Famed for its swanky Victorian architecture and iconic department stores (Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the like), Knightsbridge attracts an affluent crowd. The uniform streets brim with designer shops, and Hyde Park – arguably the best known of London’s Royal Parks – provides a green and pristine backdrop for the many grand hotels long associated with this upmarket neighbourhood.
The Capital Townhouse
Courtesy of The Capital Townhouse / Hotels.com | Courtesy of The Capital Townhouse / Hotels.com
A stone’s throw from the cultural delights of the museum district, this welcoming townhouse hotel exudes a romantic air – deep rose-pink velvet furniture is found in the homely rooms and a winding staircase wraps around a cascade of bewitching floral lighting. There are thoughtful touches throughout, from the hand-stitched bed frames and Savoir mattresses, to the Egyptian cotton sheets and bathrooms with underfloor heating. The hotel restaurant serves rustic British cuisine such as the tender sirloin of beef with purple sprouting broccoli, best paired with a Pinot Noir from the extensive wine list.
This suave and stylish five-star hotel epitomises London luxury with a palette of pale gold and crisp white, elevated by ambient lighting. There’s plenty to delight guests, from the catwalk-inspired Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea to Out Of The Blue – a cocktail experience exploring how sensory stimulation can alter the perception of flavour. Unwind at the seventh-floor pool and spa with views of the London skyline, and tantalise your taste buds dining at the two Michelin-star restaurant Marcus, with refined British dishes such as the dry-aged Galloway beef fillet with glazed onion.
This playful and polished hotel is perfect for discerning epicureans. The Franklin Restaurant offers modern Italian from Michelin-star chef Alfredo Russo and themed afternoon teas, which have included a Mexican-inspired menu celebrating the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Frida Kahlo exhibition. Cocktail aficionados will love the mixology masterclasses with expert bartender Salvatore Maggio, and there’s a beautiful hammam bath in which to unwind. After a day of heady indulgence, return to the comfort of rooms with natural tones, treat-filled minibars and marble en-suite bathrooms stocked with rejuvenating Cowshed products.
The immaculate dollhouse-style exterior of the Bulgari Hotel speaks volumes for what awaits through its sleek glass doors. Honouring its Italian roots, the lavish interior is a blend of rich chocolate leathers, glistening chandeliers and velvet drapes. Rooms are finished with a palette of silver tones set against polished mahogany, complemented by baroque details and luxury touches such as Nespresso coffee machines and 42-inch plasma TVs. Soak in the black marbled tub of your en-suite bathroom – or enjoy a dip in the hotel pool – then treat yourself to an hour or two of supreme relaxation in the award-winning spa.
The cinematic building that houses the Mandarin Oriental is akin to something from a Wes Anderson film. Overlooking Hyde Park, the hotel has a sleek and futuristic design – from the luxury spa that specialises in traditional Chinese medicine treatments, to the curved sci-fi-style furniture and dusky-blue leathers inside the rooms. The sprawling penthouse suite treats you to 360-views from the balcony, a thoughtfully curated library and a butler, who you can summon whenever you like. In contrast to the cutting-edge vibe of the suites is a medieval-inspired private dining room, serving eclectic dishes conjured by Heston Blumental – one of the UK’s most innovative chefs.
Beyond the manicured green thicket that frames its doorway, the Hari is steeped in alternative elegance. A patchwork of studded metal makes up an Art Deco bar, while a vintage American flag hangs over the lobby’s exposed brickwork, adjacent to a curious wall of belts. Upstairs, you’ll find white leather-furnished rooms and marble bathrooms stocked with luxurious Noble Isle toiletries, while outside the ivy-lined garden terrace is a perfect setting for sipping Haritini cocktails. There’s a 24-hour health and fitness centre too, and the hotel is located just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace.
Famous for being the site of Oscar Wilde’s 1895 libel arrest, the Belmond Cadogan Hotel is full of plush details, welcoming sophisticates and bohemians into a palatial setting of crimson leather and immaculate white walls. The Victorian exterior is cleverly complemented by Georgian grandeur inside – dine on native lobster under large glass chandeliers in the Adam Handling restaurant, or climb up the classic wooden staircase to recline on pillowy king-size beds. The real gem in the hotel’s crown is the verdant garden: a labyrinth of paths lead out into an enchanting jungle of flora and fauna canopied by wandering branches. Sit under dappled sunlight in the summer – board games and deckchairs are provided.