One Night at The Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge
Situated on a quiet street in prestigious Knightsbridge, a mere skip and pirouette away from the likes of Harrods and a swift pas de bourree from Sloane Street, The Capital is the perfect home away from home for the glamorous and wealthy shopper. But for my colleagues and I, The Capital was all about convenience, comfort and efficacy, with a stylish edge.
With The Dreamy Awards approaching and the realization that time would not be taking siesta in a cryogenic freezer bed, it was imperative that on the day and night of the event, seaming the final pieces together and ironing out the ultimate creases should be done with relative ease and as little stress as possible – and thus we claimed The Capital Hotel, a twenty minute walk away from the Serpentine Gallery venue as our residence for productivity and requiescense for an effortless delivery of the event.
Check-in was a breeze. I arrived early but the friendly staff at reception quickly registered my arrival, announcing that they’d upgraded (a fine word, non?) me to a Double Deluxe and were happy to see if they could ready my room for me sooner while I waited in the cosy lobby, with its grand fire place and antique winged armchairs, on which, I imagined a pair of distinguished women of the arts, lounging casually and plotting a revolution whilst smoking cigarettes from elegant cigarette holders. With errands to run though, I was happy to come back later and left my luggage with the trusty concierge. On my return, my room was ready, my luggage settled and my substantial deliveries brought up to me with a smile.
For a central London hotel, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the room; it felt more like a suite with its own dressing area and semi-living room. The décor with its beautiful fabrics and vintage and antique furniture spoke of old English charm and heritage whilst the facilities and amenities boasted contemporary comfort and luxury. It was refreshing to have a desk to work on, as well as a dressing table to hold my vanity materials and accoutrements, so my laptop was in no danger of being accosted by my mascara or smeared by my lipstick.
I was surprised however, with the lack of tea and coffee making facilities in the room – it’s usually a basic facility at the 5 star hotels I’ve previously stayed at, and no tea in a London hotel room was a curious thing, surely? But even this was soon rectified; a call to the concierge prompted the express arrival of a china laden tray, tea bags, coffee and sugar cubes (huzzah! I don’t take sugar, but I must say I nodded my approval at the cubes of sugar, which could easily have been in packet form.) a pint of fresh milk, a kettle and a box of melt-in-your-mouth shortbread. Refreshments, free Wi-Fi and an agreeable chair and I was all set for a couple of hours of work before preparing to set out for the event.
The shower, I am pleased to say was excellent! And I am very particular about showers. Plus teamed with an array of luxurious toiletries by Bulgari and Kiehls and lush robes and slippers, I was bound to enjoy the fine yet compact bathroom.
An intriguing event later and a short walk from the event’s venue at The Serpentine Gallery, I welcomed the confinement of my bed at The Capital. And oh my, what a bed! Hand stitched mattress with the finest Egyptian cotton sheets and the most amazing pillows. Yes, I slept wonderfully.
Breakfast was served in the opulently decorated dining room, which exuded a feeling of warmth and intimacy, but felt strangely private too. Breakfast, with the exception of my cappuccino (which was rather good) was mediocre and somewhat disappointing for a five star hotel, with the typical buffet offering that differed little from breakfasts at lesser hotels. The service though, was exemplary throughout.
The opportunity to eat at the hotel’s restaurant didn’t arise during my visit, but I do hope to enjoy the food at the hotel’s latest offering sometime in the near future. The Capital opens the doors to its newest restaurant Outlaw’s Seafood and Grill on 2nd October, welcoming to its kitchens celebrated chef Nathan Outlaw.
Apart from the slight hiccup that was breakfast, my stay at The Capital was superb, with its quintessential English atmosphere and its exceptional staff playing a key role in the experience. I would gladly stay there again.
The Capital Hotel (22-24 Basil St, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AT) is a 5* Boutique hotel and a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Great Hotels of the World, The Capital in Knightsbridge holds 5 AA Townhouse Red Stars. http://www.capitalhotel.co.uk