Suite of the Week: The Harlequin Suite at The Dorchester

Despite the name, this lavish suite is no joke.
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Despite the name, this lavish suite is no joke.

Where is it? The center of London-town, overlooking Hyde Park. The location offers easy proximity to shopping on Bond Streets (New and Old), the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and some warbling at the Royal Opera House.

The Hotel: The Dorchester opened in 1931 as the one of Europe’s premier hotels and 84 years later, occupies the same position. The design is distinctly modern—the hotel was one of London’s first major buildings to use reinforced-concrete construction—with clean lines and cavernous open spaces that only steel and concrete could allow for. (This is no cramped, European boarding house.) Also, the restaurants flagship, Alaine Ducasse, has three Michelin stars.

The Suite: The Dorchester’s largest roof suite is the Harlequin, a grand apartment tiled in marble and onyx with a terrace overlooking Hyde Park. A master bedroom, dressing room, dining room and bar are exciting, though the most historically significant is the main room, in which Elizabeth Taylor learned of her starring role in Cleopatra. Our only question: what is a “state-of-the-art shower toilet”?

The Selling Point: The pink-marble bathroom installed for Elizabeth Taylor’s 1962 stay is still in place, so you can take several martinis to the bath and know you’re taking part in exactly the activity for which the room was designed.

By The Numbers: 1650 square-feet, several tons of marble, one bar where Ray Bradbury probably poured himself a whiskey.