Saturday, 23 July 2011

Disney meets the Athenaeum Hotel

The family run Athenaeum Hotel stands majestically on Piccadilly with splendid views over Green Park.   According to the Hollywood Reporter, there have been more Movie Stars seen here than at the Polo Lounge at the Beverley Hills Hotel.  It is steeped in history and glamour and has recently been crowned as the "Best UK Family Hotel in the 2011" Junior Magazine Design Awards.  Great accolade indeed!

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am particularly fussy when it comes to Holiday Requests HAW and I don't work hard to then not be able to kick back and relax so I was very intrigued to see what the Athenaeum could come up with.  Our perfect break includes excellent food, spa treatments, relaxation and plenty of family time so would the Athenaeum meet our exacting standards?

Firstly, they are the only UK hotel to team up with Disney - this is a fantastic coup for them and one I feel that could offer so much more.  Let me explain.

The Athenaum has created a Winnie the Pooh playroom which is packed with a plethora of Winne the Pooh toys and activities, it is seriously a toddlers idea of Nirvana - Pixie was enchanted and entertained and could quite happily have spent all day in the playroom.  The Athenaum also has a hotel nanny to keep a watchful eye over the children or to read them a story.  She was lovely I have to say, a real life "Mary Poppins" in disguise.

However the boys who are 7 and 5 were decidedly underwhelmed.  Beansey who is 7 commented "it's such a shame it is a baby room, I am too old for this".  This was the general consensus from the majority of children over the age of 3 and this is where I feel things could be massively improved - the concept is perfect, you know your children will be well looked after whilst you have a spa treatment or go to the theatre but it needs to be age appropriate.

By teaming up with Disney, the Athenaeum could have provided entertainment for a wider age range of children.  Whilst Winnie the Pooh is perfect for the under 3's it would have been great to have have seen "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" or "Little Einsteins" or even the "Wizards of Waverly Place" for the older children (very on trend now thanks to the Beckhams naming their little girl Harper after a character).  

The Athenaeum also offers family apartments that feel as if you are living in the heart of Mayfair. For our family this is the perfect solution as it offers you Independence and flexibility to come and go as you please but with the added benefit of a 5 star hotel service.  However, there is nothing "hotely" about these and  I can't recommend the apartments highly - spacious, luxurious and incredibly well appointed the boys were thrilled that a Wii and games were provided.   Here is my Super Amazing vlog about it:

The Athenaeum are passionate about providing families with a unique and relaxing experience from the complimentary Kids menu and drinks, fresh fruit and snacks to the fact they have a dedicated Kids concierge.  The playroom as a concept is brilliant - but I feel it is more suitable to the under 3's.  I know my boys wouldn't want to stay in the playroom as it currently stands.  

The family apartments are quite simply, the perfect solution for families wanting to stay in London and if the partnership between the Athenaeum and Disney is expanded to cater for the 3-10 year olds (which given Disney's huge range is entirely possible) then this will be a magical partnership suitable for the discerning family traveller.

Sadly, as Londoners we won't be staying here as it is so close to home, but if one was to open further afield, we would definately be checking in!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xx


  1. Did you realise you nicked my post title? Great minds think alike. Mich x

  2. Ha Ha - that's so funny!! Off to check you post out now!

    Love Sxx

  3. It is really quite interesting and knowledgeable article. Keep posting such a great information here.



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