Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Take in Art of Capital

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Take in Art of Capital

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jane Picken

Amid London's sweltering summer heat and crowds of tourists lies a pretty oasis of traditional English charm and elegance on one of the city's most famous thoroughfares.

This is Piccadilly's Athenaeum Hotel, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it paradise with stunning views of Green Park and just a stone's throw from some of London's biggest attractions ( from art gallery the Royal Academy to shoppers' favourite Covent Garden.

It may be small but the Athenaeum is big on style. Gone is the bold and brash appearance which typifies so many of London's hotels, and instead there is an airy and bright feel.

Ornate but modern flowered panels, plump cushioned chairs and sumptuous rugs adorn the ground floor, including the restaurant, whisky bar and drawing room, and antiques sit comfortably next to contemporary sculptures. It has the feel of a luxury stately home.

The five-star hotel, just five minutes' walk from Green Park Tube station, was reopened last month after a transformation by Martin Hulbert, aimed at revamping the most public areas.

Famous names including US actors Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey have stayed, but one of the most appealing things is the hotel's understated tourist atmosphere.

Gone are the hordes of noisy tourists and instead you're more likely to see couples enjoying a romantic break or a mum and daughter enjoying a weekend of shopping and relaxation.

Although the rooms are a little less ornate than the hotel's ground floor they offer some fantastic views over Piccadilly and Green Park, and frankly there is so much going on in London you're unlikely to spend much time in your room anyway.

This is one of the reasons the Athenaeum has teamed up with the Royal Academy to offer a special deal to visitors to the hotel over the summer months.

For a special price, visitors can indulge in the luxury of the Athenaeum as well as feast their eyes on one of the season's biggest events ( the RA's Summer Exhibition. …

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