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The Lanesborough, London

"Good afternoon, Sir, I'm Scott, your butler." As hotel check-ins go, this was a pretty good start. I've been thinking of employing a manservant for a while (perhaps a Denholm Elliott- or John Gielgud-style character). This would be a great way to try the idea out. The fact that the service is available with all rooms at the Lanesborough explains why the rich and famous flock to the former hospital on London's Hyde Park Corner. Other factors include the splendid views over Hyde Park, a spa, and a good bar and restaurant.

The Library Bar offers those keen on a smoke a fine selection of rare, vintage cigars alongside possibly the best collection of cognacs outside of France, including one from the 1700s that costs £3,000 a glass.

As with so much else in life, it's the little details that make the biggest difference. Sure, the in-room entertainment, offering a good selection of on-demand films and music, is great. But it's not half as much fun as finding stationery on the desk with your own letterhead. Being able to control all the electronic gizmos (all of which are well disguised within a very traditional interior) from a single bedside touch-screen remote was another feature that appealed to this wannabe loafer. Let's face it, how often do you get to summon the butler from your bed?

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