Subject: RE: Holiday Inn Mayfair for London honeymoon
Pat -- I have not used the hotel that you mentioned, but have seen it in Karen Brown's book on Switzerland. Glad to have your personal review!

About the Holiday Inn Mayfair that your friends are considering for their honeymoon -- no, no!

From the Official Hotel Guide: HOLIDAY INN MAYFAIR: First Class Executive Hotel (which tells me that it is primarily business traveler oriented), built 1976 situated in the heart of London's West End. Air conditioned room with bath/shower, hair dryer, trouser press, color TV, radio, phone, voice mail, safe, minibar and tea/coffee maker. 6 suites. Rooms for non-smokers. 24 hour room service. Restaurant. Bar. Jacuzzi, Renovations in 1997. 185 rooms.

But now, the nitty-gritty from the STAR Hotel Guide (which is my bible as a travel counselor): HOLIDAY INN MAYFAIR, offers entry-level rates for a tony Mayfair address, but it lacks the social cachet of such nearby townhouse hotels as Brown's, Flemings and the Green Park. The plain marble lobby flanks a tiny lounge with two Chesterfields, and this room in turn fronts an open-plan restaurant and smoky bar. The latter posts a no-frills international menu. Paneling, neoclassical decor, and trompe l'oeil murals fail to mask the room's ordinariness. The standardized air-conditioned guest roms are not generic Holiday Inn, but they are traditional to the point of dullness, with wainscoted walls, patterned wallpaper, valanced windows and staid fabrics. Amenities - phones, TVs, minibars, teamakers, trouser presses and large beds - come as a relief. Heated towerl racks and hair dryers are in the baths. The 18 superiors add king beds and whirlpool tubs. Value-conscious travelers and families looking for a more typical HI should consider the dull but less expensive Holiday Inn Garden Court London-Oxford Cirus, while those preferring a Mayfair address might also prefer to paymore and escape this hotel's pool service and defensive staff.

Don't let them plan to stay here for a honeymoon! In my opinion, they can stay in far more charming places in London than a business-type hotel built by an American chain in 1976.

Sally Watkins