Value Watch: The Cadogan Hotel, London
The Cadogan Hotel in London recently underwent a complete refurbishment in celebration of its 120th anniversary and guests are benefiting with special deals -- including one that gives a nod to our queer history. The Green Carnation package honors gay playwright extraordinaire Oscar Wilde who was arrested for "gross indecency" (i.e. gay sex) while staying in Room 118 at the hotel in 1895.
This exercise in decadence includes a one-night stay in an executive suite, a bottle of Pink Perrier Jouët chilling on ice upon arrival (Wilde's favorite on-site drink), a book of Wilde’s famous quotes, a three-course dinner at Langtry's restaurant -- which serves modern British fare -- accompanied by a steady supply of wine, and breakfast the next morning. The package also features late checkout (until 4 p.m.). The rate is $657. Thankfully, a police raid is not part of the deal.
The 65-room hotel's swanky Knightsbridge address places it on the doorstep of fashion boutiques such as Fendi, Gucci, and Prada and less than 10 minutes' walk from Harrods. Its civil partnership license makes it a fitting choice for a same-sex wedding -- a far cry from the days when Wilde was a frequent guest.
Travel tip: If you're only stopping over in a city for a day, consider storing your luggage at the airport, bus, or train terminal. Most have manned storage areas, while some bus and train depots also have dedicated storage lockers; the fee (though not always cheap) is usually less than the headache of lugging it around.