The Ritz • Mayfair, London

This 136-room 5-star hotel is one of London’s most iconic hotels, and is one of the Leading Hotels of the World.  Its superb location overlooks Green Park. Long a favorite of royalty, aristocracy and dignitaries, is said to be the Royal’s Family’s hotel of choice. It’s the world’s first and only hotel to be awarded a Royal Warrant by HRH the Prince of Wales for its services to banqueting and catering.

The bedrooms and suites are decorated with Louis XVI-style antique furniture. Afternoon tea is world-renowned, and its Michelin-starred restaurant, featuring sparkling chandeliers, is considered to be one of the loveliest in the world. The hidden Secret Garden Bar, a seductively gorgeous setting, is open in the summer till mid-September.

Best bet: The Art-Deco opulence in the Rivoli Bar; it creates the impression of walking into a glittering jewelry box.

Visit: 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9 BR; 02-7493 8181;