For our second 2013 stay in London, we made the choice of discretion and elegance staying at The Halkin. Let’s put aside opulent properties for a while and focus on this charming luxury boutique hotel Located in the exclusive Belgravia district, away from the city traffic and noise but close to all main points of interest.
This human scale hotel will simply renew your definition of luxury ; in the same time, the level of guest care will definitely make you feel at home. Indeed, behind the quiet entrance and the small reception you will find the best combination of “luxury” and “home”, thanks to a world of serenity, stylishness and gastronomy – the hotel hosts the Ametsa, a one Michelin star restaurant – and a proactive staff.
As I said in introduction, you really feel at home when you stay at the Halkin. First the typical London style building is located in a peaceful street with very few walkers and cars, then few steps after passing through the entrance you start to discover the interior design by Edith Leschke which is a mix of subtlety, simplicity but still luxury with precious materials – love wood – and modern furnitures. The lobby is quite small but the overall arrangement is efficient, allowing staff to be close to their guests ; but actually this is just a foretaste to the room and suites area, which is just stunning. Indeed I was not expecting such a level of luxury in a boutique hotel: dark corridors design where walls are covered in ruffled fabric and doors are almost indistinguishable from the decor and sophisticated lounge areas settle on each floor in a cosy way offering privacy with its glass wall from floor-to-ceiling and an iMac – full internet access – placed on a beautiful wood desk.
Finally, your London luxury home gives you access to a well-appointed fitness center in the basement and of course, climax of the visit, to a one Michelin star Basque restaurant Ametsa With Arzak Instruction described in the Dining section below. Moreover, if you are Spa addict you can even access to the COMO Shambhala Urban Spa situated in a cousin and nearby hotel, the Metropolitan London.
We stayed in a Belgravia Suite, a large – 60 sqm – and lovely suite with separated living-room with wooden furnitures, a huge marble bathroom and a pleasant terrace overlooking a courtyard garden. The overall is very cosy, chic and exudes warm feelings ; no doubt, you cannot be disappointed. We especially loved the very functional floor plan which enhances the at home atmosphere and the very perfumed COMO Shambhala amenities perfect for bath relaxing. Should I mention the king-size bedding quality that let us enjoyed a comfortable night helped by a faultless soundproofing.
I would recommend to experiment on the terrace one of the delicious homemade room-service dishes for dining under the light of a candle, that’s sooooo romantic.
When you stay at the Halkin you MUST experiment the heart of this luxury hotel, its restaurant. Originally hosting from 2001 to 2012 the Nahm – the first Thai restaurant to obtain a Michelin star in Europe – the Halkin opened in early 2013 a new gastronomic Basque restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction that recently obtained a Michelin star. This place is really impressive both in its decor and its cuisine ; indeed, there you can enjoy a 7-course tasting menu in a hall designed by Ab Rogers Design with a wave-like ceiling created from 7000 hanging glass tubes. We savored this menu during 2 hours and half, I have to say that is for today my best dining experience lifetime ; dishes are delicious, astonishing and served by very friendly waiters and Chef de Rang.
A-la-carte breakfast is also served at Ametsa so do not hesitate to take an inclusive package.
Level of exigency
This is why I like boutique hotels: the Halkin staff recognizes and greets you by name, they do their best to assist you because you are not one among hundreds and special mention to housekeeping which was quick, very effective and discreet – actually I never saw them although I asked twice a day to make up my suite. I also really appreciated the helpful receptionist who offered us to complimentary move our luggages to our next hotel for our second London night and they even arrived before us. I never mentionned cleanliness as I have nothing to says except everything was perfect, of course.
Stay from 25th to 26th October 2013
The Halkin opened in 1991 and is composed of 41 room and suites in Belgravia district, in the heart of London. We stayed in a Belgravia Suite (60sqm) which standard rate is 715GBP/night.