From world-famous shopping to internationally renowned museums, the areas of Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge deliver some of the very best of London’s many attractions. Away from the busy main streets and with easy access to the beauty of the Royal Parks, these areas offer unexpectedly peaceful bases from which to explore the capital. Meanwhile, there is an abundance of high-quality restaurants and bars for those who want to enjoy the finest that city life can provide. Unsurprisingly, the area’s boutique hotels are of an equally high calibre. Here are some of boutiquehotels.co.uk’s favourites:
A bedroom at the The Milestone Hotel
The Milestone Hotel (*****) is frequently voted London’s best boutique hotel. The glass of champagne served to guests by a butler upon arrival indicates the absolute best of British experience offered here. This Grade II listed building overlooks Kensington Gardens and each of the 45 bedrooms, 12 suites and six apartments has a different theme, ranging from the glamour of the Ascot room to the traditional sumptuousness of the Tudor suite. The hotel’s gym, resistance pool and spa treatment room, as well as the twice-daily housekeeping visits indicate the excellent attention to detail provided by the hotel.
Kit Kemp’s colourful use of florals and patterns gives the décor of The Knightsbridge Hotel (*****) a very modern English look. The whole hotel has a relaxed feel, with a well-stocked loyalty bar in its gorgeous library, rather than a formal dining or drinking area. Although this hotel is so close to the attractions of Knightsbridge you can see the famous Harrods chimney from some rooms, it is tucked away on a peaceful tree-lined street. The Knightsbridge is owned by Firmdale, who also operate the nearby – and recommended – Number 16 boutique hotel.
For a taste of New York cool in Kensington, Belgraves (****) is the first UK branch of Thompson Hotels. The styling oozes city chic, from its bare brick walls to the grand fireplaces in the suites. The charms of American hospitality are evident throughout, including an ice cream sundae station for those with a sweet tooth. Contemporary artworks from the likes of Tracey Emin and Mario Testino complete the up-to-the-minute feel. Spend an evening enjoying the Mark Hix restaurant or taking in the stunning views available from the top floors.
Five star The Exhibitionist (*****) in South Kensington has been created in a wonderfully restored 18 century townhouse. There are 37 individually-designed rooms and suites, with memorable bold and brash aesthetics. The vivid colour schemes are complimented by a striking array of pieces of art throughout the hotel and its eight galleries. This is a boutique hotel which hasn’t just been designed, it’s been curated and the end result is akin to staying in a high end gallery.
The Exhibitionist in South Kensington
The Halkin by COMO (*****) has a very different but no less attractive feel. Its 41 rooms have all been given an Asian inflection, reflecting the themes of water, air, fire, earth and sky. This translates to a calm and clutter-free environment, with light-filled rooms, luxurious comforts and a quiet garden and making this hotel a serene place to escape the hubbub of the city. The Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction restaurant ensures staying in the hotel is even more enticing.
Hotels mentioned in this article
- The Milestone Hotel – 1 Kensington Court, London W8 5DL
- Knightsbridge Hotel – 10 Beaufort Gardens, London SW1 1PT
- Belgraves – 20 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8HQ
- The Exhibitionist – 8-10 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2EA
- The Halkin – 5–6 Halkin Street, London W1X 7DJ
Author: Frances Ambler