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Rubens at the Palace Hotel - A divine hotel with bags of charm and character, excellent service, opulent yet quirky rooms and an imaginative array of services and amenities, including a concierge for your pets. The hotel is also the closest accommodation to Buckingham Palace, so you might spy the Queen out and about. This isn't the only sight nearby, Big Ben, The London Eye and so many more are all just a leisurely stroll from your room.
You may not be able to stay at Buckingham Palace, only the Queen and her family are allowed to use the opulent building as they wish, but until the day that you and her majesty become close friends, you can have the next best thing and stay just across the road from the Palace. Rubens at the Palace Hotel is situated in one of the best neighbourhoods in the city, just a stone's throw from the Queen's residence and only a short walk from many other London attractions. From your window you can watch the regal comings and goings along the Royal Mews, where you might just spot Queen Elizabeth being chauffeured around and just a few steps from the hotel you can watch the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony and if you have arrived in season, you can tour the state rooms of the Palace itself.
As you would expect of a hotel so close to one of the most elegant buildings in the city, the hotel is a very ornate establishment, with luxurious bedrooms decorated with a nod to old-school British style and the inimitable British wit. Oxford stripes mingle with throw pillows of tapestried dogs and opulent red, white and blue fabrics are complemented by Royal crest motifs, just in case you forget who lives down the road. The hotel may be more English eccentric than laid back chic, but this just makes it al the more charming. In-room amenities are extensive as well, with complimentary mineral water, Fragonard toiletries, plush bathrobes and slippers, an evening turndown service, a large LCD TV with cable and movies on demand, voicemail in your local language, a direct AT&T facility, ironing facilities, a hair dryer and much more. Combine this with the hotel's well-connected concierge and even a dedicated pet concierge (yes seriously), who will present your pet with a hamper on arrival, you will have everything you need and more at your fingertips.
The hotel also has a very grand bar and lounge, where you can knock back a glass of champagne or ten year aged malt whisky whilst watching the comings and goings along the Royal Mews. Here you can also partake of an exquisite afternoon tea, a quintessentially British tradition. If you want something a bit more substantial, the hotel comprises of two restaurants, the Old Masters' restaurant, a bright space, which offers a tasty roast dinner and the Library restaurant, a more intimate space with dramatic decor, which has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes for signature dishes such as Dover Sole.
If you do choose to leave the hotel, and it's recommended that you do, all the best sights and attractions in London await you. Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben clock tower and 10 Downing Street are some of the most iconic landmarks in the world and all of them are just 5-10 minutes from your doorstep. If you want something a bit more livelily, you can nip to the London Eye for panoramic views of the city or take a boat trip down the Thames to Greenwich, where you can see the Meridian. Art lovers can spend a cultured afternoon wandering from the Tate Britain in Pimlico to the Tate Modern in Milbank. If shopping is more your thing, you can invest in some treats in the up market food shops in Belgravia, such as Rococo chocolate and Poilane bakery, where some patrons living abroad have their bread delivered by private jet. Sloane Square, Knightsbridge and Kensington are about a 15-20 minute walk away, where you can browse through some unique boutiques and huge department stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols. After a day of shopping or sight seeing, you can watch a show at the Apollo Victoria or The Victoria Palace, or some of the other well-renowned institutions, which are all close to the hotel.
If you want to travel further afield, Victoria Train Station offers fantastic transport links; to pretty much anywhere you want to go. Dozens of bus routes start at the station, the Coach Station will take you to the rest of the UK and Europe, you can catch an overground train to London's suburbs and beyond and you can also catch the Gatwick Express Train to the airport in about 30 minutes. Victoria tube services the Victoria, District and Circle lines, so you have a quick link to the rest of the city.
Staying at The Rubens at the Palace will not only make you feel like royalty, but you'll start to understand why the Queen keeps Buckingham Palace as her residence rather than trading it in for a trendy loft conversion or some such. You definitely won't run out of things to do and even if you are only staying for a few days you will be able to pack in all the major London sights. You may not be able to escape the Royal crests and patriotic paraphernalia which are scattered liberally about the hotel, but with across the board positive feedback from previous guests, charming rooms and an almost ridiculous array of facilities this hotel is definitely worth splashing out on.