The BBB recently stayed at the heart of the action in central London at The Dilly on Piccadilly, a five-star hotel in a great location for shopping, dining, culture and exploring the city on foot as everything is so nearby! But to be honest the hotel has so much to offer you really can feel like a home from home with all the comforts you may need for a city break.
The building was designed in 1904 by Richard Norman Shaw in a Neo-Baroque style, first operating as The Piccadilly Hotel in 1908, guests at the time included King George V, with many of the rooms have views over Piccadilly or Regent Street. The delightful General Manager James Olivier has a historical scrapbook showcasing the amazing history of the building over the years; James very kindly showed us the book and it was fascinating to see, definitely ask to see it as the newspaper clippings are thrilling to see from elephants in the hotel to the adverts wonderfully showing off that the hot and cold water available in the rooms! James took us on a tour of the hotel on our first afternoon and it was interesting to see everything The Dilly has on site and hearing the passion James has for the hotel and it’s easy to see why.
Previously Le Meridien Piccadilly, the snazzy new branding at The Dilly is white on black, with hints of bright red with Mark, the polite and welcoming doorman, being dressed in a spiffy pinstripe jacket in the Dilly colours on arrival. As you enter the building the dramatic new colour scheme creates a look that feels both classic London, yet modern at the same time, I was advised the paint tone was “hague blue”, a sort of rich navy petrol blue. There’s an extra blast of colour and floral smells in the lobby with several stunning displays from local florist Pulbrook and Gould; arrangements can be purchased in the hotel or made up at their nearby store and delivered to guests’ rooms within the hour. We were given a warm welcome by helpful and efficient staff such as Mark who took our bags from the black cab and we had a smooth check experience provided by Jared who showed us to our rooms and gave valuable information about the room and facilities.
One of our rooms was a Junior Suite and the other a Dilly Splendid Room on the seventh floor with good size beds with plenty of pillows. The large wardrobe in the room contains two very soft and fluffy branded bathrobes, slippers, a plethora of hangers and a guest safe. There’s a kettle and tea bags with instant coffee, I was hoping for a more upmarket coffee experience what with the luxury I had already experienced. There is also a writing desk with office style chair; which is comfortable for working on during the stay. Drinks and snacks can be ordered from the tablet which is easy to use, there’s also plenty of plugs on the desk as well. In the Junior Suite there was additional sofa and seating area which was nice to spend time on watching the very large TV and relaxing before getting ready for Dinner at The Terrace.
The bathroom is a good size with shower and bath in the Junior Suite and just a shower in the Dilly Splendid Room. Heated towel rail, plenty of fluffy towels, make up mirror and other amenities plus Floris London provides individually bottled toiletries. The Dilly has chosen a British Family Perfumers operating since 1730, situated in the elegant quarter of London’s St James, this connection with the local area is nice to see and the products were a good size and as expected from a perfumer they smell great! With the Junior Suite you also receive access to the exclusive lounge, Balcony at The Dilly, here you can choose from a range of complimentary drinks available throughout the day. You need to find the “special” lift to gain access and as ever the staff are very helpful if you get lost! It is a nice area to people watch as it is situated just above the front desk with comfy sofas and funky cushions and books to read it is nice to sit and relax with a drink or two!
Another asset to the hotel is its enormous fitness centre, located on the ground floor. It has one of the largest and best-equipped hotels gyms I have ever seen! With the chance to play squash, swim, visit the spa and also enjoy a salsa in the full-size dance studio!
On site dining there are two restaurants Madhu’s and The Terrace restaurant, a sprawling, light-filled space serving food and drink till late. The glass ceiling and natural light coming into the restaurant area has the feeling of an elegant conservatory with the addition of plants dotted around the space. The outdoor balcony overlooking Piccadilly is fun in a summers evening to enjoy a Gin and Tonic with fresh herbs they grow on the balcony to pop in your drink!
We had a great evening meal in The Terrace on our first night and were looked after by Carly who recommended from the Starters selection: goats’ cheese and beetroot salad and Devon crab salad. Both dishes were well presented and nice summery light dishes to enjoy with a glass of Chapel Down sparkling wine. Main course was one Surrey Beef fillet cooked to perfection with a red wine sauce and one pan cooked Halibut, with sea vegetables, spinach, butternut squash and a lobster sauce, this dish was soft and meaty and the lobster sauce was stunning. We also added some sides the green beans, tender stem broccoli and lobster mac ’n’ cheese, all three were very satisfying and delicious. Carly chose a glass of wine to go with each dish Chianti from Berry Bros & Rudd for the beef and Between Thorns’ Chardonnay from Australia for the halibut, both worked well with the flavours of the meat and fish. After feasting on the wonderful dishes, we were tempted back to the dessert menu and shared the whiskey chocolate cremeux, this dessert was a good portion size for sharing but be forewarned the whiskey is very strong in taste! Sometimes with alcohol flavoured items you can’t taste it but with this desert you could tell it was a smokey Scottish whiskey being used! Homemade fudge is presented with your bill and once again thoroughly enjoyable to eat! After a nightcap we returned to our comfortable rooms to prepare for the next day in the city.
Breakfast is also served at The Terrace daily, the buffet was packed with various types of food i.e. hot bar (eggs, bacon and such) pastries, fresh fruit and al carte menu with favourites like scrambled egg, brioche and avocado. The fresh coffees and teas are delicious and set you up for your day, both mornings we had a helpful team and they checked on us to see if we needed anything else.
We also had the Peter Rabbit afternoon tea at The Terrace on our second day after a morning visiting museums. When the afternoon tea was brought out I was highly impressed with the creativity and presentation on slate boards placed on wooden frames, with the plants in the restaurant it was just like being in Mr McGregor’s Garden! The cute little touches like the jam and cream in little flower pots and each item named after cute Beatrix Potter things like Hill Top House and Every Bunny’s Favourite! The team make the pastries on site and you can taste the freshness with every bite. This interpretation of the classic Afternoon Tea would be brilliant for children and adults alike; as a fully grown adult I can confirm it’s a great experience! Once again great service by the Terrace team, Miguel and Tabor who recommended the Mango Mocktail tea and I have to agree it’s delicious, were on hand at all times to help with anything we needed.
The full Dilly experience was superb and it was nice to find a hotel in such a central position that can also be visited as a non-guest. Service was great, every member of staff fell over backwards to help out, the rooms were very nicely done and the location was ideal. So don’t dilly dally, book The Dilly today!