To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign, Buckingham Palace is gearing up for The Diamond Jubilee celebration, which kicks off on Saturday, June 2 and continues through Tuesday, June 5, 2012. During this official 4-day weekend, London will be abuzz with festivities.
There will be a Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, June 3 (a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames with the Queen’s royal barge as the centerpiece) as well as a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral with a formal carriage procession by the Queen from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, June 5. London’s finest hotels are rolling out the red carpet and offering special packages to revelers. The following are a few of the best:
One Aldwych, a five-star contemporary hotel in the heart of the West End that’s home to over 400 works of modern art, is a short walk from many of the events. Housed in a traditional Edwardian building, One Aldwych has 105 rooms, a health club, and two hotel restaurants – Axis and Indigo, an informal restaurant overlooking the hotel’s bustling Lobby Bar. The Diamond Jubilee Package is valid from June 2 to 5, 2012 and includes accommodations from £235 ($377), complimentary use of the health club, and fresh fruit and flowers delivered daily to your room (VAT is excluded). A minimum two night stay applies and reservations must be made at least five days prior to the arrival date. More information is available on One Aldwych’s website.
St. Ermin’s Hotel
Only five minutes-walk from both Buckingham Palace and the Thames, the four-star St. Ermin’s Hotel in St. James’s Park offers a three-night Jubilee package including full breakfast from April through August, 2012. The Queen Elizabeth II package includes a tour of Westminster Abbey; an afternoon tea prepared by Executive Chef, Hus Vedat, in the hotel’s library; a regal picnic – best taken in St James’s Park with a view of the Palace – and a welcome pack of flags, hats, and royal jubilee souvenirs offered at £999 ($1604) plus VAT for two guests in a deluxe room. Suites are available for an additional £300 ($482). For reservations, visit the St. Ermin’s Hotel website.
This stunning family-run hotel in Belgravia designed in the Queen Anne and Chippendale style is where Kate Middleton spent the night before she married Prince William. Guest rooms here offer luxurious bathrooms with extra-long tubs and red marble walls. There’s even a ban on mobile phones and laptops in public areas, where afternoon tea is always served. Between Saturday June 2nd and Tuesday June 5th, The Goring’s Diamond Jubilee Package offers unrivalled access to many of the most exciting royal attractions. Included in the package are Tickets for a Royal Day Out, which includes entry to Kensington Palace, the Royal Mews, the Queens Gallery, and the Ceremony of The Keys at the Tower of London. Prices for this package start at £1900 ($3,050) for a two-night stay in a King Room, including full English Breakfast and VAT. Visit the Goring’s website.
Widely-heralded as one of the most opulent hotels in London since opening in Whitehall last year, the Corinthia has large rooms and outstanding views of the city along the Thames, which makes it an ideal spot for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Corinthia’s Diamond Jubilee Package is valid from May 30 to June 6 and includes a bespoke gift upon turndown, English breakfast for two, complimentary pre-dinner cocktail, a 3 course dinner, and check-in/out at your leisure. Package prices start at £ 509 ($817) excluding VAT. Visit the Corinthia’s website.
This stunning Elizabethan Manor House set on 1,000 acres of forest in Sussex and surrounded by 35 acres of historic gardens is just 12 miles from Gatwick Airport and 30 miles from Hyde Park Corner. Gravetey Manor is the ideal locale for experiencing the celebrations a bit further afield. Gravetye’s Diamond Jubilee Package is available June 3 to 5 and includes dinner in the oak-paneled dining room, Jubilee Afternoon Tea, and the opportunity to view Gravetye’s “60 Years of Flowers” exhibit and gardens. Prices start at £180 ($290) per person and are based on two people sharing. For details visit Gravetye’s website.