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Old Park Lane, W1Y 4LB. Tel: +44 (0)20 7447 1000. Fax: +44 (0)20 7447 1147. e-mail: <sales@metropolitan.co.uk> (Green Park / Hyde Park Corner underground). Single £258; Double £288-£400; Suite £482-£1645. Enjoy the Japanese cuisine at the hotel's r

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      20.12.2001 17:27
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      OK so it’s not one of my usual hang outs, but the client booked me in and who was I to protest that it was too good for me! The terminally hip Metropolitan isn’t on anywhere as common as Park Lane, oh no, it’s on the far more upmarket Old Park Lane. Nestling neatly between the London Hilton and the Intercontinental this is major high rent district. The reception area is wide open and seriously minimalist. All the staff are neatly turned out in black DKNY from head to toe, and the doormen look suspiciously like bouncers. That said the doorman did open said door for me and took my bags whilst only allowing a teeny weeny expression of contempt to cross his face. I was checked in to my economy room – just ~ £350 per night – in no time at all, my car keys whisked away, and after a small scuffle I realized that the man stealing my bag was actually a bell hop. The corridors are dark and clubby, the key is incredibly cute. My room was as cheap as they come, one double bed at the back of the hotel, low down so I didn’t get much of a ‘Mayfair view’. Top dollar gets you excellent views over Hyde Park, but don’t plan on booking a penthouse suite, they start at about £2000 per night, but you can only rent one if the reservations staff have pre vetted you to check that you are an upstanding citizen who will pay the bill, but won’t trash the room. This condition is of course waived if you happen to be an international mega star – Puff Daddy and his absurdly large entourage are regular guests. The room itself is super comfortable with a DVD and CD player as well as a giant TV. Reception will dash up with pretty much any music or movies you want from their Blockbuster sized collection. The mini bar contents looked great, with some scummy sounding snacks, but as they were priced for Madonnas budget, I decided not to bother. A map of the part, including three joggi
      ng routes can be found in your bedside table, and there’s a Metropolitan umbrella in your room so you can walk in the rain. The bathroom is a gorgeous ensemble of marble with top class smellies and a robe of such softness and bulk I’m sure a small family could happily live in it. The volume from the TV or stereo can be pumped directly through speakers in the bathroom which means you can either relax in a long bath to chill out tunes, or, as in my case, have a case of the roaring trots without missing out on soap action. Not brave enough to visit Nobu on my own I opted for room service. Pretty darned good I thought, although it’s largely a sandwich and chips affair from the full Met Bar menu. It may or may not have been my room service meal that made me ill, but even that passed speedily and efficiently through my system. Residency does give you temporary membership of the Met Bar, so if it ever gets cool again, it’s not a bad deal. I failed to be impressed. However, residency does not guarantee admission, and reception are pretty wise to people booking in on weekend nights with the sole purpose of indulging in groupie behaviour, and £350 is a lot to punt on the off chance of getting in. The Metropolitan gives you a somewhat scary turn down service, with an elderly Balkan woman coming in at about 9pm to give you a bottle of water and turn down the bed. Quite who is so rich that they are unable to open the covers of their bed I don’t know, but by the look of distain on her face I guess she was more used to laying out silk negligees than my England shirt and Michigan State shorts. Breakfast is a delightful affair with fresh berries and all sorts going on. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it if I hadn’t spent much of my two day stay in the loo. Check out was swift, and I tried not to look terrified as they swiped my card to collect the best part of £800 for two nights.
      Whilst I charge it back I really could not have coped with having my card rejected! Retrieving my car was somewhat more hassle as they seem to have a deal with the Intercontinental to park cars there so it takes a while to bring a car around, and you can’t just nip down to take things back and forth. Whilst staying here was interesting, there is no way on earth I’d blow my own cash on it, and I’d probably question any business that thought it was a good idea to put me up here again – I’d rather stay elsewhere and add the difference to my fees!

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