Already an established brand in Asia, the Dorsett opened its London doors a few years ago. Placed within a stone’s throw of Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, it’s a four star haven for those who come to the capital to shop – with just a short distance to go when you’re ready to drop.
And shop they most certainly do. Sitting in the hotel’s strikingly designed Jin Bar with a glass of Prosecco as I wait for my partner to arrive, I’m goggle-eyed with envy over the armfuls of glossy carrier bags that hotel guests are carrying in to the lobby area. I’m soon determining to join their ranks, however, when the check-in process sees us given VIP Westfield cards along with our room key: just taking this to the concierge at the shopping centre will allow you to receive special benefits and discounts – ranging from 10% to 25% – in Westfield’s huge array of shops, restaurants and bars. Best of all, the vouchers are valid for two whole months. Savvy marketing brings other perks for Dorsett guests: by checking in to the hotel on Facebook, you’re entitled to an extra late checkout (1pm as opposed to an already generous noon) or a free cocktail at the Jin Bar – all you have to do is show your page to the front desk.
Still, a girl – and her date! – needs strength if she’s planning a spree, so it’s to Pictures, the hotel’s restaurant, that we head after our pre-dinner drinks. The menu is well thought-out and the staff knowledgeable about what’s appropriate for any dietary requirements; they’re also fantastically responsive when we express our doubts over the butter to bread ratio, reappearing almost instantly with a huge slab of pale creamy yellow for us to get stuck into while we wait for our entree to arrive. The service remains this attentive for the rest of the evening; there’s none of the dropping-off of interest that you often get once you’re actually eating, and our waiter makes frequent appearances at our table to ask after our enjoyment and quiz us on our perceptions of various, unusual flavours in our ox cheek main (that’s all I’ll say as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone else who might try it!)
Lovely decorative touches are one of the Dorsett brand’s hallmarks; here, birds form a recurring motif on door numbers, lamps and in the pale gold opulence of the toile wallpaper behind our room’s bed: in Feng Shui and Chinese culture, we’re told, birds are a powerful symbol of freedom and happiness, which pretty much sums up the feeling of sinking onto that sumptuous mattress with the thought of a day of discounted retail therapy ahead. Tech is a feature too – each room is equipped with a complimentary smartphone which gives guests unlimited 4G for non-stop connectivity and, in the case of overseas visitors, no hefty roaming charges: just take it with you when you venture out. Even more excitingly, as far as I’m concerned, is the room’s pod-operated coffee machine: in my opinion, coffee is a first-thing requirement, not something that you should have to get dressed and go into public for, so, combined with our spacious bathroom’s good sized bath and powerful shower, I know for a fact that the following morning will start smoothly.
Breakfast, a rather hectic buffet-style affair, is fairly no-frills but with Westfield’s multitude of restaurants to choose from later in the day, I’m more than happy to save the bulk of my appetite for lunch. Even though our shoes are ‘mall trawl’ appropriate, we know with absolute certainty that we’ll be in need of some pampering later in the day, so we nip up to the hotel’s tranquil Spa Mika to book a session for the early evening before more cocktails at the Jin Bar. Sure enough, when we return (much) later in the day, we’re laden with shopping and more than ready for a soothing massage preceded by some time in the aromatic steam room. With the festive season fast approaching, I can’t think of a more efficient way to get your Christmas shopping done without going into meltdown and although, admittedly, we’ve managed to buy absolutely nothing of a Christmas gift nature (it’s all about us …oops!) … well, that’s just all the more reason to come back for another night’s stay, isn’t it?!
Prices at Dorsett Shepherds Bush start from £130 per night room only
T: (0) 203 262 1026.