Following an invitation from the CEO of the Dorchester Hotel, Year 5 spent a day at the world-famous luxury hotel on Park Lane, in Mayfair.
The Hotel itself was built in 1931 by Sir Alfred McAlpine on the site of the Earl of Dorchester’s Dorchester House and was designed in the modernist Art Deco style. It was purchased by the current owner, the Sultan of Brunei, in 1985. On arrival, pupils were met at the main entrance by Calum Henderson, on behalf of the hotel management, who took everyone to the Management Suite, where he told the children about the history of the hotel, and programme for the day.
The children were divided into two groups, and proceeded with their tour of the hotel, which included guest areas such as the Promenade, the Gold Room, the Crush Hall, and the Concierge department. The tour then moved ‘back of house’ to areas that hotel guests never see, such as the hotel kitchens, room service, laundry and guest services. The Head Chef explained how the kitchen system works, and talked about the Dorchester’s five restaurants (the Grill Room, the Alain Ducasse Michelin 3-star restaurant, The Spatisserie, the Promenade and the China Tang).
By this time, it was lunchtime, and the children were treated to a sumptuous buffet meal of twelve types of sandwiches, freshly baked patisseries and cakes. From here the tour returned upstairs to see the Ballroom, which was built to accommodate some 1,000 guests, and is the largest banqueting room which is linked to the Promenade, with its ivory walls and Corinthian columns.
The afternoon ended with a session about the career structure in a five-star hotel, after which the hotel management kindly gave the children a Dorchester Hotel gift each. This was followed by a question-and-answer session and photos on the front steps of the Dorchester with the two of the hotel doormen.