Tuesday 19 July 2011

Disney meets the Athenaeum - Does it get any better than this?

I blogged last November about a phenomenal London hotel that I stayed at for a work conference. This hotel was the Athenaeum in Mayfair, it is a 5 star hotel which is unique and beautiful but also manages to be exceedingly welcoming and friendly.

One session of my conference was around brand positioning and we all did an exercise about a brand that we felt passionate about and could easily sell as it was well established and recognised.  We had to identify the USP (unique selling proposition) and convince others to choose our brand.  Both Disney and the Athenaeum are the kind of established and quality brands that I could have chosen for this exercise. They are now working together and boy does that create a smash hit combination!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go back to the Athenaeum and this time I took my family with me, sadly not to stay over but to experience the opening of their newly restyled Disney Winnie the Pooh playroom. Proudly crowned the best UK family hotel in the 2011 Junior Magazine Design Awards, the Athenaeum know how to look after your children.  From the well equipped playroom, to Wii's in the apartments, to a Children's Concierge and trained nannies available for babysitting - your every desire will be met.

For this 2011 summer season the Athenaeum has also refurbished all their apartments.  Situated alongside the main hotel building with an entrance of their own each apartment is a wonderful place for you to stay with your family.  To fit in with the new Winnie the Pooh styling each apartment will come equipped with Disney toys, children's bedding, toiletries in the bathroom and even cupcakes!

Prior to your stay at the hotel the children's concierge will speak with you to ensure that the toys and games available in your apartment suit your children's ages and needs.  Nothing is left to chance, they wish to make sure you are 100% happy.   They won their best UK family hotel award for good reason you know! The apartments boast a very good sized living room with full size dining table, fully equipped kitchen and a sofa that pops up into a set of bunk beds!  Yes you really did just read that, I was amazed! There is also a double bedroom and bathroom.

Each one of my children was convinced that we would be coming back again to stay, Miss E loved the bathroom with all the Winnie the Pooh toiletries, she has been wearing her shower cap ever since.  Miss M adored the iced cupcakes and JJ was already choosing his games for the Wii.  You have to love the enthusiasm of kids!

An idea I loved is the hotel offering a honey themed picnic hamper, so that you can go out and enjoy some of London's parks, which literally sit at the drop step of the Athenaeum.  After our beautiful lunch at the hotel we took the children down to Buckingham Palace though Green Park and then into St James Park to play in the sand pit there and visit the Pelicans on Duck Island.  Ohh and if you're are heading over to the park during your stay at the hotel then don't forget to ask the concierge about borrowing the hotel bikes, scooters and kites and they will provide bird seed too.  All the little things that make a perfect day.

Of course being a 5 star Mayfair hotel it is not cheap to stay at the Athenaeum, but lets be honest who is looking for cheap?  I really do believe the Athenaeum offers value for money, nothing is too much trouble for them.  Whilst I stayed in November I was invited to the complimentary General Managers cocktail party, my mini bar was included with my room price, each room comes with a signature Arthur Bear to take away with you, the toiletries are luxury quality and I could just go on and on.  You might have got the idea by now that I really do like this hotel.

If you wish to find out more about the Athenaeum then take a look at their website, I am sure you will not be disappointed.  Now perhaps if I email this post over to my hubbie he might take the hint, it is my 9th wedding anniversary on the 20th July!

Disclosure: I attended a lunch at the Athenaeum and received a goodie bag, so I could be part of the celebration of the opening of the new Disney Winnie the Pooh playroom.  I have not been instructed what to write.  I am happy to write this post as I think the playroom is lovely and I adore the hotel.
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