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My wife and I reviewed the Wentworth in 2004, just after Accor, the French chain that operates both the Sofitel and Mercure brands, had taken over and supervised a million refurbishment.

Back then our verdict was that "the truth is, the place isn't quite ready. My advice would be to leave it six months until the glitches have been sorted out." Three years later, Accor has just finished a further million upgrade.

When it was the venue of choice for such celebrities as Queen Elizabeth II, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and tennis brat John Mc Enroe (who was asked to leave after one night because of his tantrums)? The club concept elevates the Sofitel Wentworth into another league.

It's not cheap but neither is it expensive for what you get: a relaxed, pampered experience that really does turn a break into a holiday.

Steve Meacham relishes the exclusivity of a hotel within a hotel.

The waiter proffers a tray: "Another cocktail, sir? They're still complimentary for another 10 minutes." Well then, let's grab another gin and tonic.

Only later do I realise Club Sofitel guests have other complimentary extras as part of the package, including the use of a butler service, shoe shine, ironing services and gym access, plus the loan of i Pods, cell phones and chargers.

Pity those services aren't included in our room directory. Does it finally match the glamorous heritage that it was famous for when it first opened its doors in 1964, reputedly the largest brick-built edifice in the Southern Hemisphere?

Breakfast, for Club Sofitel guests, is taken in the club lounge.

It is delicious: upmarket fruit mixes, creamy yoghurt, lots of fresh and stewed fruits, cold buffet and hot options, washed down with espresso or a variety of teas.

So, too, was the espresso machine, the Bose Radio Wave music system and the flat-screen TV.

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