London, Cradle of the English-Speaking World
London is inextricably connected with American history and American hearts. We travel to London not just because it's a thrillingly exciting and civilized city. We make our London luxury travel pilgrimage across the Atlantic because London makes us think about who we are and where our culture was born.
In more ways than linguistically, Americans and Britons understand each other. In a sense, visiting the capital of the United Kingdom is a homecoming. Many luxury travelers make a habit of hopping "across the pond" annually for an infusion of London culture and charm.
And every visit shows them something new. Not so long ago a dowdy, fusty old city where you couldn't get a decent cup of coffee, London is now a trendsetting global hub of fashion, gastronomy, and luxury hotels.
London, So Easy to Visit:
Visiting London is a breeze, especially from North America's East Coast. Americans don't need a visa -- or a phrasebook. We're sure to settle right into our dignified London hotel, or a legendary theater, or a chic restaurant where conversations resound in marvelous British English. You'll come home with fresh ideas on culture, perhaps even a bit of an English accent, like a certain lady entertainer from Detroit.
Let London, the wellspring, make you a citizen of the world. And if your world is all luxury, all the time, London offers some of the world's most decadent experiences.
London Luxury Travel Basics:
- Location: In southern England
- Flying time: Six and a half hours from New York, ten from LA; add an hour for the return
- Language: English!
- Currency: Pound (£)
- Visa? Not required for US citizens
- Climate: Temperate, with mild winters and wet springs. Best months to visit: May through October
- Dress code: Do your own thing; Brits value individuality
Reasons to Visit London, the Most Civilized City on Earth
Which aspect of regal London will entice you across the Atlantic?
London is the wellspring of the English-speaking world, and our language is brought to life in London theaters.
- Just to listen to Britons speak -- whether beside you in the Tube, or a summer performance of a Shakespeare masterpiece in Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, you will be transported
London is beautiful, with inviting parks, pedestrian bridges across the Thames, and centuries-old buildings everywhere.
- And London captures beauty indoors in its peerless museums: The British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Museum, the Victoria & Albert, and many more
London restaurants and bars are currently among the most dynamic and innovative in the world.
- Whether you choose a celebrity-chef roost like Gordon Ramsay, or a shrine to Indian vindaloo like Amaya, or a traditional English or Irish pub, you will be pleased
London's transportation infrastructure -- trains, buses, Underground ("the Tube") -- make getting around a cinch.
- You can zip from London to Paris or Brussels on the Eurostar train
- London taxis are a pleasure
Fashionable London is a hotbed of design. It's home for Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, and many more, and hosts seasonal runway shows more creative than New York's or, some say, Paris's.
- Collectors of antiques and vintage garb find their way to the world-renowned street markets such as Camden, Portobello, and Bermondsey
London's charm resides in its distinctive, flavorful neighborhoods.
- Visitors can lose themselves (in the best sense) in Covent Garden, a carnival of London life; posh Mayfair, Knightsbridge, and Belgravia; hip Notting Hill; and edgy Spitalfields
- The looser your vacation itinerary, the more of London you will soak up
Last but certainly not least: England's royal family, the Windsors of Buckingham Palace
London Hotels Are Just So Genteel
Even for seen-the-world luxury travelers, London hotels epitomize graciousness:
- Whether elegant grand hotels like The Langham, London
- Or glamorous, celebrity-magnet hotels like Corinthia London
- Parkside luxury hotels with strolling privileges, like Hyatt Regency Churchill
- Or perhaps a Victorian hotel restored in a happening, fashion-mad district, like Andaz Liverpool Street
London in the Movies
The royal city of London is the photogenic setting of these engrossing films. No subtitles necessary.
- Alfie (1966, with Michael Caine as a London playboy)
- Blow-Up (the 1966 classic, a metaphysical mystery)
- Absolute Beginners (1986, a dance musical with David Bowie)
- The Crying Game (shocking 1992 thriller)
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994 comedy with Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell)
- Restoration (rousing 1995 historical drama, with Robert Downey, Jr. and Meg Ryan)
- Sliding Doors and Shakespeare in Love (1998, a Gwyneth Paltrow double feature)
- Croupier (1998 thriller with Clive Owen )
- Match Point (Woody Allen's 2005 drama with Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys-Myers )