land.
The Health Club at The Dilly features one of London’s largest underground swimming pools. This having been relocated from the outdoor terrace, 2 squash courts, golf simulator and state of the art gym. To my amazement there is also a stunning professional dance studio with high ceiling and ornate chandeliers. I was told this is used as a practice venue by those on Strictly Come Dancing. Being a private members Health club and also available for residents they have had quiet a few famous faces including Royalty use their facilities over the years.
There are 255 bedrooms and 28 suites. I stayed in a standard room which was large by central London standards and opted for the Piccadilly view. The rooms are all sound proof and you would never know you were on such a busy street in the middle of London. The room has all the usual amenities expected from a 5* hotel.
What stood out for me was the silver wallpaper which depicted an old map of London and the funky Piccadilly bathroom mirror complimenting a twist on the old and new of the area. Housekeeping was decorating the room next door for a surprise engagement with rose petals, chocolates and balloons. They let me have a peek, nothing is too much for them and all very professional, knowledgeable and super-efficient.
The hotel is due for extensive refurbishment under its present owner of nearly £90m. I hope they keep the character and the quirkiness which sets it apart from other London hotels. Being in the heart of London, it is the perfect location for business travellers, families and pets. Yes, your furry friends are more than welcome here.
If you do visit in the summer pick up the free ice cream as you leave reception. Can’t wait to see what they give away in winter.
Would I recommend this hotel – Yes in a heartbeat!