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American Airlines Status Challenge Trip to London: Intercontinental Park Lane

The hotel choice for this trip was easy.  As I'm sure anybody who has priced hotels in London knows, the rates are insane.  Thus I was going to make it an award stay, and since the Intercontinental Park Lane honors Royal Ambassador benefits on award stays, might as well stay there and get one last night in as a Royal Ambassador.

Check-In

I arrived in the hotel about noon, and was checked in quickly.  Service was friendly, and they confirmed at the front desk that all Royal Ambassador benefits would be honored.  It was obvious that the hotel was busy.  Fortunately the service was acceptable, though nothing that blew me out of the water.

The Room

I was upgraded to an executive room.  All this means is a larger room, with a good view of Hyde Park.  I was on a higher level, though the room was nothing spectacular.  Of particular note is below the desk, the power outlets along the wall are of differing varieties for the power requirements of various countries.  Thus, if you happen to be short on adaptors, you have at least one outlet that requires no conversion or adaptor.  With the proper charger (I have a dual usb charger), you do not have to worry about not being able to charge your phone and your iPad after the long international flight.

I ended up wanting to take a nap immediately after getting in.  However, while I was napping, my ambassador amenity and gift was delivered.  I did not notice it until I went over to the table by the door to see this:

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And for those of you wondering, those shortbread cookies are the Royal Ambassador gift.  An extremely underwhelming amenity, especially when you compare it to what other hotels of a similar class offer.  

The bathroom is nice and spacious, with the standard high class soaps, this time from elemis.

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And that little box has the standard personal care items.

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The View

I had a room on the Hyde Park side, so I had a wonderful view of the park, and its winter festivities.

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Location

If you want to experience the high end, this hotel is wonderfully located, just one Tube station down from Harrods, and other high end shopping.  As an additional bonus, it is located on the Piccadilly line, so no hassle transferring trains, or paying the inflated prices of the Heathrow Express, and then navigating to where you want to go in the Tube network.  The Tube station is right accross the street from the hotel, however it is quite a maze to get to the hotel, as the you have to exit the station, and then go into another underground pathway to get on the right side of the hotel.  Also, even though the hotel is on Park Lane, you have to go down one block on Piccadilly and enter on Hamilton Place.

Overall

A decent hotel, but not worth the inflated UK prices.  A great use of points though.  The location and easy access give it a leg up on many other high end hotels, especially if you are trying to do London somewhat on a budget (remember, the exchange rate from the US is $1.5-$1.75 US Dollars per Pound).

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