London: it’s not called the Big Smoke for nothing. People, traffic, noise and pollution all contribute to the busy city life in the UK’s capital. I love it, that hustle and bustle, but after a day running around town I do like to enjoy the serenity of a peaceful hotel room. Of course, hip hotels are great and, yes, they provide a quiet space for kicking back – but if there’s a trendy bar downstairs it can be all too tempting to keep up with the London pace! The only way to truly chill out in the big city is to check in to a small boutique hotel in a residential area…. Let me introduce The Royal Park.
Located to the north of Hyde Park (just a hundred yards or so from the Kensington Palace entrance) on Westbourne Terrace, The Royal Park comprises three carefully restored (and very pretty) 19th century townhouses on a quiet private road not too far from Lancaster Gate Underground. It’s a classically stylish hotel with just 48 bedrooms; the rooms are quaint; mine had a canopied bed dressed in white linen, dark wooden furniture and a stiff but comfortable fabric armchair, made up of a primarily beige and sage colour palette. We were on the very top floor which – judging by the roof window and sloped ceiling – appeared to house the attic rooms. It’s worth noting that, although the room was a decent size with a spacious bathroom, it was very hot – to avoid feeling stuffy, we had to leave the window open wide all day and ensure our air conditioning was on during the night.
The rest of the hotel was gorgeous; the reception featured monochrome tiled flooring and a beautiful fireplace (another two can be found in the lounge and dining room), while the lounge looked like a page from a magazine ‘real homes’ feature with its gorgeous blue sofas and tall glass vase filled with perfectly ripe red apples. The exterior was equally as pretty (it is a listed building after all), with its white frontage with heavy black door, with trees all around – a subtle nod to leafy Hyde Park located just around the corner.
The Royal Park’s comfortable, quaint and intimate vibe is reflected in the very pleasant staff who show a keen interest in the hotel guests without intruding or appearing insincere. They are a great team who work well together to ensure their guests are made to feel welcome and comfortable. The Royal Park’s chauffeur* (who picked us up from St Pancras after our journey from Paris) was in regular contact upon our arrival to ensure we found him swiftly and easily, and when our air conditioning unit wasn’t working properly an engineer was called in to take a proper look and get it running again.
Despite the thousands of people living, working and visiting the city, London can be a lonely place but, at The Royal Park, you can enjoy your privacy without feeling completely alone – great for those who travel regularly on business and solo tourists, or for those who simply like to feel welcome and valued during their stay.
*the chauffeured limo is a chargeable service