When I was googling for a hotel to stay, at this year's 3rd International Takaful Summit at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge, London, I came across this interesting 100 year old hotel just 2 minutes walk from The Jumeirah. I still had this 'phobia' when we stayed at The Langham Hotel, during the Inaugural Takaful Summit in 2007...
The frontpage of (The Cadogan Hotel) website attracted me: "The luxury London hotel off Sloane Square. The finest British hospitality awaits you at the Cadogan Hotel. London's Cadogan Hotel is a prestigious Knightsbridge address; an SW1 hotel off London's Sloane Square that weaves contemporary styling with classic Edwardian decadence. At The Cadogan Hotel, history comes alive. Consider Room 118, scene of the arrest of Oscar Wilde, the Irish playwright. Or consider the Edward VII Suite, renamed to celebrate the future King of England's liaisons with his close friend, the actress Lillie Langtry. Today, you too will be seduced, by our neighbours Gucci, Tiffany, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, by the 24-hour pulse of the West End. Experience comfortable elegance in the hotel's spacious guestrooms and luxurious suites, all in a superbly refurbished central London hotel... with just the right touch of historic intrigue. Exception Dining offers in Knightbridge's Langtry's Restaurant. Only in london - a truly unique one off experience - a stay in Oscar Wilde's room at the Cadogan Hotel."
When I checked-in the morning of June 29, 2009.. I told the chappie at the reception desk that, whatever you do, please do not put me in room 118, the room that Oscar Wilde was arrested. An elegant lady (not too sure if she was Welsh, Irish, Scottish or English) tall, slightly blondish (rambut karer aah) looking a bit Scandinavian, oh well, Viking, is more like it haha...was also just about to check-out. Smiled, turned to me and said: "oh? I was in room 118 last night and I had wished Oscar Wilde had visited me...but he didn't". The hotel was spooky alright but I quickly got adjusted and it turned out quite alright afterall. There were other malaysians too I found out the next morning. Mostly venture capitalists and investment bankers who were on a roadshow and some attending the Sukuk Summit at Radisson Portman( I suspect).
No. I did not patronise any of the branded upmarket outlets. Didn't have time to even peek into Harvey Nichols (where Londoners shop anyway) and Harrods? A definite no-no...cos I really don't want to be seen carrying a Harrod's plastic bag walking around like spoilt rich arab tourists haha. Or to localise it..looking like a makcik (auntie) from Padang Piol or Manek Urai first time in London hahaha ( forgive me, no offense intended). Beside the paid for, great hearty English breakfast every morning at Lilie Langtry's...I would take the cab (if its sweltering hot) or the tube (if the temperature was bearable) to Queensboro Terrace for the usual 'tribal' meals (hehe) where you would more often than not, bump into your countrymen you may or may not like (heheh). I was just wondering, oh well, perhaps my own conspiracy theory...as to why Oscar Wilde was arrested. It seemed he was arrested for being drunk but did you know that Lilie langtry was not just Oscar Wilde's girlfriend? she was also Prince Albert's girlfriend (so the story goes, it seems.hehe). Your guest is probably as good as mine?