Reopened in July 2021 after an 18-month and £100 million-plus renovation, this historic hotel—it first opened in 1961—in the Knightsbridge area of London (hello, shopping!) offers an upgraded experience with redesigned rooms and suites, creative dining options, and so much more.
This 17-story property is in the Knightsbridge area, where it claims its spot right above Sloane Street and near the exclusive Cadogan Gardens. If you’re looking for great shopping (and people watching) this is the place—both for the lux shops that line Sloane Street and the within-walking-distance independent boutiques of Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street. Eccleston Square, with its pop-up stores and restaurants is also nearby, as are sites like the Victoria and Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, Hyde Park, and more. (Insider tip: While you’re out, be sure to stop by the old-school, no-phones-allowed Nags Head pub.) The hotel is about a 45-minute drive from Heathrow Airport.
Retaining its mid-century significance—it was the tallest building in the city when it debuted 60 years ago—interior and architecture design studio 1508 London was at the helm of the renovation, where they, “layered the eclectic mix of the architecture of the surrounding mansion blocks and homes, adding soft curved edges, pops of bright color and organic inspired forms throughout.” And that has produced a vibe that’s as welcoming as it is chic and stylish, complete with nods to Cadogan Gardens through greenery as well as lots of natural light throughout the property. As a way to offer more space to guests, they went from 216 rooms to 186, with about half featuring balconies. Consider the junior or one-bedroom suites—about half of the accommodations are suites, in fact—or their newest offering: The Royal Suite, a lux 3-bedroom with dining room and balcony. Bonus: The floor where that suite sits can be made entirely private.
There’s so much that makes this city hotel stand out from the crowd. Along with the updated rooms and great location—seriously, so much is within a short walk or drive—the property has really gone above and beyond with its changes and restorations. (The latter of which includes the now fully restored sculpture by renowned British sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink at the entrance.) Dining-wise, you’ll find The Chinoiserie, an all-day dining concept, which offers everything from afternoon tea to pastries to cocktails. Then there’s the must-try signature restaurant, Al Mare, with head Chef Marco Calenzo, whose menu features an innovative take on Italian food. Also cool? The hotel partnered with Annabel Karmel—the popular kid’s food expert and cookbook author— to create kid-friendly and healthy menu options for the littlest travelers. The hotel’s wellness experience is also innovative. And it includes lots of different options: Take a dip in the indoor pool—the largest in the city—or lounge by one of the cabanas, try a class at The Peak Fitness Club on the 9th floor, book a treatment at Talise Spa, or head to the beautiful (and usually residents-only) Cadogan Gardens for a game of tennis or stress-reducing stroll.
If you book through First in Service, you’ll receive a full English breakfast for two and a £75 credit per room—as well as an upgrade, if available.
Be sure to try Afternoon Tea at The Chinoiserie, where the tea is served in bespoke silver bird cages (!!). Or, opt for the less-traditional but still delicious tea-infused cocktails or mocktails.