Intimate five-stars with royal service
The 41 and the Milestone Hotel, two luxury boutique hotels located in exclusive London neighbourhoods, both offer irreproachable service within intimate surroundings. The 41 has a distinct private club feeling with its open-fires, wooden panelling, thick carpets and mahogany fittings. According to guests, the highly perceptive staff are ready to cater to the smallest of whims, while the elegant decoration and faultless comfort of the bedrooms are second to none. The Milestone Hotel, a stately manor facing Kensington Gardens, has a sterling reputation among travellers for its romantic charm and personalised service. The calm environment, the views across the gardens, the sumptuous traditional furnishings and the exceptional service have equally earned the widespread praise of past guests, whose reviews have propelled the hotel to the heights of many polls.
Prices for the 41 and the Milestone start at £360.
London’s prestigious neighbourhood of Mayfair is home to the 45 Park Lane hotel, a deluxe palace of Art Deco splendour that opened in 2011. The décor unites luxury and glamour in full shimmering glory, while expertly avoiding the gaudy. As well as superb views across Hyde Park, the hotel boasts forty-five rooms and suites measuring a minimum of 30m2 plus celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s renowned steakhouse The Cut. Guests can make use of the bar and library, plus the spa at the Dorchester hotel, which is owned by the same group. From £460.
Another recent addition to the city’s stable of luxury hotels is the Bulgari Hotel, which opened its doors in June 2012. Located in the heart of Knightsbridge, the home of luxury fashion and shopping in London, this five-star establishment designed by the famous jewellery brand is a heady mix of Italian flamboyance and contemporary elegance. Mahogany, marble, chrome and black granite compete for space to produce a refined, fairly masculine look. No expense has been spared in the facilities, which include an impressive bar that seems to have been cast in solid silver, a spa spread over 2000m2 and a 25m-long pool. From £900.
And how could we forget Claridge's (from £??), undoubtedly one of London’s most famous luxury hotels, along with the Savoy (from £??), which has been receiving celebrities and dignitaries with panache since 1898. The Langham (from £??) and the St Pancras Renaissance (renovated in 2011 – rooms from £??) are also landmark luxury establishments that define the notion of grandeur.
The St Martin’s Lane Hotel is achingly cool. Designed from top to bottom by Phillipe Starck, its style is unmistakably futuristic, with bold architecture and clean-cut edges exaggerated by colourful neons and contemporary furniture. The originality of the décor and the hotel’s Covent Garden location have all contributed to the success St Martin’s. From £230.
Also in close proximity to Covent Garden, the Chancery Court Hotel underwent a full renovation and reopened in October 2013 as the five-star Rosewood London hotel. Classic notions of interior design are updated to slick, modern standards by using a restrained palette combined with modern furnishings that steer clear of anything garish by mimicking antique forms and motifs. From £??.
A high-scoring design hotel, the Soho Hotel benefits from an exceptional location, tucked away at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in one of London’s liveliest areas. The décor is undeniably contemporary, but the generous use of warm colours and rich fabrics gives the rooms a cosy feel adored by many past guests. The generous size of the rooms is also a welcome feature, as has the professional service. Around £400.
The Halkin by Como in Belgravia is a contemporary refuge of zen that uses neutral colours and unfussy furnishings to maximise its comfort and relaxed atmosphere. With a modest forty-one guest rooms, this five-star establishment has just been awarded a further (Michelin) star for its Spanish restaurant. From £??.