Most guests probably won't know of the Hungarian connection, at least not until they see the posters around the hotel that make it plain, all saying: "Danubius Hotel Group, London & Budapest, The Best of Both Worlds." The posters come in three designs – the British Parliament but its upside-down reflection in the River Thames is the Hungarian Parliament Building, secondly there is London's Tower Bridge but its reflection in the water is Budapest's Chain Bridge, and thirdly this time a vertically split mirror image shows half of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square joined to half of the Archangel Gabriel column in Budapest's Heroes Square.

They are clever posters. Danubius Hotels Group is the largest hotel group in Hungary, with 56 properties at home, in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, and just this one hotel in the UK. Loyal Hungarians visiting London may wish to support their home-grown brand, and Danubius Hotel Regents Park is a four-star in what is oft described as a "leafy" or "quiet" area.

It is quite affluent too, and just slightly away from the hurly-burly of central London without being out in the sticks. St John's Wood Tube station, on the Jubilee Line, is a 10-minute walk, or there is a bus stop two minutes' walk away that offers a ride straight down Baker Street, fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, to Oxford Street, one of the must-visit attractions for tourists. Here too, on nearby Marylebone Road, is Madame Tussauds wax museum.

As mentioned, Lord's Cricket Ground is immediately across the road from the Danubius Hotel Regents Park, and not surprisingly the hotel has a cricket theme. There are meeting rooms named after famous players such as Ken Barrington, born 1930, died 1981, English batsman, 82 Tests; the legendary W.G. Grace, born 1848, died 1915, the greatest cricketer in Victorian England; Jack Hobbs, born 1882, died 1963, played 61 Test matches for England; Denis Compton, born 1918, died 1997, 78 Tests for England; and Tom Graveney, born 1927, died 2015, 79 Tests for England.

A more international selection of cricketing greats is seen in the gallery of 10 photos in a hotel corridor celebrating inductees to the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations Hall of Fame. Here we find Don Bradman, Ray Lindwall and Richie Benaud of Australia, Ian Botham and Tom Graveney of England, Viv Richards and Gary Sobers of the West Indies, Barry Richards of South Africa, Sunil Gavaskar of India and Richard Hadlee of New Zealand. The photos are all autographed, except Bradman's.

Hoping to follow in their footsteps, perhaps, are the young fellows of the Nantwich Cricket Club, in Cheshire, who arrive at the hotel this September 2019 to play a game at Lord's. Doubtless they may draw further inspiration from a painting in the Danubius called "Top of the World" that recalls an England win at Edgbaston, Warwickshire, in 2011 when Alastair Cook hit 294 of England's 710-7 against an India team strewn with greats including Sachin Tendulkar. The win was by an innings and 242 runs, England's fifth-biggest ever Test victory.

A glass display case contains cricketing memorabilia: trophies and cups made of glass or silver, and stumps and balls, and in another is a bat that belonged to Clare Connor CBE, with all her career figures shown. Connor is a former English all-rounder who batted right-handed and bowled slow left-arm spin. She made her England One Day International debut in 1995 and played her first Test match that winter. She took a hat-trick against India in 1999 and captained England from 2000 until her retirement from international cricket in 2006.

By the by, Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Home of Cricket, was founded by Thomas Lord, a Yorkshireman and professional cricketer. The ground is not on its original site, being the third of three that he established between 1787 and 1814. However, guests who love the sport be "warned": despite Danubius Hotel Regents Park being adjacent to Lord's and 11 storeys high, the cricket ground's pavilions prevent a free bird's-eye view of the action on match days. You can't have everything...

And still, not everyone is into cricket. As a four-star establishment, the Danubius has a concierge, a decent-size fitness room, all those meeting rooms and plenty to offer in the food and drink line. The Pavilion Lounge Bar is the place for a pint of beer, a cocktail or a glass of champagne, with comfortable sofas and live piano music to relax after a tiring day of sightseeing or meetings and conferences. The large screen shows live sports.

With all those nods to the "gentlemen's game" (not forgetting Ms Connor CBE), it is perhaps a bit of a mystery why the Danubius Hotel Regents Park restaurant and breakfast room is named Minsky's New York Deli & Restaurant, the Minsky family having become synonymous with burlesque in the first decades of the 20th century, operating several theatres in New York City. Framed photos of mostly American film stars adorn the room.

The hotel has 360 guest rooms and suites available, and it is better perhaps to choose one looking out on Regents Park, one of the best green spaces in London. The park covers 166 hectares and with the adjacent Primrose Hill forms one of London's eight Royal Parks. Here are large open spaces with tree-lined pathways, formal gardens and four children's playgrounds. The excellent sports facilities include central London's largest outdoor sports area.

There are more than 12,000 roses in Queen Mary's Gardens and further elegant flowerbeds in The Avenue Gardens, or you can hire a rowing boat and join the ducks on the boating lake. A large wetland area provides a warm welcome for wildlife, and is home to around 100 species of wild bird and a breeding population of hedgehogs.

There is an Open Air Theatre and free concerts in the bandstand every weekend in summer. Regents Park is home to London Zoo, opened in 1828 and the world's oldest scientific zoo. It opened to the public in 1847 and, the last time we counted, had some 673 species of animals, with 19,289 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom.

The park is named after the Prince Regent, sometimes known as the playboy prince, who became King George IV (1762-1830). Stroll up Primrose Hill for excellent views of the ever-rising London skyline or see Park Crescent, a semicircle of elegant stuccoed terraced houses by the architect John Nash (1752-1835), a foremost British architect of the Regency and Georgian eras, responsible for the design of many important areas of London.

Immediately over the road from the hotel is the St John's Wood church with an old cemetery to wander round and a park where the locals relax on the benches and in deckchairs. Just as near is the London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre. Sir Paul's home, behind a high gate and wall, looks to be shut up for the moment, with the former Beatle perhaps down at his farmhouse in East Sussex, his Manhattan townhouse or his Beverly Hills estate.

The Beatles often gathered at 7 Cavendish before heading up to Abbey Road to record. On this day in September 2019 a few dozen Beatles fans are gathered by the world-famous zebra crossing outside the studios. John, Paul, George and Ringo stepped across it for the photo on the cover of the "Abbey Road" album 50 years ago in 1969, and the Beatles fans want to do the same thing, causing some entanglement with the traffic.

At the St John's Wood Tube station is a small Beatles Coffee Shop where you can buy an "I Crossed Abbey Road" T-shirt, or perhaps a Beatles Monopoly game, Beatles Colouring Book, replica Abbey Road street sign or other memorabilia.

Also nearby is the Regent's Canal going to Little Venice one way and Camden Market the other. The Wellington Hospital, the largest independent hospital in the United Kingdom, is another important institution in St John's Wood, and provides the name for more of the Danubius Hotel Regents Park meeting rooms.


Danubius Hotel Regents Park
18 Lodge Road, St. John's Wood, London NW8 7JT
Tel.: +44 (0)207 722 7722
Email: reservation@danubiuslondon.co.uk
Website: www.danubiuslondon.co.uk


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